Thursday, May 27, 2010

Urban Farming....City Kids

busy exploring the compost piles and the greenhouse

It seems to me that urban farming is all the rage these days. My backyard chicken lecture was very well attended. This blog and that blog are shouting out their message of bringing the food security right to your own back yard or community garden! Yet I wonder if this is just the bubble I choose to live in? Is this message of slowing down and working to feed and bring your family together really getting that far?

mini lecture from farmer Sasha

The children in these photos are kids who live mostly live in apartments and spend their days inside a classroom. No green or even open space is available. Most of them have no pets. How are you supposed to connect with humanity without a deep connection to the natural world around you.

my oldest in the lower left corner looking on

It was nothing short of awe inspiring to watch these children squeal with delight at the sight of the chicken flock, marvel at each unique egg, run from bed to bed anxious to see what was growing and if they could eat it.

My own children were present and rather dumbfounded by the school childrens reactions. This is all old hat for my kids but as the moments ticked by I saw the deep appreciation dawn in my daughters eyes. What a gift. What awesome teachers who work so hard to connect with these kids and give them a different view of the world.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The View From Here

Chicken Ambassadors At The Farmers Market

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The View From Here

Chino Air Show

Favorite Quote of the Day as the B-17s flew over
"That, Ladies & Gentleman is the sound of American freedom"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nasturtium Blessings

Around here the nasturtiums are always working overtime. There is always a lovely drift just inside the garden gate welcoming you in with their sunny faces. Besides being beautiful and a lovely home for our resident fairies, they are dead useful!

nasturtium pod waiting to be picked

By this time I think you all know about eating the lovely blossoms. And I am sure quite a few of you are eating the deliciously peppery leaves. They are a bit like cress and make lovely additions to your salads and pretty tea sandwiches. There just might be those among you who know about pickling the seed pods. Once finished they can be used just like capers!

sitting in their brine waiting to be rinsed and packed in white wine vinegar

I can hear you now. You are thinking who has time to pick nasturtium seed pods! You do! It only took me about 15 minutes to gather enough to process. 15 lovely sunny, bird song filled minutes communing with my garden and grabbing a bit of sanity from the bees.

Nasturtium Capers

Makes ½ cup

2 tablespoons salt

1 cup water

½ cup green nasturtium seedpods

¾ cup white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 fresh bay leaves, or 1 dried

2 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme

Bring the salt and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Separate the seeds from the pods, place the seeds in a half-pint glass jar and fill with boiling brine. Cover and let them soak at room temperature for three days.

Drain the nasturtium seeds in a fine sieve and return them to the jar. Combine vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and arugula flowers and bring to a boil in a small (1-quart) saucepan. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the seeds and let cool.

Refrigerate covered for three days before using. Store covered for up to six months in the refrigerator.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yes, We Have No Bananas...

Yesterday, in my mission to save food from dumpsters everywhere, I liberated 50 lbs of "too old" bananas from Smart & Final. After seeing a shopping cart full near the check out I asked a few questions. The nice check out girl told me they were being sold at 50 % off. Anything left would just be thrown away. Needless to say I returned at the end of the day and made the manager an offer. I was able to buy the whole lot of them for $8.88.

What am I going to do with 50lbs of bananas you ask?
Well there is the obvious baking to be done and smoothies of course.

bananas ready to pop in the freezer

I will freeze a lot of them.

and many will find their way to my little black pig!
How I love her so!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Things to do

a big block of spicy lime soap waiting to be cut and my to-do list.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The View From Here

Mother's Day breakfast at the Farmer's Market.
Song's Crepes why are you so dang good!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Come one, Come All ...

It is time to fill the pocket lady's pockets!

with tiny speckled eggs just the right size for a fairy

miniature mushrooms just right for the gnomes hollow tree

and of course the gnomes themselves!

What is the pocket lady you ask???
Well she is a magical character that roams the May Fair.
She is covered in pockets,
each one containing a tiny treasure for the children.
Give her your ticket and you too, can have a turn.
No peeking!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

making peace with sand

sand to the left of me

sand to the right of me

amazing pelicans overhead

and one very happy little boy

running amok!

I guess I will make peace with the sand.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The View From Here

Out the front door of my studio into the vegetable garden.