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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

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

harvest.JPG

which turned into a great tomato salad for dinner.

salad.JPG

 

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If you live in the Central Valley or Sacramento, you will laugh at me, but this is a pretty decent tomato harvest for us…and they taste super sweet! We also picked more blackberries and John made me make blackberry pie. I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but it got eaten!

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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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There is no place I would have rather been this weekend – hot, still, blue skies, homegrown food. Though the summer has been mediocre, the tomatoes are still trying their best to produce. Hey, coming from Pacifica, this is a mayor harvest!

At about 3 pm in the afternoon on Saturday, the entire forest appeared to be filled with song birds. I have not seen anything like it. The hummingbirds did their usual thing, but suddenly there were finches, jays, hawks, wood peckers filling the branches.  It was a flurry of activity so graceful and choreographed that only lasted about an hour. What a privilege to witness this!

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Oh, how I needed my Enchanted Meadows fix after two very brief visits in the last two month! I got it this weekend and the banana belt proved how it got its name – 80 degrees in the shade, I could see white caps on the ocean, but could feel barely any wind at the house. Heaven!

The hummingbirds, butterflies and bees were just as happy to indulge in the heat, sucking nectar of the Mexican sage, kniphofia and lavender. I planted cuttings from the gigantic kniphofia in front of the downhill  cabin and they are blooming for the first time. Will they get that gigantic?

Our sickly plum tree produced more fruit than I have seen. It just wants to live, as one of our gardening friends said. We missed most of the plums- I hope our guests took advantage! – but we harvested the last ones and they are delicious!

Plums, zucchini, squash and peas

The persimmon tree is bigger than ever and setting lots of fruit. I hope it won’t drop it all like last year.

And last but not least, the tomatoes are kicking butt. Remember the  picture I posted after I planted them? Look at them now! I think we will have some tomatoes this year!

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We finally had the summer we didn’t have all summer! It was hot, sunny and beautiful!

Conrad and Simone windblown

Our dear friends Peter, Simone and their adorable four-year-old Conrad came up for the beautiful weekend. We went for a hike on the land near the Point Arena Lighthouse that Stornetta, the local dairy, donated to the Bureau of Land Management. It was windy, but spectacular.

If you haven’t been there, go! It’s open to the public and so worth it.

Punch Bowl connected to the Ocean

Point Arena Light House in the distance

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