Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The garden in July, and why we weren't made for California livin'...

Last week, my husband Steve and I attended Mastin Kipp's "Claim your Power" conference in Los Angeles, where we were supposed to discover what our purpose is.  We realized that

1) We are already very much in our power and living our purpose (yay us!)

2) We are not city folks.  Not at all.

Now I admit that Venice Beach, Los Angeles, is not for the faint of heart, what with its overstimulation, platinum-blonde-surgically-enhanced-people, and quite a few people on drugs.  Steve and I walked on the beach every day and could stomach about two hours of this scene, and then we had to go hide in our hotel room, staring at each other going "Woah!"

On the flight home, as soon as the plane approached Seattle with its lovely view of the mountains, evergreen trees, Puget Sound and islands, I teared up with gratitude to live in such a beautiful place.

And once we arrived at our homestead in the wilderness, my heart was whole again and overflowed with gratitude.  Another thing that's overflowing is our garden - the vegetables, fruits and flowers.

This is what we came home to:

Loaded-with-fruit-blueberry-bushes and kiwi vines in passionate embraces...

Cabbage forming heads - sauerkraut, here we come!

Figs getting ready to hit their peak...

Zucchinis happily bursting forth...

Garlic scapes curling into the sky, ready to be harvested for fermenting...

Borage making me happy every time I pass by it...

Onions and lettuce growing visibly every single day...

The goat barn being taken over by climbing clematis...

Flowers holding strong even after days of rain...

Goat babies growing up fast...

Kale and collards cranking...

Brassicas and winter squash taking over...

Borage, cilantro and calendula competing for space...

Beans blooming prettily, protected by netting because the (insert terrible swear words) deer seem to think they are a gourmet meal, to be stolen in the middle of the night...

Tomatoes setting fruit in the greenhouse...

Beets growing big enough to be eaten and soon to be pickled with honey and cinnamon...

Cucumber plants sizing up...

Apples getting redder...

Gorgeous hollyhock that's twice as tall as I am...

Flowers, flowers and more flowers, or should I say drugs for the hummingbirds!

Roses, roses, and more roses...  I can't believe they are still going so strong!

What's thriving in your life?

PS: I forgot to tell you that our garden got featured on the famous and wonderful Soulemama blog!


  1. Venice Beach doesn't represent all of California.

    1. I know, I know... I was worried I would sound too judgemental! In fact, I know that there are lots of very lovely places in California. Lots of them. I think part of it, as I write about, is that I just really love the green, lush state of my Western Washington. sorry, didn't mean to offend you.

  2. Venice Beach doesn't represent all of California.

  3. You go Lea! Just what I was thinking! :-O ands then :-)

    From a California resident (sometimes I think I am not suited to CA either but for a different reason: doesn't rain here in the summer!)

    Yes, my darling Corina, you know that there are plenty of places in CA that look exactly like your place. (cute little finger wagging)I'm thinking Ferndale area, or Point Arena area.

    Santa Monica? Horrors! Too much, just too much of everything. Which can be a blessing but mostly a Curse! Dip in and then get the heck out!

    That being said, you can grow figs and get them to mature? Good on ya! What is borage good for? Everybody grows it but heck if I can tell what it's good for except the nice flowers which is good enough by itself. Maybe that's it.

    Now I'm rethinking my thoughts about SouleMama since she has put You on her website. Maybe OK after all.

  4. Ha! You're funny!
    Yes, part of the problem of CA is the drought and heat. But as I said above in response to Lea, there are lots and lots of beautiful places in CA. In fact, I really do like the state, but could not live there.
    Figs! Yes! I grow them against the goat barn on the South side, so they totally ripen. Love them!

    1. Figs grow great around here so this fall I am going to plant the biggest fig tree I can afford. Then watch out birds. You and me can go mano a mano when they start to ripen. The other fruit tree I'm going to plant is a pomegranate. Although lord knows why I need to. If the thief in me gets its way I can just walk down the road to an entire orchard of them. They're so wonderful. With our own tree we make juice for one thing.

      Enjoy your rain. SO jealous!

  5. Right on, beautiful Corina! Best to be in a place where you don't have to live to impress other people but be free to breathe clean air, drink clean water and grow a garden in healthy soil. Where children can run and play and be part of nature unfolding - the seasons, weather, elements, the vitality and interaction of living things. In the awful Depression of the 1930's, people did best who had a garden, some chickens, maybe a cow or goats, and knew how to preserve, ferment, dry their foods for the lean times. Your life and your blog, the things you share, are a rich gift to many people. Thank you!!!

    1. Aww, you are so welcome, Molly! You are really naming it: "Best to be in a place where you don't have to live to impress other people but be free to breathe clean air, drink clean water and grow a garden in healthy soil. Where children can run and play and be part of nature unfolding..."
      I think this is what I reacted to regarding Venice Beach: not CA as a state, but just the scene of an inauthentic, disconnected vibe....

  6. Found you on Soulemama and love your blog. Your homestead looks divine, and your recipe for pickled beets with honey intrigues me.

    1. Glad you found our blog! I will post a recipe of the pickled beet recipe I use later in the summer!

    2. Thanks, I will look forward to trying it out!

  7. One of the big attractions of your blog for me is that I can live vicariously in your garden — it's so beautiful! Here on the Central coast of California we just don't get enough rain to keep a garden like yours. I totally agree with you about Venice Beach and try to stay away from LA in general as much as I can. Unfortunately, my daughter and her family live about 5 exits north of Disneyland and I need to go there monthly for my Grannie fix. I'm currently reading about small herb gardens in larger containers that might grow here where the usual temperature is below 70 everyday and it rains only about 7 inches a year. UGH!

    1. Thanks for your positive feedback! I can't believe you only get 7 inches of rain a year. We get 100!!!! Seriously!!!! Wow. I wonder if you can do things with herbs that you can mulch a lot and grow in a droughy place... I have no experience with this, because, you know... 100 inches of rain a year!

  8. Such gorgeous goings on at your place!

  9. I absolutely LOVE your garden. My garden is weeks behind yours ...I am a little envious. Really beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Charlotte. No need for envy, though. If you saw all the weeds, you would not be envious!


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