Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Peas are Dead, Long Live the Peas!

Cascadia Sugar Snap Peas
The snap peas which were planted in November, 2013 have been feeding us since March 1st: raw, lightly steamed or sautéed, dressed up for a salad or added to a stir-fry. It's all been good, very good.

But the vines are dying back, powdery mildew is moving in and the new baby peas are beginning to exhibit unusual birth defects (the parental age effect in peas, perhaps? Someone could get shortlisted for an Ig Noble Prize studying this...). Which means that it's time now to replant that little patch with some summer vegetables: peppers, basil and maybe a zucchini.

Oregon Giant Snow Peas

You see, regime change really can begin at home. Gardeners have known this for years; they call it "crop rotation."

Or maybe not. Along the side of the house in March, I planted Oregon Giant Snow Peas, close cousins to the snaps peas, but more tolerant of shady conditions. The first snow peas should be ready in a day or two.

The dynasty continues...


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Quiet Saturday Night at Home

I tried to convince the home team that they wanted to go see the second annual Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival, but the response was not encouraging:

So we stayed in and watched Doctor Who, instead. Maybe next year...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Larner Seeds

Baby Blues Eyes and Clarkias

California Poppy, Coastal Form
A little while ago my best guy spent the day teaching a watercolor workshop at Point Reyes and I tagged along. Not to paint, but to take a spring hike and visit Larner Seeds, a small seed company located in Bolinas where, as they say it, "we seek to promote the riches of our California flora." How could anyone argue with that?

It was a fun visit, although beware: Larner Seeds is only open on certain weekends of the year. However, you can always order seeds online, anytime of the day or night.

And the hike? Fabulous. Great wildflower displays, marsh wrens singing away in plain view (I rarely get to see marsh wrens) and an osprey family in the making, tucked up high in its branchy nest. 

I heard that the painters also had a wonderful day.