Our focus this year, well one of many, is to make the urban homestead more efficient. Efficient use of time and space.   Living in America we constantly witness the vulgar misuse of space (the US has tons of land don’t we, so why not use, er misuse, it?).  With our little piece of property we are forced to come up with ways to better ourselves and our patch of earth. We can’t just hide or cast off things “over there” we see the problems every day and are forced to come up with better ways.  

Small is, indeed, beautiful.

Oh, yes, we admit we often dream of more land, a better place to live. But, if we focus on the what’s “in the now,” then we certainly have a lot to do that will keep us busy.

I am nearing the end of the supply of the tomato stash that’s frozen in the freezer in empty plastic yogurt containers. We all can’t wait to bring fresh tomatoes back in our diet. Summer can’t come soon enough. 

Lots of work on the garden/urban homestead was accomplished yesterday. Preliminary preparations were started to expand the animal enclosure fence line out about 4 feet.

Also, trenches were dug around the kiwi vines to get them ready for transplanting (which the cats loved btw, rolling around in ecstasy and gnawing on the roots) The guys also tied up the espalier apples onto a short trellis that runs along the walkway along the side yard.

Planted more seeds – cilantro, basil, bachelor buttons. Had planned on planting parsley, but couldn’t find any saved (or bought) parsley seeds, so we may have to go across the street to the nursery and pick up a few packets. The tomatoes, cukes are up! The peppers, as always, are slooooow.    I made a wildflower, herb and grain (millets, persian popcorn) mix to broadcast along our neighbors fence line that will be this years beneficial insect & wildlife border.

Lots of tidying up to do in the yard, stacking, sorting, sweeping, etc.

More rain is expected Mon, Tues and chance on Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun and even Monday.

Web wanderings

THE JOY OF MAKING: We are living in an increasingly deskilled society
If developing our skills makes us happy, why do we make so much room in our lives for devices that eliminate the need to develop skills? We can buy, for example, a bread-making machine – but for most of us, the real pleasure in making bread comes from skilfully kneading the dough, and from involving ourselves in managing the bread’s rising and baking. Using a bread-making machine is surprisingly unsatisfying.
I suppose we delude ourselves that the mere physical production of a result is the rewarding part of an experience. After all, isn’t that the reason for developing skills – to produce that high-quality outcome? We can forget that getting there is more than half the fun. This is an easy assumption to make, as our advertising-saturated world focuses so intently on products as instant satisfactions – on products as answers to our needs.

No Comments

  1. Peggy says:

    In addition, learning new skills may help prevent Alzheimers! You are never too young to learn!

  2. dermot says:

    Here comes LA NINA:


    I don’t know how much of an effect this will have on us, but according to the article:

    “There should be a summer decrease in hurricane activity in the eastern tropical North Pacific, and a corresponding increase in the number of hurricanes in the tropical North Atlantic.”

    Which would mean an even worse hurricane season for North America in ’07 than ’06.

    Any idea what effect this will have on us? I wasn’t into gardening during the last ones, and don’t remember – the others were 1998-2000 and 2001…

  3. gerry medland says:

    If we bow to every labour saving device how will we remember and practice the skills that are fast disappearing?Breadmaking for me is a relaxation,a time to commune with natural forces that are rapidly being eroded in a consumer driven world.If we do not plant,how then will we reap?We were given stewardship of this planet,let us then practise our inheritance and become efficient in our accomplishment.

  4. Anais says:


    If I remember correctly, La Nina usually means drier winters and cooler summers for us in southern california.

    One June, we barely had any sunny days. This topsy turvy in the regular climate certainly plays havoc on the garden.

    Every year in gardening is like playing a slot machine, sometimes you get all cherries and other years you aren’t so lucky.

    We are going to weather this La Nina together…


  5. Anais says:

    Another great post, Gerry. Your comments are certainly a valuable addition to the PTF journal posts.

    Amen, to that.