Thursdays are always the day I put the most time in behind the wheel. By the time dinner rolls around it’s all I can do get something on the table. This is tonight’s effort, a fry-up. I cannot remember where I learned to make this, but it’s a lifesaver when your too tired to be creative.
When I called them in from the dinner, my boys came in bearing a sprouted chestnut they found out in the side yard. We have two chestnut trees in front of the house. They are beautiful and big, but I haven’t a clue about what kind of chestnut tree. Chestnuts are not native to California. The American chestnut is actually called the “Redwood of the East” and is native only east of the Mississippi. In trying to figure out if mine are American, Japanese, Chinese, European or a hybrid I’ve become fascinated by these trees.
The day we came to the open house, and first saw what would be our new home, we had to wait for the selling agent to sweep a path from our car to the front porch due to the thick carpet of chestnut burrs all over the ground. The trees are only just now starting to show signs of waking up after their winter sleep. Green is peeking out from the buds here and there.
I’m looking forward to roasting chestnuts for yule at the end of the year. If anyone knows anything about chestnut trees, please help me figure mine out!
Thank goodness for California’s long growing season. I am just starting to set up my vegetable garden. The area set up for the kitchen garden is quite a generous size, but I just do not have it in me to go big right from the get-go.
As I have said before, there is just too much to do.
So, we are going to go this year with a no-til or no-dig garden. It was Doug’s idea. He found a blog on permaculture gardening, and we figured why not give it a try.
The weekend after the move, we took a bale of hay we found in the little hay loft, moved it to the garden and covered the area we were going to plant. Then we let it sit.
The theory is to cover the ground with straw or cardboard. Then build rows or mounds of soil on top of the straw, and then plant. The straw suppresses the weeds and as the plants grow the roots dig down through the straw and anchor themselves. This is supposed to keep the soil from becoming weaker (especially season after season) from disturbing the soil’s ecology.
This morning we started building the rows and mounds where we will plant.
It won’t be the prettiest garden in the world, but I’m so happy to have it!
I am by no means an experienced gardener. I was raised in the suburbs, and my mom always hired someone to do the yard work. My experience consists of a small garden in Georgia, some five gallon buckets I used to grow pole beans and tomatoes on my balcony when we first moved to Cali, and helping my much more experienced neighbor plant a big (for me) garden which produced beautifully that year.
It was a glorious way to start the morning!
Then the rest of my day consisted of chauffeuring the kids to their activities…and knitting while I wait.
Today was a day of making lists and seeing just how much work has to be done around here. Doug and I walked the property, taking turns pointing out to each other the buds and new leaves on trees and grapevines, wondering where this irrigation line runs to, and whether that section of fence will be easy to repair. It is almost overwhelming when we look at it. Then we take a deep breath and grin at each other like loons.
There is nowhere else we would rather be than looking a years worth of work.
One of the things on my list is to go see what the library has on growing grapes. I’ve grown a vegetable garden before, but wine grapes are totally different. Thankfully, I just need to let the vintner who tends the vines do his job, and then I get to enjoy the fruit of his labor, as it were. People have asked me why I don’t make him pay be, but to have a knowledgeable vintner tend the vines and then give me cases of wine as payment is more than a fair deal. Heaven knows if I had to do it, these vines would be in a sorry stated and there would be no wine! However, I do think I need to educate myself on what grows on my land.
Today I also met a neighbor. I have to say, I have never lived anywhere where the people actually came out to meet you. We have met five neighbors on our road so far, and most of them went out of their way to come welcome us. Despite the fact that we are so close to the city, it really is rural living here. I just love it.
Now we are going to watch a movie together. I hope your Saturday has been as lovely as mine!
Oh, my! This stuff is a menace. And. It. Is. Everywhere.
Every day, I try to get out there with a pair of gloves and I just pull, pull, pull. They have to be pulled out by the roots or they come back. The worst ones are the ones that grow from the cut stumps that were not pulled. Some of those I can’t get out at all.
I am loving doing it though. The day was sunny and warm, the breeze cool. When I pulled the root of the plant out, I could smell the damp earth. Sometimes even tasting the scent in my mouth when I breathed in.
Sun on my skin. My muscles working hard.
I found myself using “deadlift form” when I pulled the big ones out. Flat back, shoulders straight, pushing through my heals. Tomorrow morning my hamstrings are going to feel this.