Sunday, June 12, 2011

Garden times

First item: composting in northern California. In response to this post from this fantastic blog (, I decided to write a little about our composting. We have a really complex set up of chicken wire with S hooks along one end for opening. It can be turned with a shovel and we never have to water it. The chicken wire lets in ALMOST enough air, though we had to throw in some hearty sticks the other day. The down side to this system is that creatures are able to get into our compost, and, after some random fruit pieces on the driveway were written off as someone being lazy, this curiously placed corn cob confirmed that, in fact, something is snacking on the compost.

yup, that's a corn cob on that fence post!

Second item: yea I remember growing bean plants on paper towels in elementary school and yea, I remember those avocado pits my mom stuck toothpicks in and left sitting in the kitchen. But did anything edible actually flourish at my childhood house? No...

The best perk of living in Orick is the gardening potential. I have been growing things like crazy! If only I could find a way to harvest all that "leather" growing in the adjacent field...but I am saving that topic for my next post. 

Anyhow, after reading the below article in the New York times, I was curious about growing from grocery store produce. The idea of getting both some food and some seeds without having to buy separate products was very appealing to my depression-era revival sensibilities.

(Photo from NY Times article linked below)

I know that the produce from the big box grocery stores is probably sterile, but what about those on-the-vine beautiful organic California tomatoes from our local food Co-op? ( I dried the seeds to remove the ooze, planted them indoors, and they sprouted like crazy. I had 10 amazing tomato plants grown to a foot high in about a month! As my husband said, "they look like tomatoes plants, smell like tomato plants..." but when his store bought plant started making little flowers, all my big beautiful plants just grew pods.  After promising to remove the plants from their valuable real estate in our tiny greenhouse if the pods didn't flower by today, I cracked open a pod, and it was devoid of yellow petals! Nothing!

I am confused about why they did not fruit...any suggestions?

And now a photo of the happy cows living across the street, in prep for my post on the leather industry:

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