Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Garden Tour

Yep, the return of the Sunday Garden Tour. If you have been following this blog for awhile, you know all about the Habesha Garden. If you haven't, Here is a 2 minute video, and you can see more by typing Habesha Garden into the search feature. You may remember that after months and months of work on the garden for our children, Steven had to leave to take care of his mom. He basically missed all the 'reaping' parts of the endeavor. Well, it is a new year, a new season, and there are signs of spring in the yard...

This year I am hopeful again. I am hopeful that whatever we do in the garden will actually be seen and enjoyed by our future children. At the very least, we learned that squash lasts for months and months after being harvested. Steven made an exquisite squash soup with ginger, garlic, and Fuji apple. It was fantastic.

You may remember that we got rid of the concrete in a pretty 'green' way. We had the woman from Craig's List who came by and took one small bucket full for her Koi pond. We had the sculptor who took four pick-up truck loads full for a project. We thought we were done with the concrete.

There is an area of the garden that we didn't use last year. In an effort to create space for this year's row of berry bushes (we are hoping for blueberries especially) and the grains row, Steven decided to clear it. Guess what it is full of?

Yep, concrete. There are also these two HUGE poles surrounded in concrete. Steven, channeling his inner Egyptian, created an intricate pulley system to extricate these behemoths from the soil...

While doing so he found a straggler...

What's up Steve?

My husband has put more sweat and tears into this project. This new area also has to be sifted like the rest of the garden did. Anyone need some concrete?

The thing that is keeping him going in this endeavor is the same thing that keeps a lot of men going...The promise of beer. Steven already has hops growing in the garden. I guess this is the non- kid-friendly row of the garden, along with the mini-vineyard. He also decided he needed to plant barley for said ale. After an unsuccessful attempt at purchasing local plant-able barley, Steven got online and found a farmer in Montana. The affable fellow (who is most likely also a fan of beer) sent Steven this...

Well you would have thought it was Christmas morning around here. Steven was so happy to see it.

Steven also worked on his bee box...

There is much discussion in our house about the feasibility of keeping the bees here. Moses was stung by something a few years ago. He swelled up like a Shar-pei and had to be rushed to the vet. It could have been a wasp, but really, do we want a bunch of bees so close to us and our petite friends furry and human? Steven mentioned getting an epi-pen, but I think I am going to suggest that we find a neighbor with more property and less puppies... and children.

And what about the tef you ask?

Well, the tef we harvested is still in its 'unthreshed' stage. After hearing a long lecture from Pip about how a cow usually walks over it to separate the chafe from the plant (or whatever the right terms are for that) we found ourselves, well, bovine-less, and the dogs were uncooperative. So, there the tef hangs in the studio, waiting for threshing. We will have a new row of tef this year, right in front of the beer, I mean barley, row.

Oh, and next Sunday we may be going to a seminar about getting fresh eggs in your own backyard. Yep. Hens. I am going to have to consult with this woman. God knows the last thing we need around here are roosters. She seems to have some experience with that, and one of her chickens is named 'Omelet' so she must be smart.

Oh, and what I would really like to plant are mini-bananas. A certain super husband crafts them into the most delectable 'surfboard' pancakes...

Surf's up Dude...Awesome!

(Does anyone find this stuff interesting? Should I continue the Sunday Garden Tour this spring? Should I just stop blogging until I get a proposal? Are you guys bored to tears by my Crazytown ramblings? Please advise.)

Happy Sunday!


  1. Don't stop. There are proposal-less Minnesotans out there who desperately need this!

  2. I feel woefully inadequate in so many ways after reading this! And I need some reassurances - you're not about to go all survivalist off-the-grid, are you? That would be okay, as long as you don't go so far off the grid that you give up blogging!

  3. wow. and we're proud that our ficus has lived for 2 years! I made S read this entry and he is SOOOOO jealous of the bee box! As for the blog... yes please. More on Crazytown and the Crazytown garden! Both are amazing!

  4. We attempted a garden at our old house in Michigan and grew one carrot, mint, basil and lots of weeds. I'm beyond impressed. I dream about being able to pick my food from my own yard, but I seem to lack the motivation to actually put it into reality. So it's fun to see someone actually do it for real.

  5. I am totally thinking about getting a chicken. The people who live behind me, i.e. our back yards border the same alley, had roosters last summer. Mind you, this is not exactly farm land. I fully intend to spare the neighbors, and myself, fowl daybreak ramblings, but let us know how the chicken thing works (I'm afraid Peenut might kill them). I wonder if the neighbors would notice a goat?

  6. Oh, tell me that gorgeous lily is not really in flower right now where you live? I am staring out at the frozen snow covered wasteland that is my yard, and I could just cry with jealousy.

    But please keep posting about the garden. It's fabulous!

  7. Never boring.

    I love those lillies. Gorgeous.

    The barley is radical. Can I expect some homemade brew the next visit?

    Craig is tilling up our garden today. He added our compost a few weeks ago. It's not warm here yet. He's got more he added in his Seed Station though, early crop...lettuce (pronounced letoochi) and spinach (pronounced spinacphlegm)...

    Lovely garden tour!


  8. WOW you guys are amazing!!! I've been contemplating a small - and I mean VERY small- garden for the kids this summer and I'm nervous I won't even be able to pull off a couple carrot plants. Talk about being put to shame!! And yes please!! More crazytown rambling - lots more!!

  9. Can you tell me where you found teff seeds? We have a big useless side area that (I think, DH not so much) would be perfect for some teff. Might have to think about being with bovines ourselves....
    Looks like fun!

  10. Cindy,! Happy planting!!

  11. Okay, can I just say that they are expecting 10-12 inches here tonight? And, um, I'm so not handy in ways of the garden (phew! I have the live in an apartment in a city excuse--for now.)

    I have friends that live in Seattle who have chickens. They had trouble at first --something killed all of them in the first week, but then they tried again with a better security system for night and have eggs all the time!

    you're making me want to move again...which I can't do until adoption is complete. Keep posting so I can live vicariously. (For the record, I would not be the person growing any of these things. I'd be the person teaching music lessons to my neighbors to BARTER for such lovely home-growns.)

  12. ummmm, can I just come for the weekend??

  13. ooo, i love this! very inspirational. I've wanted to start a garden in our yard and purchase a goat for some time. but since we don't know if we'll be in this house much longer we haven't. so i will enjoy reading about yours while I wait. I can't believe you grow teff. You are awesome!

  14. Don't you talk with your friends about anything and nothing at all? Well, we are your friends and we want to hear what you are up to! Beer, teff, chickens, gardens, babysitting, proposals... I want to hear it all. Please continue blogging - it is ALWAYS nice to read a post from you.

  15. Love it! Don't Stop!

  16. I think you should keep it coming! And add recipes of some of the yummyness your garden gives you!

  17. "Super husband" is right. He is a very busy man!

  18. The Habesha Garden is my favorite place I've never been on earth! And hearing about Spring in CA makes me hopeful that someday it mught come to this snowy place.

  19. I love your blog. Please don't stop writing for us! The garden tour is so much fun! This waiting stuff just plain sucks.

  20. keep showcasing! i love it. i wish i could have fresh eggs on my back yard. jealous.

  21. keep showcasing! i love it. i wish i could have fresh eggs on my back yard. jealous.

  22. The put chunks of butternut squash in your homemade chicken soup. It is TO DIE FOR!!!

    Second... You have a great number of people that follow your blog. They are of course in our own weird cyber way... emotionally invested in your pending arrivals. But if blogging is helpful to you, cathartic, releasing... do it. If it's something that is a burden, or you've lost the reason why.. don't. This is your outlet. Selfishly.. if we're voting I say stay. BUt you have VETO power of course.

  23. You guys are simply amazing! Pretty soon you'll be able to open you're own famers market. Good plan to NOT get a rooster! If you ever have an over abundance of fresh eggs, I'll be happy to take some off your hands.

  24. Hey, I love your beer garden, Steven. You know, I could hijack this whole post and talk about everything I loved in your garden. I love a garden tour. At my house (when it is warm, obviously not today, it's 20 degrees, awful wind and snowing. I am not crying. really.....) I walk outside in bare feet in my pajamas and just look at my yard, I can't really have a garden because not enough sun. But this year we are getting a spot at a community garden.

    Those squash are outstanding! I am heading over to that teff website immediately. Your blog has that photo-journalism feel, Julie, that I just love. It makes a big difference for me to see things, especially a garden.


  25. Wow! It's nice to see what it must be like to have a real garden. I live in Manitoba and we only get 3 - 4 months of real garden time ( June - mid September)in a year and are really limited by what we can grow. I just bought my seeds for this year and after seeing your garden pictures I am going to go home and start my indoor garden tonight. Very inspiring!!!

  26. That is amazing!!! Wow. I was just debating about whether or not to sign up for a garden plot this year. I think we'll garden vicariously again this year. I love it, but way too much work! So of course keep up the posting! It is always interesting.

  27. I know that you know (or should know) that I love, love, love this feature. Your urban farm is fabulous and inspiring.

    So bees. If you are looking for pollinators, you should look into Mason/Orchard bees if you haven't already. They are lovely, docile little creatures. We have a flock/gaggle/herd/family of them. :)

    Let me know if you would like any heritage seeds to start this year. Happy to send some south.

    I can also throw up a couple tubes to collect bees in this year if you would like to add some to your yard next year.

  28. how fun..can't wait to follow your garden journeys...i'm just about to hop on johnnys for my seeds!

  29. Julie - I LOVED reading this - please continue. The proposal wait is long & dull so it's nice to read about something different and interesting.

    Unfortunately, Calgary has about a 3-month growing season - I like to think this is the reason I don't have a green thumb (or a vegetable patch).

  30. No, don't stop! I love your tours! I am highly invested in the tour guides! I can only imagine all the beautiful harvest you will have this year. I am hoping for pictures - yes, I know. Something I personally need to do a better job with. Keep reminding me!

    I think you should grow some pizza plants next to the beer plants.