Thursday, June 19, 2008

a sea of squash leaves or mid june in the backyard

It's possible that we have a freakshow sort of garden growing out back. Our artichokes grew to 6 ft tall during the spring and now our heirloom pumpkins have leaves roughly the size of tires and are threatening to take over a full quarter of our LARGE (by LA standards) backyard. And I swear to you I don't use any fertilizers, just worm compost that comes directly from our food scraps. Rumor has it that before our neighborhood was turned into a neighborhood (around 1949), the land was used for farming. Which I can certainly understand seeing how everything we put in the ground acts like we've injected it was steroids. As in when I was out there this evening picking cucumbers and zucchini, I literally had to WADE into the sea of waist high leaves to get within reach of the fruit I was eyeing. If you found yourself on the lam, a great place to hunker down would be among our squash plants. I don't have a great picture of it just yet as I need future hubbie to pose as the model so you can truly appreciate the scale of what we're dealing with. Instead I have a sampling of what is in season in LA 90066 at this moment (keeping in mind, I got a late start with the planting of course).

I'm a total broken record, but seriously, growing your own food is a transformative experience. It is satisfying in the get-your-hands-dirty-and-make-something-from-nothing sort of way, but also connects you to a legacy that was lost somewhere between the birth of convenience food in 1950's and the blackberry-obsessed, time-strapped (among other things) 21st century. If you have even the slightest inkling to grow a pot of herbs in your apartment window, I highly recommend that you try. And try again if/when your first little garden goes the way of shriveled stems. My "gift" with plants was a running joke with my roommates in college. Literally couldn't keep a houseplant alive. But guess what... I'm an urban farmer now (very small scale) and it is amazing.

Kay stepping off the soapbox... another picture, dusk over the fence.

and the list

strawberries (we have late bloomers apparently)
boysenberries (still!)
herbs of many sorts (including the omnipotent oregano)


eLiZaBeTh said...

I just found your blog and I LOVE it!! I am getting married next summer and I am feeling a little like a black sheep trying to find a place, dress, etc., that is unlike what everyone else is doing, but I will get there. After reading your post on growing your own food, I must make a book suggestion. It is the book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbra Kingsolver. I am reading this right now and it has completely transformed the way that I look at food. It is a wonderful, beautiful and passionate book and I hope that you find the time to read it after your big day!

kristina said...

elizabeth! hi!

READ IT. and loved loved loved. and recommend it to everyone.

My project for next season is to actually take care of what i plant out back... this years efforts were sort of overshadowed by the wedding monstrosity. Meaning there are officially more weeds than foods out there right now.