This month’s Farm Fresh delivery to our door from Capay Organic. (Dog not included.)
Our monthly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) delivery from Capay Organic’s Farm Fresh to You produce arrived on Friday. We initially signed up for the service with a short-term commitment in mind; bridge the deficit that our back yard farming efforts do not provide us so that our nutritional needs could be better met. Shopping at local grocery store chains for vegetables trucked from the Central Valley is one thing but to buy produce from Canada or Mexico? I prefer not to be a part of that economy because it isn’t necessary for us to do so. We have access to fertile land in a garden I call Eden, otherwise known as California. What might our world be like if more people were granted access to land to grow their own food and help sustain their communities?
Stella sneaks a lick of the King Richard Leek when she thought I wasn’t looking.
Please support your local farmers. Plant seeds of your own. The rewards are worth the effort.
Early evening light over vineyards, orchards, and open range in Butte County California continue to visually inspire me and inform my original art card series. This moment of artistic spark came during yesterday’s ride home from Paradise, California to Sacramento. I enjoy the challenge of trying to capture these passing shots of inspirational landscapes with my mobile device while moving through space at speeds ranging from 50 to 80 miles per hour.
I paused between harvesting berries and thinning carrots this morning to admire the progress of this volunteer Sunflower’s growth. We plant the beauties along the fence line as a decorative heat deflecting measure and partial shade for our lettuce.
The errant seeds that germinate in random places in our yard are welcomed surprises.
Weeding and harvesting the berries that are beginning to ripen in our garden is a delicious, nutritious, and tedious chore. I willingly suffer through the task because the payoff is sublime. According to the California Strawberry Commission, the state leads our nation and the world in strawberry production. In 2013, more than 2.3 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested, and the estimated value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $2.6 billion.
Did you know that eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange, and these tasty little super-fruits are packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate and fiber? Of all the strawberry varieties available, freshly picked from the garden are the kind I like the best.
This photo was taken with my mobile device while travelling through Sacramento County California at sixty miles per hour from the passenger seat of a car. I like to take Passing shots between site locations for my Conservation Art series to help inform color, composition, and brush selection. Rain is in the forecast for the next two days, so I am prepared for strokes of burnt umbra between each downpour.
In the game hide and seek, calling out “Olly Olly Oxen Free” is used to let the best hidden players know that the seeker is giving you a pass. In our garden, insects get a free pass from pesticides. I’d much rather deal with holes in my spinach than having toxins in my body.
California has been in dire need for more rain and snowfall to help avert a crisis drought situation, so you can imagine how happy we’ve been to receive rain in the course of this past week. With a 90 percent chance of more rain this weekend, we and our garden have been rejoicing. I still intend to chant and shake my rain stick until the first of March.
Dry farming is used among a growing number of Californian farmers and vintners, and I’m inclined to put the practice into action. The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz teaches dry farming techniques to students and dry farms tomatoes, winter squash, dry beans, apples, and apricots. Allowing generous spacing and moderate irrigation after transplantation is recommended to encourage the roots of the plant to drive its roots down into the soil and is key to the success of the technique.
Still, the sound of a light and steady rain falling is music to my ears. And the garden rejoices.