Farm Journal for March 12, 2017

I've stopped hoping for weather. When it was rainy and cold I wished for sun. Now it's in the 80s and 90s and the garden needs rain. The weather arrives in extremes and it's a fruitless endeavor to hope for anything different. But as much as I complain, I also love the variety. It accounts for scenes like this:

This morning's fog sinking into Elyria Canyon Park across the valley from our house.

This morning's fog sinking into Elyria Canyon Park across the valley from our house.

Cool nights and hot days bring morning marine fog to our valley, obscuring the skyscrapers of downtown L.A.

Cool nights and hot days bring morning marine fog to our valley, obscuring the skyscrapers of downtown L.A.

Wild cucumber

Wild cucumber

Everyday I'm in awe at how this steroidal weather has transformed our yard from drought scorched to tropical tangle. I'm fighting off sinister strands of wild cucumber and bringing armloads of wild rocket and mustard to the hens. 

I put the rest of the garden in two weeks ago, including watermelon, honeydew, pumpkin, gourd, wintermelon, and various squashes.

 

 

Asian garden

Asian garden

The cold weather greens must be confused with these cold nights and hot days. Although, our Asian garden seems to be thriving in it- especially the daikon radish. In this bed we also have Chinese mustard, Chinese chives, napa cabbage, gai lan, several varieties of bok choi, and heirloom carrots. 

 

Last year I ordered fig cuttings for my dad - varieties he may be able to grow in Michigan. These are not them. Since the ordered cuttings still haven't arrived, I've taken it upon myself to start cuttings from my Brown Turkey fig. It would be most spectacular if my dad and I can grow the same fig tree in both Southern California and Northern Michigan. 

Last year I ordered fig cuttings for my dad - varieties he may be able to grow in Michigan. These are not them. Since the ordered cuttings still haven't arrived, I've taken it upon myself to start cuttings from my Brown Turkey fig. It would be most spectacular if my dad and I can grow the same fig tree in both Southern California and Northern Michigan. 

During our last torrential downpour, our hillside collapsed slightly and almost brought a garden bed with it.

During our last torrential downpour, our hillside collapsed slightly and almost brought a garden bed with it.

Hillside reconstruction is a work in progress... and it's not pretty. I work at the pace my back allows.

Hillside reconstruction is a work in progress... and it's not pretty. I work at the pace my back allows.

The flowers are pretty and all, but the real star here is that pumpkin. That damn squash has been sitting outside our front door for exactly 6 months. I bought it last September to decorate for Halloween. Usually they transform into a puddle of guts by November 1st but this thing has magical staying power!

The flowers are pretty and all, but the real star here is that pumpkin. That damn squash has been sitting outside our front door for exactly 6 months. I bought it last September to decorate for Halloween. Usually they transform into a puddle of guts by November 1st but this thing has magical staying power!

Believe it or not I'm not posting any chicken photos today, but here's another lizard. I can't get enough lizards.

Believe it or not I'm not posting any chicken photos today, but here's another lizard. I can't get enough lizards.

Not an impressive photo, but when I snapped this mockingbird on our cereus cactus, a raven happened to fly by in the distance. I like the perspective of a mockingbird about to peck a raven out of the sky.

Not an impressive photo, but when I snapped this mockingbird on our cereus cactus, a raven happened to fly by in the distance. I like the perspective of a mockingbird about to peck a raven out of the sky.

A repost from my Instagram. The other day I heard a ruckus (or perhaps it was a kerfuffle) outside our front door. I jumped up to see this juvenile red-tailed hawk about 8 feet from me. It stared at the ground for several moments, giving me time to grab the camera. Right after it flew off, a squirrel revealed itself from a bush underneath this tree. He scampered up the tree and sat in the exact same spot where the hawk was perched. Strangely, he stayed there a couple minutes sniffing that spot...

A repost from my Instagram. The other day I heard a ruckus (or perhaps it was a kerfuffle) outside our front door. I jumped up to see this juvenile red-tailed hawk about 8 feet from me. It stared at the ground for several moments, giving me time to grab the camera. Right after it flew off, a squirrel revealed itself from a bush underneath this tree. He scampered up the tree and sat in the exact same spot where the hawk was perched. Strangely, he stayed there a couple minutes sniffing that spot...

Well, that's the news from the yard. I'll leave you with a few new pieces in the shop:

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I can't find any information about this lovely signed Victorian house print.
It is numbered 14/200 and appears to be a tinted print on vellum paper. The painted translucent vellum is thoughtfully layered over an ivory paper layer, giving the clear windows of the house depth and shadow. 
The print has the title "Franklin St SF CA" written in pencil along with a signature that I can't make out and the year '76. I'm not sure if this is an actual house on Franklin St, an artist depiction of a Painted Lady house, or a simplification of the Haas-Lilienthal House.

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The famed Coco Palms Lagoon hotel and resort was opened in 1953 and made famous as the 1961 film location for Elvis's Blue Hawaii. It was known for its celebrity guests such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Coco Palms closed in 1992 when Hurricane Iniki struck and damaged the property.
Guests of the original Coco Palms may remember their iconic water lily dishes, which some guests remember being used as ashtrays. This sale is for two water lily dishes marked "Water Lily Leaf from The Coco Palms Lagoon Kauai Hawaii".  Nobody will ever know if a celebrity touched these dishes during their stay at Coco Palms, but I do know that the hotel is gone and these souvenirs are some of the few survivors of that golden era.

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Simple vintage metal colander, likely made of aluminum. Approximately 8" in diameter x 2-1/4" tall.
A few little bumps and scratches here and there give this piece it's shabby chic charm.
Would make a great kitchen wall decor piece or even a whimsical planter complete with drainage holes!

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Keisuke Serizawa's calendars are masterworks of Japanese kataezome style. 
Each of the 12 months features vibrant hand stencil dyed designs that are unparalleled in quality and imagination.
This sale includes his 1961 folio calendar in original cardboard folding case. The case has original paper label on front with Serizawa's mark.
Each individual page is approximately 11-1/4 x 14-1/2". Pages are handmade untrimmed mulberry paper.