Sunday, September 26, 2010

Full Moon in Aries Equinox Harvest


Because we have had such a cool and foggy summer here in Santa Monica, I have decided to ripen my tomatoes and pumpkins in my warm home. My tomato and pumpkin plants became infested with mildew (which spreads easily by air in our community garden settings). I felt it best to rip the plants out, in order to help control the issue for my own garden and my neighboring community gardeners plots.

Champion Tomatoes.

(Black Cherry Tomatoes)
I was told by a neighboring community gardener, Lisa, to bundle my tomatoes all together in a towel, in order to heat them even more and ripen them faster.

Our sugar pumpkins! We will be carving these a little closer to Halloween.

My husband loves a hot pepper!

Days #5 and #6 of Main St. Garden Project: Sept. 18th and Sept. 26th



Mike starting to prep the fence to be painted. He sanded some areas and washed it clean before he began.

The first strokes of Lavender!

I must thank Mike immensely for the painting job. He spent 8 hours total on the painting portion of this project! And boy was it worth it! Not only did he do an immaculate job, the space looks transformed, with vibrancy and life! Many passerby's remarked how much they loved the color as he was painting. Both days, he came home and shared many stories of community gardeners and strangers just passing through raving about how much they love what we are doing.

This is where he stopped painting on Sept. 18th.

At the end of painting, he decided to lay the brick for our seating area. We were SO lucky to find that the brick recycled from the last people was the perfect amount for us to create this sitting space! Saves us money and time.


Mike went back and completed the white trim around the perimeter and also on the front fence. It is a whole new look! We are so excited!

Little details of white.

Next week, our goal is to staple the chicken wire to the wood posts and put in our boarders. We will take a break the weekend after, due to travels and then back to the grind come October 16th, in order to double dig the plots and amend the soil. After letting the soil rest one to two weeks, we will plant our Winter Garden 2010 roughly around October 24th! We are so excited!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 12th Harvest

Black Eye Susan's and Lavender from my mom's garden.

A medley basket of multiple eggplants (Gretel and Bianca), zucchini, Japanese cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, herbs (Oregano, Thyme, Basil and Sage) and strawberries. From both my mom's garden and my own.

Multiple Tomatoes.

An array of herbs.

Tomatoes and herbs.

Gretel Eggplant.


Natures shapes.

Meanwhile, back at the old garden on Park Dr.....

Zinnia's are happy.

Bees are buzzing.

Time to water. I was dropped off so that I could put about an hour and a half into the Park Dr. plot. It needed it. I feel bad, but ever since we've been juggling both gardens, this plot has had less attention. None the less, some things are still producing in abundance and looking great.

One of our sugar pumpkins for the kids to carve.

Basil as tall as my 2 1/2 year old.

Black Cherries.

San Marizano.

Eggplant and Basil.

3 more eggplant.

Chili Arbol.

Main St. Garden: September 12th

Playing at the new garden. Notice the back fence. We didn't get to painting it just yet. It was our intention, but we decided to wait until Mercury went direct this evening at 4pm. Much of the back fence is recycled wood. All pressure treated wood that was taken out last week was donated to Michael's work for the Choral and Theatre programs in order to build risers. So, although we were set back, our garden came up ahead and we helped out a great cause. In the end, we're happy all worked out.

Jordan has begun gardening.

He loves the new space.

Looking into the tool box, as boys love to do.

The right side new fence with Douglas Fir posts. Also, the stack of boarder material that we got to design and shape our beds.

Left side fence again using Douglas Fir.

We got a hose extender that attaches to the spicket on the outside of our garden and connects to the metal holder's spicket that we purchased. Much more convenient for watering, although Mike is now dreaming of a drip system. He has already drawn out the plans for it. Now, it is just a matter of purchasing the material and having the time to add it into the labor of our design.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mercury Retrograde Meyham

Apparently working on this project all three days of our vacation weekend, multiple times might I add, was not enough because we then stumbled upon a HUGE mistake that would add another evening of work into our already jam packed week. Oh, Mercury Retrograde. Thank you.

What is Mercury Retrograde you ask?
"It is when the planet Mercury slows down, and appears to stop (station) and move backward (retrograde). It's an optical illusion, since there is forward movement, like speeding by a slow-moving train -- as it recedes, it appears to go backward." It occurs 3-4 times a year (roughly: Dec./Jan. March/April and August/September) for about 3 weeks. Many people agree that during this time, mishaps are at a rise and confusion can loom. Miscommunication, travel delays, malfunctions in technology all seem to be part of the focus with Mercury at the helm. Just make sure not to sign any legal documents or contacts during this time. They often end up very different than what you agreed upon. And purchasing electronics is not suggested. BUT, Mercury Retrograde can also be a helpful time to focus on all the "re's" in your life. For example, review, research, reevalute, relocate, renegotiate, etc. Also, it is a great time to vacation and reflect on life.

Well, I wish we were on vacation honestly because Mercury Retrograde was fighting our every try to move forward with this project. Instead we felt like we had to go backwards by re-doing the fence. Their is one of those lovely, "re" words again. Except this one wasn't so pleasant or kind to us.

When Mike and my dad were in the final process of building the fence on Monday, a fellow neighbor stopped by and asked the men about some (thank goodness not all) of the wood posts. Those that were not recycled from the last garden, were purchased at Home Dept. Mike has helped build a few fences up north and he had worked with some contractors that had used pressure treated wood. He had no knowledge of the wood and just assumed it was strong and durable for the project. Unfortunately, it is treated with arsenic in order to protect the wood from termites and other invasive insects. Even more unfortunate for humans and the earth, this poison used on the wood will seep into the soil over time and up into the root system of our plants. Without hesitation, Mike removed (yes, another "re" word...Ughh...) all the post and re-purchased (Ugh) new wood that was all natural and not treated. He then went straight to the garden tonight (Tuesday) after work and re-did the entire fence. Finally, we can move forward with the next project feeling good about our garden. It is healthy and safe for our family, community and earth.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Days #3 and #4 of Main St. Garden Project: Sept. 5th and 6th

By the end of last weekends work, our plot looked neat and beautiful. Wow! What a difference already. However, we have only begun. Their are times where I think about all that we have ahead of us and get excited and their are times when I want to cry. Their are so many details that I have thought about and want to achieve, but many big projects that must be tackled before.

Our goal for this weekend was to finish the details of the front fence and paint it, build an entire new fence around the side and back perimeters and outline the planting "beds" with a boarder material.

We headed off to Home Depot Sat., Sept. 4th in order to purchase all the material. We bought paint, boarder material, fencing material, weed blockage material and a storage bench. Of course that list above includes many small tools and parts needed in order to create and complete each project at hand.

My husband and father decided they would do the work this weekend and my mom and I would take care of the kids. With pre-school starting this week, I was running around like crazy trying to do a ton of errands.

Before the fence.

Putting the fence in and after (below).

Hose holder and pathway placed.