I can’t believe how fast things are taking off! Look what importing 5 yards of organic compost, rock dust, seaweed, and other organic goodies can do!
Days have been hot & dry (high 90’s or low 100’s). I had been hand watering like crazy! I have come home to find very wilted plants. I almost feel like I can’t be gone from home very long. I am lucky enough to have a friend who is going to install drip irrigation to these beds. I’ll be taking notes 🙂
A watermelon flower
A newly polinated watermelon
Isn’t this just the cutest thing ever? Now I sound like a new mom bragging about her babies….sorry. Can’t help it. 😉
As a novice gardener I realized I have underestimated these plants. I just found out that one watermelon can take up 100 sq ft! OH NO! I planted about 14 of them. It’s gonna be a scary jungle here soon.
Raspberries are growing. I never knew when raspberries were in season. I am guessing sometime in late summer.
Butternut Squash (volunteer) OMG, I just LOVE butternut squash! It is one of my favorites. I love it as a soup, roasted, steamed, sauteed, you name it. I need to learn more raw recipes for this amazing food! If you know any post them in my comments box below.
Look what Alex discovered! I had a green preying mantis in my garden a couple months ago, but seeing this guy just threw me for a loop. I didn’t know there were different colors! However, he was hidden behind some rocks and he blended right in!
I think these guys (grasshoppers) are bad for a garden. Not sure. Anyone know? He was kickin’ it on my cherry tomato volunteers.
I have also been enjoying the abundance of bees! I would guess there are over 50 bees or so out in the morning. It feels so good, especially after Mehgan and I watched a program recently on the problem with bees. No bees = no food! Mehgan really wants to raise bees, but I am concerned since my property is rather small. I wouldn’t want neighbors to be trying to kill them. I dunno. Anyone know about this? My lot is just about 8000 sq ft.
Patty Pan on the Vine
I harvested this one. I think this was about the right size before harvesting for best flavor, etc. Again, not sure. Tasted fantastic though.
Yellow Squash (volunteer)
I ate this straight from the garden just minutes after picking. It was so sweet! I can get used to this! 😉
Zucchini My first one of the season. It’s got a weird shape to it!
A new cantaloupe
Cantaloupe (volunteer) amongst cherry tomato volunteers Almost ready! Again, I have like 14 of these plants. I am not a big fan of cantaloupe, but Mehgan is. She can easily eat 2 a day!
Lemon Cucumber I recently trained this up at trellis after it had become a big mess. It sort of shocked the plant I think, but it is doing better. Here is a young cucumber.
I think this is when it is harvesting time. I was told that if it was creamy colored and no longer green then it was ready to go. These are so good. I went to a raw food potluck where there were raw pickled cucumbers with lemon juice, dill, and salt that marinated over a period of several days. Who knew you could enjoy raw pickles? I am always amazed.
Here is a little clip of my compost! I have always had troubles doing it right. I never had crumbly dark soil. Either it would get stinky and too wet at the bottom and attract flies or it would be too dry and never break down. I think in this video it is a bit dry, however it is the best it has ever been. I bet I’ll just keep getting better from here!
Living in Southern California, I can’t help but feel concern for the water supply and how we use our water. Here are some facts about what we are using or wasting our water on.
1. Four to seven gallons of water are required to flush a toilet. Placing a brick in your toilet tank to serve as a dam can save one to two gallons of water with each flush. 2. About five gallons of water are used if you leave the tap running while brushing your teeth. Just wetting and rinsing your brush uses only a 1/2 gallon of water. 3. The average household uses about 245,000 gallons of water per year. The average person about 188 gallons daily. 4. On average, 20 gallons of water are used to hand wash dishes. An automatic dishwasher requires 12-20 gallons. 5. Only one percent of the earth’s water is suitable for drinking water. The rest is salt water (97%) and glacier ice (2%). 6. The earth’s surface is 80 percent water, equaling 362 trillion gallons. Water is the most common substance found on earth. 7. The human body is made up of 70% water. A person must consume about 2 1/2 quarts of water per day (including water, food, etc.) to maintain health. 8. A pineapple is made up of 80% water. Many of the foods we eat contain water, including a tomato (95%), and an ear of corn (80%). 9. Watering the lawn at 5 to 10 gallons per minute for a half hour equals 300 gallons! Automatic clothes washers use about 30 gallons, a tub bath requires 36 gallons, and a shower uses 35 to 50 gallons.
Anyhow, we started entertaining many ideas on how to conserve water and make sure we are using only what we need and not being wasteful. It has turned into a household challenge for us. We try to see who can use the least amount of water. Now, I still have a long way to go. I still need to completely remove my lawn since that seems to be our biggest water guzzler. I also started thinking about rainwater (which we hardly receive in So Cal), and grey water, which is usable water for gardening and so forth.
As you search you tube ANYTHING is possible. I figured how much water my household uses on flushing the toilet and it is close to 75,000 gallons of water a year. That water can go to better use. Here is one way to alleviate that water waste.
Ok, so my kids laughed at first, but then said it looks like a good idea. Hmmm… am I ready to go to this extent? It is environmentally friendly especially since we are on a raw food lifestyle and everything we eat is compostable, but still. My heart says this is smart, my mind says this is out of my element. I know I will eventually do this….just one green action at a time.
I just placed an order for more seeds. Yes, in the middle of summer. Most people order before spring, but a new gardener like me hasn’t established a system yet. I am sooo excited because I bought things that I have never even seen before like a red and orange carrot, black tomaotes, cinnamon basil, I mean the list goes on. I love the fact that I will grow things that are not only organic and biodynamic, but they are rare and uncommon. Who wants to grow the same exact thing that you can pick up at the market? I find the uniques varieties far more alluring.
I have also finished building four more 4×4 raised beds. I will use them for my kids gardening experiments for school science.
My ultimate gardening goal is to have a beautiful organic edible landscape that provides food sustainability that is super nutrient dense. It just makes sense to grow food rather than work on a lawn that serves no major purpose, especially since I am in Southern California which is experiencing a water crisis. It makes no sense to see miles of lawns in a place where we are in need of water. If you are going to be watering something you might as well be growing food.
I have really been enjoying learning as much as I can about gardening this year. I have been exposed to gardening with sea agriculture, rock dust, ormus, compost tea, worms, bees, bio dynamic, bio intensive, square foot method, and so on. I can’t say that my garden is flourishing out of control like many gardeners are experiencing right now. I learned I was missing nitrogen from my soil and that stunts the growth of the plant. So, while researching online I found many sites talking about urine in their garden as a great source of nitrogen. WHAT?!?! Ok, this immediately repulsed me….NO WAY am I going to PEE in my garden. Well, then it started making a bit of sense. I mean, I would go to the garden shop and put chicken and bat poop in the garden. So that’s just as gross, right? I started thinking about my diet and the fact that I eat raw foods. I eat sprouts, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, superfoods, and so forth. All of which would go into a compost bin safely. I don’t consume any animal products. Anyhow, I started to apply it to my garden…go figure… I am seeing peppers that are finally producing rather than the flowers just falling off. My teeny tiny canteloupe has tripled in size. I know it sounds disgusting, but proof is in the ….PEE…LOL.
Something feels sooooooo good about starting a new blog. It reminds me of the first day of school with brand new rings of paper and pencils ready to fill the sheets. I suppose an introduction would be appropriate ; ).As you know, my name is Lori. I am 32. I currently live in Southern California and will be relocating to Hawaii in April 2009. I am a single mommy of 2 kids. My son is 12, my daughter is 10. I am very close with the children’s father. We are committed parents. At my kids events the other parents think we are still married since they usually don’t see ex relationships getting along.
Together, we alternate homeschooling. WOW, what a shift. Transforming and I am amazed I took on that challenge. I am so glad that I did. It was what felt right for us. It is only my second year doing it. I hope to continue.
I am a self employed Health and Wellness Practitioner. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I feel a deep connection to my purpose and that is my work. I suppose it is the most stable “job” one can have. You can’t exactly get fired from your purpose. It is born into you. Talk about job security…LOL. 🙂 . My purpose is to move from inspiration to action. Hence my screen name: Inspire2Act. Pretty simple. Sometimes it stays in the head…but, what’s the point if no action is taken? My passion is to inspire others to act in ways that are worthy of them. I have a background in massage, personal training, nutrition, purification, rehab and physical therapy, day spa, beauty, and green living (check out: http://gliving.tv/).
Self reliance and empowerment are deeply rooted into me. It is something I wish to maintain and deepen and inspire in others. I wonder of being born 1 hour from Independence day has anything to do with it? ; )
I LOVE being a woman. I love the femininity, the beauty, the curves, the softness, the smell, the WORKS. I am thankful I have been given this body and I am honoring this body temple that houses my spirit. I love being alive!
Here are some projects that I am into:
1. Turning my cookie cutter track home yard into an edible landscape. I feel a strong sense to empower myself through making my property have a purpose. This includes every plant I own :). Productive and purposeful and efficient. I don’t exactly have the rep for being an amazing gardener, but I am passionate and thirsty to learn. I love http://pathtofreedom.com/ . They inspire me. I attend their events and film screenings and potlucks. Once I am up and running I am going to help others establish their own edible landscape and homestead. This is a great site to connect and have support: http://freedomgardens.org/.
2. Learning how to make yummy raw food. A few years ago I was going to attend CIA in Napa (Culinary Institute of America) until I realized there was no correlation with nutrition and gourmet food at this facility. Hence, my hunger to learn gourmet raw food :). The journey has begun! Raw food culinary geniuses: Wish me luck ; ). For everyday raw stuff I check out: http://www.welikeitraw.com/ .
3. Physical fitness! I am deepening my yoga practice. I have been doing yoga since I was 15. It was never consistent and regular, but I loved it still. I have decided to commit to it. I feel it is the most neutralizing, balancing, and healing form of exercise on the planet, but that’s just me. It truly enhances all the fun activities I enjoy like dancing, snowboarding, and surfing, and gymnastics. I really love being creative with the body and having fun. A workout is only secondary to the fun factor!
4. I’d love to learn to play the guitar and the piano. I have a piano in my front room and don’t know how to play…so sad. 🙂 Chopsticks anyone? My kids and I just started guitar lessons. What a hand workout!
5. To realize a book NEVER feels finished. I just need to publish it already! I suppose an artist may always want to tweak his final painting. I have written in the fields of self development and empowerment through conscious living, health, wellness, beauty, purification, diet, green sustainable living practices, etc.
6. I love retreats I would spend my life traveling the world just to see them all, so why not start this way? Like minded people, please respond ; ). I am working on holding retreats that are informative and inspirational as well as FUN!!!! I would like to set them up by seasons. Perhaps a snowboarding raw yoga retreat in winter. A surfing raw yoga retreat in summer. Spring and Fall perform purification retreats. A place to decondition old paradigms and get back to the version of our authentic self.
7. I love fine nude art. Those black and whites of sculpted physiques are mesmerizing. Our lives and bodies are our own work of art. I find this beautiful expression: http://www.fineartnude.com/webring/
9. I am very interested in living debt free and below my means. I have lived a life of debt and found it to be very low calibrating in consciousness. It is a burden that weighs the spirit down. As Wayne Dyer says” Debt is nonspiritual“.