Posts Tagged ‘food’

Naked Lady 1

Every August, clusters of pink, funnel-shaped flowers on erect, naked stems fill the air with a sweet bubble gum smell. The leafless stems give this gorgeous flower its common name: Naked Lady. The botanical name is Amaryllis belladonna and the plant is native to South Africa, yet widely cultivated in California and other parts of the world. We only have a handful of them scattered on the hillside, but I look forward to their beauty and fragrance every year.

Naked Lady 2

Early Girls.JPG

The Early Girl tomatoes are the smallest specimen I’ve ever seen, but they are super flavorful. I guess it’s just too dry, even though the drip irrigation is on every day. The cherry tomatoes are doing OK and also very flavorful and sweet. We got a decent plate full of tomatoes


which turned into a great tomato salad for dinner.




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We woke up to the sound of rain on Sunday morning – so welcome and soothing! The water exaggerated the colors and smell of fall. Redwood duff covered the driveway and deck. The persimmon tree had turned partly pink and the first persimmons had turned orange.Hachiya persimmons

By 10 or 11 am, the sun had come out and started to dry everything, the wonderful forest smell was still lingering, though. We split and stacked a bunch more fire wood getting ready for the cozy, staying-inside season.

wood pileAfter we stopped making all that noise with the chain saw, split ax, throwing logs around, I noticed one of my favorite qualities of Enchanted Meadows, the quiet. It had been too long since I was up here appreciating the silence, the peacefulness. This will always be one of my favorite places to be.

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Getting out of town wasn’t easy. The closed Bay Bridge and the long weekend created traffic headaches everywhere. The trip that usually takes us three hours took twice as long. Our friends Heidi and Craig joined us on Saturday and their trip from Vallejo was no fun either. But once we arrived, that was all behind us. The Mendocino Coast has a way to erase stress from your mind.  It welcomed us with gorgeous weather and the usual tranquility.

On Saturday, I harvested green beans and was surprised and thrilled to see the result.


They became part of dinner along with a huge bowl of English Peas which Heidi, Craig and I chucked in the afternoon. Main course? Salmon, of course, and some chicken.

Heid and Craig

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Bill ArenaEric scale

If you love to eat Dungeness crab, find our friend Bill Arana, captain of the Condor, who regularly sells this fresh caught delicacy right off his truck around Gualala. We connected with him, his deckhand Eric and little Ruby on our last trip and bought four crabs. One of them was a monster weighing about three pounds.Yum!


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OK, our harvest has been very modest, but it feels so wonderful to eat homegrown food. Eating tomatoes right off the plants reminds me that tomatoes indeed are fruit – they are so sweet!

We picked blackberries and I made the first jam of the season, 13 jars. My mom would be so proud of me!

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I love picking and eating  home-grown food! We’ve had the very first cherry tomatoes and this weekend, we picked the first bush beans – my always favorite Blue Lakes and Kentucky Wonder, so tasty! The deer seemed to like them, too, so we had to share some, but that’s OK.

The first planting box we built was not producing anything for the obvious reason every gardener knows: poor soil. We had filled it with the local clay soil and even though I had tried to amend it with compost, it was just too dense. So we dug it up – our backs are still sore – and refilled it with with top soil and compost. It needs a little more soil which we’ll add next time, but then that box will be ready to produce some food.

In the process, John had to cut the old Redwood stump the chicken lived on. We found it a new home not not very far away. It is still keeping an eye on everything, you’ll see.

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If you are looking for an excuse to go to Mendocino next weekend, January 20-22, is it! The Mendocino Crab & Wine Days celebrate everything we love about the North Coast: seafood, mushrooms, good wine, to name a few. See a whole list of activities and events here.

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