Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Daily Harvest

Oh man, we got so much more garlic this year than last year! Maybe it will last us all year long.

Kate hung it in the shed to dry.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Daily Harvest

One of the first winter squash we've successfully grown. And look! There's the plum jam Kate made.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Other People's Trees

Kate made delicious plum jam with raisins and walnuts. The plums are from Matt & Kristen's tree.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strange eggs.

Wand has now made two of these.

Inside there is no yolk. Just white.

What is Wanda doing?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Daily Harvest

Daily Dinner

For my birthday!

More noodles, with herbs and olive oil, cucumber salad, and deviled eggs!

Because our eggs are fresh, they don't peel very well, so Jonathan made deviled eggs in the shells! Kind of like oysters on the half shell, and we used spoons to scoop them out.

For dessert we had vanilla ice cream with raspberries and aunt Anne's chocolate sauce.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daily Dinner

My childhood friend, Kathy came to stay with us for long weekend. We spent the three days celebrating and playing.

Saturday night we made noodles (one egg from our chickens.) with fava beans, peas, turnips and tons of herbs on top.

We also ate more venison, traded from Bob, slow cooked in white wine with herbs, with ground cherry chutney on the side.

I think that ground cherries are my favorite kind of chutney.

Kim brought salad and flowers from her garden. Some of the flowers were for the table, and some were for the salad! Nasturtium flowers are so bright and spicy, and a lovely old standard in salad, but she also added bachelor buttons, which I had never eaten before!

This is the ground cherry chutney. Possibly the best food ever.

Daily Harvest


Inside the bee hive!

It's getting crowded again.

We found capped brood, eggs and larva. But also two supercedure cells. Do the bees want a new queen?
Check out Kathy looking for eggs. The bees did not make her nervous!

We also found a couple of mites in the mite board. I am pointing to one here. It looks like a shiny red dot.

Daily Harvest

Ground cherries outside of their papery lanterns.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June Garden!

This is a lovely time in the garden right now. The spring things are giving it their last go, but the summer things are also coming in strong right now.

In the foreground you can see the bulb garlic starting to turn yellow, it should be ready soon. On the right are the tomatoes, which despite our cool weather are really taking off.

On the left is our insane kombocha squash plant which having already out competed everything in its same bed, is now working on conquering the whole row. Behind the garlic the bush beans are are just starting to think about themselves, and have made tiny delicate little beans which the chickens have been brutalizing.

The peas and the favas are almost at the end of their run (they are right behind the killer squash) and I think that is where the chicken coop should go next.

Daily Harvest

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Daily Harvest

This cucumber went to a strawberito sushi party. It got cut into long thin strips and wrapped up in sushi rolls.

Pond, round two

I am trying again to have a cute pond. Not just a barrel of mud that the bees can drink from. I got really discouraged when it got hit repeatedly by the marauding raccoons last fall. The first time they came by they ripped off the tops of the plants. Then they came by another night and ripped them out further down. Another night they visited our barrel and pulled the plants out completely and shredded them, including the roots.

So, for quite awhile we have left it as a barrel with some azola floating on the surface. The honey bees can drink, so can the chickens, the neighbor's cat, little native bees, and other insects. But it didn't look as nice, and I didn't spend time hanging out next to it, or looking at how it was doing.

I decided to try again, but this time with a defense against raccoons.

I cut some hard ware cloth to fit in the barrel. It fits so that one side is open, and I can reach under the mesh to access the all of the barrel. Then I cut holes for where I wanted the plants to go. I hammered the cloth in place using U shaped nails. When I bought more water plants, I slid them under the hardware cloth, below the holes I had cut out for them. They started to grow up through the holes. As they grow, I'm raising the water level. The little lily pad looking one has finally gotten big enough that it is making leaves on top of the mesh in stead of under it. I want the water to cover the mesh enough that its not too visible, but it will still keep the raccoons from being able to destroy the plants below a certain depth. We will see how well my plan works. We haven't gotten raccoons in our yard that I have noticed recently.

Rather than calling the county of Alameda to put mosquito fish in our pond Jonathan has brought some from his work. He biked them home in a plastic bag in his backpack. Hopefully from the group he brought, there will be at least one male and one female and they can make as many mosquito fish as our barrel can support. They eat the mosquito larva, but unfortunately they also eat almost everything else living as well. Their appetites do keep us from creating a health hazard in our yard though.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Amazing moth!

We found this moth in the compost pile! It looked like a mythical creature.

Flying mouse?

Cigar with wings?

Wheel Barrow!

This is kind of old news, but once we finally got a shed I could get a wheel barrow and not have it sit out in the rain for it's whole life!

Over my spring break I finished moving our famous and well established giant pile of mulch out of our drive way, one barrow full at a time. Our paths are now all dug out and filled with wood chips.

The wheel barrow is so handy! I can fill it with weeds and then just wheel them all over to the compost heap. I can leave the weeds in it and create chicken fun land. I can wheel my chickens around in it. If I still had more mulch to move I could continue to move it around. I can move manure, compost and other garden dirt essentials from place to place. I enjoyed borrowing the wheel barrow from the tool lending library, but I'm really enjoying having my own!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Daily Dinner

I love shelling fava beans. We eat them during such a short time of year that the novelty doesn't wear off for me. All season long I enjoy looking at the funny shapes of the beans and I never stop being impressed by how mammalian the insides of the pods are. I love to sit at the counter of our kitchen while Jonathan makes dinner and do something marginally helpful that feels like I'm playing. I like the fava bean photos because I like to see how much matter will go into the compost for the amount of food we will receive. Lots of matter!

I think this is an unattractive photo of me, but Jonathan likes it.

Jonathan thinks that this is an unattractive photo of him, but I like it.

And if we posted neither photo there would be no record of this garden dinner!

Favas and peas with lots of herbs over cous cous (not from the yard!) with cucumber yogurt salad. This is the first cucumber of the summer for us! The yogurt was from Andrea.

Thanks Andrea!

Daily Harvest

Daily Breakfast

Welcome back from Memphis breakfast!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Daily Barter

We have and on going excess of eggs these days. We have been working of turning the eggs into other products that we do not have and aren't making.

Andrea, Jonathan's friend from middle school, read The Omnivore's Dilemma. It convinced her that there are no ethical eggs commercially available to her. She has also started making her own yogurt. This is perfect! I love yogurt! I hate buying things!

Wednesday evening she came by with two quarts of yogurt in exchange for a dozen eggs. It is delicious! I have taken it to school for lunch, we have put it on our pancakes spread with marmalade, we used it to make cucumber salad with the first cucumber of the season.

She made it with organic whole Straus milk that comes in those lovely glass bottles.

Thank you Andrea!

Daily Harvest

Monday, June 1, 2009

Daily Harvest

I am so excited to be eating raspberries!

This is the first harvest this year of ground cherries!

The love in a mist is all starting to bloom around the edges of the yard. It is so beautiful! It doesn't seem to attract bees, but it does make me think of the dreamy water color illustrations of the children's book Carrie Hepple's Garden. The children sneak into a reclusive neighbor's garden at night and the garden is mesmerizingly beautiful but also unknown and threatening. I think that Carrie Hepple grew love in a mist.

It also makes me think of the story my friend tells of going to the garden store with her house mate and trying to decide which flowers to buy. She couldn't figure out why he rejected her suggestion of love in a mist until it came out later that he had understood her to be saying "love enemas."