Things I LoveThings You Should KnowWining/Dining


Last year I wrote about full-scale country farming in pricey zip codes. I am thrilled to now show you the results.   But before the inevitable reveal, a bit of background …  
The project started with a small investment in a composter.  This is my second foray into making use of table scraps (the green stuff; not proteins) plus coffee grounds, etc. Gathering the brown stuff from the garden is easy, plus adding a compost starter. The starter gets things heated up quickly in order to break down the materials — that and turning the unit every few days and checking the moisture level (damp; never wet).
The unit is on the left; one side holds the finished compost while the other side breaks down the materials seen at center.  Above is a container of scraps to include.
Next was the heavy lifting:  clearing out the designated area of some very woody shrubs planted long ago.  My gardener employed his sons to do this, which took the better part of a day.  Once done, we had a really clear view of what was underneath. The space was then measured (roughly 48′ long), at which point a firm cost of this project was determined (always a key piece of info for the hubby).   


The photos above and below show the original space, plus the progress as the work was done over a series of days.  








In the meantime, I started sowing seeds indoors for the new space … snap peas, radishes, and carrots.  




And finally it was time to plant.  Honestly I was a bit uncertain as to what should go where or what will even do well in the space.  This first year will definitely be a learning curve.  Here’s what the space looks like as of now …


The big 5: apple, apricot, plum, peach, nectarine plus tomatoes, snap peas and blueberries
Good to know the above?  I’m choosing to ignore this info.  Can’t put a price tag on pure enjoyment … (Courtesy of the WSJ 4.3.15)

Lastly, I must acknowledge that we Californians are in the worst drought in recent history.  So how does that figure in to my plans?  By relying on a drip system delivering water directly to the plants instead of waste from sprinklers. And if I lose plants this year, so be it.  I will just have to buy more….

UPDATE (SIX WEEKS LATER):  Things seem to be doing quite well, I am happy to report.  Even after being gone for three weeks and relying on others to make sure plants were watered, spring is busting out all over!  Some updated photos follow this is what I’m growing:  tomatoes (6 varieties); blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries; apples/peaches/nectarines/plums/apricots; lettuce; yellow bell peppers; peas; basil; thyme; italian parsley … who’s hungry??


Clockwise from above: Peas
(started from seed); first Nectarine; Tomatoes; Blueberries




L-R: Blackberries (unripe); Boysenberries; Peaches