Summer’s remnants

tomatoes in the gardenOur summer garden limped along this year, started late and plagued by under-watering (I couldn’t stem my drought fears, not even for veggies, and as we drift into fall our tomato plants are as dry and golden as our once-green lawn). Our exposure on the veggie boxes is not ideal, and our small gardeners prefer digging and whacking over, say, weeding and pruning. We managed to harvest red and gold and the occasional green tomato, chiles galore, huge handfuls of basil and thyme and cilantro, even a solitary yellow squash. Nothing like the careless, constant overproduction of our garden-from-before, but still something. We got our hands dirty, we watched things grow, we understood first-hand the crumbly, deep dryness of the droughtContinue reading

What flowers grow

flowering weedsThe boys have been intent on reminding me this week that THOSE ARE NOT WEEDS! They are FLOWERS! Their insistence comes after I went on a bit of a rampage clearing out a flower bed and into the green bin went a heap of their beloved sour grass. But they are not alone in their enthusiasm; at our market this past Saturday I met a farmer whose entire acreage is given over to what grows there of its own volition. She had strawberries for sale, tiny red ones. In big buckets were curvy-stemmed, three-foot-tall gaggles of weeds. Or flowers, if you’d like. With thoughts of my guys, I brought home a bunch. Continue reading

Time enough

kaleDown in Los Angeles, we took walks to visit the community garden that Dan and Kate and the girls belong to. The newly planted carrot seeds in their bed needed watering, and anyway the kids were eager to explore this secret place, tucked above the city like some magical farmer-fairy kingdom. They tripped and climbed over each other, along terraced pathways that meandered around garden beds, past the rich blackness of the compost pile, under giant avocado trees. Bees buzzed amidst blooming lavender and rosemary, and orange-and-black wings danced through the air. As each butterfly dipped and swooped and bobbed past them, Sonia and Alma – and soon Jacob and Lucas, too – would cry out, “Monarch!”

Fresh air, sunshine, avocados straight from the tree! What more could our darlings need? Ah … extravagant dust baths and the chance to nearly impale each other with muddy trowels and antique weed-hooking thingies. Apparently.

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To be nourished

The Lunchbox FundI’m honored to once again participate in a food justice campaign with The Giving Table. Today’s post is in support of The Lunchbox Fund; our goal is to help nourish some of the world’s most vulnerable people, the hungry young children of South Africa. I hope you’ll pull up a chair and join us for lunch.   Continue reading

In the grace of the world

HMBThe rain arrived today, and I was glad. After a morning of fingers slammed in doors and heads caught in bag handles, of favorite shirts gone missing and rain boots on the lam – after that morning, I was ready for some soft edges, craving the fresh clean smell of the wide wet world, anticipating the coziness of twisting steam and rain-blurred windows.

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In our people house

J and carrots

Are you familiar with the 1972 classic, In A People House? Seuss originally published it under his pseudonym, Theo. LeSieg. It is one of Lucas’s current favorites, and like so many of the two year old set he especially loves when we mess up the words as we read.

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