Welcome!

Green Gal Home

Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Garden & Other Updates from February & March

I've been so busy trying new things and experiencing life that I haven't posted here since early February! Today, I'll share about the garden and some other odds and ends from the past two months.
It's been raining a lot here in California thanks to El NiƱo. Above is the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz, full of water gushing toward the bay. This is a very welcome sight to us all in California, but we have to remember that one wet season does not solve a years-long drought on its own.
The nasturtiums in my yard have been enjoying the rainy weather and have grown numerous beautiful yellow and orange flowers. In fact, the nasturtiums have somewhat taken over the garden!
I got a bike trailer back in December, and I finally used it recently to go to the garden store. Now I can transport soil and heavy items up to 100 pounds without using a car! It's amazing how light items feel when they're in a bike trailer versus on the bike rack and especially when compared to having those items in a backpack! Yay physics!

Also pictured here is the tomato cage/trellis that I am using to grow peas. I also carried that home in the trailer. As I set about potting new plants and re-arranging the garden, I enjoyed a bottle of our homebrewed beer.
Speaking of bicycling, I've spent many Sunday mornings and early afternoons bicycling along the Los Gatos Creek Trail on my way to and from the Campbell Farmers Market. It's an awesome trail that follows Los Gatos Creek and lets me avoid car traffic nearly my whole journey to the market.
I added something new to the garden! This old closet door had been left by the previous tenants at our house, and it's been sitting by the garbage cans out back since June! The other day, I decided to repurpose it and incorporate it in the garden. I dug a trench so it would fit in at an angle and not tip over, and then I popped some of the shutters out so that the nasturtium can climb it. As the nasturtium grows, I'll pop more out and weave it throughout. I also have plans to paint some flowers or quotes on it! And I've been able to use the popped out shutter slats as garden dividers.

I have to give credit to my dad for the idea. His backyard garden has a door and a window hanging on a fence. I probably wouldn't have thought to put a closet door like this in my garden if it weren't for his creative repurposing!
I've got a lot of little plants growing in the garden! You can see where I used the shutter slats as dividers. That little plot has a bunch of flower seeds planted, and I wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally step on them or put pots on top of them. You can see how the nasturtium is encroaching on everything on the left.
I also repurposed an old, strange table that was left by previous tenants. I split the table in half and placed it against the house so that the circular side faces out. It makes for a raised mini-deck so that I can have two layers of potted plants. I also have the peas growing happily on the trellis.
Here's the full visual of the backyard garden. It sure has grown!
The oranges on our tree in the backyard are finally sweet enough to enjoy! Yum!
I've been trying to keep freshly cut flowers in the house every week because they add a sense of springtime, aliveness, and beauty. Above are some that I picked up at Whole Foods Market, and the ones below are from a flower shop/bakery down the street from us.

I also made a mini-bouquet of kale, broccoli flowers, and arugula the other day when I picked some from the garden. I need more ideas for recipes with arugula and kale because we have more than we really eat!
The rice flower plant that I have turned pink and has been thriving with all of the wet weather.
My broccoli plants have been doing great, and they are such a treat to eat straight from the plant raw.

Thanks for reading! Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Green Gal

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Symphony of Sounds in San Jose

This morning I share with you an ode, a poem, a painting in sounds that I wrote on January 27th after biking home from a Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition San Jose Team meeting.

"Tonight's City Symphony"

On two wheeled journeys
through this City's streets
I hear a symphony of sounds,
sounds muffled by car doors and windows,
so that perhaps many do not know what they sound like, really.
So I will tell you what I've heard, so you can listen, too.
The murmur of freeways crossed under and over, they hum and buzz, white noise that doesn't go away but fades and grows as you move between neighborhoods.
The creaking and rumbling of light rail trains, reminding you with a bell that they are on the move; watch out for their tire-eating tracks!
The honking and revving of cars passing by--sometimes louder and closer than you want. Yikes!
An airplane's thunder and light show in the sky; brake to a stop and experience it through your sky without a roof.
The squeak of bike chain, which says for you, "I'm here!" until you shift gears and it stays silent until the next red light.
And gloriously, happily, if you listen closely, you just might hear the ribbeting of frogs singing from the thrist-quenched Guadalupe River, grateful for the rain and chance to celebrate.
All this you hear, and more, if you listen closely--sans headphones, sans car walls, sans the sound you make in your head when you think too much.
Listen, there's a symphony of San Jose sounds; they play for you when you tune in.

Popular Posts