Sunday, January 27, 2008

it's one of my top JOYS to learn that others have a passion for growing food. Even if it's "just" a potted aloe vera plant in your kitchen, i LOVE talking/hearing about it!

D/B/C/M just introduced a brand new local group blog on backyard farming. i will be watching as it develops! Looking at their blog has inspired me to record more about what's going on around here. That being said, i'm a slice-of-life person and not a *topic* slave. If anyone wants to know what's REALLY going on with our homestead you can check it out at UrbanHarvester.

our farming story in a nutshell.
Once upon a time, O'lover and i crushed out on each other while discussing our ideas of a perfect life. We'd talk, and draw, and kiss, and dream, and we always agreed that what we wanted was to have a homestead. Miracle of miracles, six months after getting hitched things fell into place to buy our cottage!!

We immediately set to work planting vegetables and reshaping the already very established and gorgeous gardens.

And now, three years later, i must again shout to heaven,
"Thank you, Florence!" (the previous owner and avid gardener, who passed away at the age of 97). Thank you for the rich soil & abundant worms! And all those perennials!

Every year we have so many projects. The warm weather never lasts long enough! (which is good or we'd never go inside to work on our house.)

Last summer O'lover drew a sign at the front of the flagstone path to our home. The sign says the name of our homestead, "UrbanHarvester", and includes a map of our watershed. It's very visible to all who walk by and i frequently catch people stop in their tracks and stare at it. Since it's written in concrete there's no going back now!
The following is a link to our favorite urban homesteading site. The Dervaeses are a Jewish family with the most amazing farm on only 1/5 acre in Pasadena.


Ardently said...

thanks so much for your encouraging words. i don't think i could ever give up art for good. i love it too much and know of it's goodness. sometimes i healthy vent is all i need to refocus and commit myself. thanks for being a support and advocate. i look up to you in many ways.

Azúcar said...

You guys are so brave. Even though I love to buy local and love gardens, the thought of maintaining a garden gives me the hives. We worked very hard growing up on our garden: terraced, vegetables, corn rows, flower patches, fruit trees, and lawn. I hated, HATED going out and working on the gardens. I hated weeding, working up a sweat, and getting dirty. I hated the sticker weeds and the bugs. That's why I insisted that our first home be a condo; let me look at nature and not have to participate.

Lately, I've been thinking I just need to get over it. I need an herb garden. Maybe I should look into a small vegetable garden. Maybe some flowers and shrubs wouldn't be so bad. Help! I'm afraid of the work!

Azúcar said...

p.s. Maybe I'll just Xeriscape it all.

p.p.s. My husband has overruled Xeriscaping.

Quel said...


oh good. glad to hear it. 'cause you are amazing. art is always challenging. there is creativity in every field but art making involves every single thing about you. intense, huh.

Quel said...


sometimes i get all romantic and idealistic about gardening while other times i wish i lived in an army barracks so that i could concentrate on my career goals. so i hear what you're saying. it just feels like so much work to never have everything totally perfect! controlling nature? HA!

o'lover would say forget about the "weeds" and that there are no such things as weeds. and he would say that gardening is just throwing seeds and then hanging out in a hammock. and then snacking on whatever matures.

but when it comes down to it, i think dirt and sweat are sexy. and gardening is like encouraging sex all around you. ok, that sounds wierd...but i'm amazed that seeds grow. gardening is a huge miracle and mystery to me. and things keep growing. and i keep gasping in disbelief.

Quel said...


i'm curious about what you decide to do. please keep me apprised. and...i'd like to know more about your terraced garden from growing up. and...if you do decide to grow stuff and need strawberry transplants or raspberries, or a lot of other things let me know!

Azúcar said...

Our first step is to move someplace that has outdoor space. Second step will be to collect your raspberry starts--because that's the worst thing about berries, you have to wait so many years for them to start bearing!!

Maybe one day we'll go for a ride to where I grew up and you can see the garden. Sadly, whoever lives there now has just let the place go to pot. They tore out the stone terraces and have let the yard sink into a mess. It's half an acre, so it's not a small plot. It upsets me thinking of all the time and energy my dad spent designing the garden, all the hours/days/weeks/years spent making the gardens flourish, and it's just a disaster now.


Quel said...


ugh is right.

it makes me sad to think about your dad's formerly well tended gardens being unappreciated by new owners.

but about the raspberries...we'd hook you up with mature stalks that would bare fruit the first year. no waiting around. and everbearing strawberries too.

so now its just waiting for your house to find you and make itself known.

Moonbird said...

I can't wait to come check out your homestead someday. Well, and to check out YOU!

luminainfinite said...

I'm gonna do it just like you and Ollie.

I can't wait!