Archive for the ‘Food’ Tag

Thinking about the Front Yard Garden 2013   Leave a comment

The rains have begun late this year and because of this it has been a long and fruitful growing year for the front yard garden. The flowers from the squash and sungold cherry tomatoes were picked, the squash itself nurtured, all by neighbors unknown.

Food plants are meant to die back, drop their seed and nourish the soil as they go. All of this takes time, the garden is not always “pretty”, as the seasons work toward the plants end and the soil rests. Recently someone called the non emergency number in San Francisco to report that the front yard garden was a Danger- high priority. I could see as I took a look at the garden that it might be a bother to someone getting out of their car, not dangerous, but “definitely a bother.”

The front yard food garden is separated by a driveway that has a rose tree and other non food plants. The non food part of the garden touches my neighbors garden.  I garden their plot also. My neighbors got a letter about the front yard garden.  I had begged these neighbors I consider friends to be part of the city planting that was happening in the Mission District, and now they are displeased with me and the front yard garden. The letter we both got has not made them want to keep their front yard garden any more than they already did not want to have the front yard garden.  Before and after getting the letters the gardens were prettied up.

I plant and maintain these gardens for all of the folks that like finding free treasure, for folks with plenty and for folks with not enough.  There are millions of hungry people in the U.S.A. and this garden helps me feel better about that fact.

Another neighbor, a friend had told me to expect the letter.  This neighbor is one of the many gardeners in the front yard garden. He was a farmer in Mexico and has given me many garden tips. He said he had tried to explain fallow soil and why it was messy.  He said she did not understand.

I realize many do not know that plants are alive. Plants are alive.

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Toxic Metal Fire in Redwood City California and beyond   Leave a comment

A toxic metal fire burned all day Sunday, November 10th, 2013 in Redwood City, California, US sending visible plumes of poison to San Jose, California and places unknown. We are told that the fire is stopped, but toxins from that burnt waste must be in many unthinkable areas, our water, the soil, our gardens, farms, and even in our food.

“Just thinking… about what we don’t get told.”

There is a very real photograph by (nz)dave at http://www.EVERYDAYPOLLUTION.wordpress.com

Contemporary Art in The City   Leave a comment

Local San Francisco artist Fernando Marti’s pen and ink drawings and others from his sketch book (prints, some framed) opened at the bustling Cafe La Boheme, 23rd, May 2013, in San Francisco. I particularly like his rendition of the American Mexican wall, he has printed or etched more than one. This wall that separates humans from humans and bugs from bugs is always on my mind; I like seeing it on other artists minds.

At this intimate gathering, in the largish cafe where not all were there to see Fernando Marti’s work were some of his close human friends, their kids, his lovely wife and their four year old son. I was surprised and pleased to see that people I call ‘neighbors’, were the same people that Fernando calls ‘friends’. Labeling people has been on my mind lately.

Go see and buy the reasonably priced art of Fernando Marti’s, sit and have a glass of wine at Cafe La Boheme 3318 24th Street (just across from BART), and check out the hood in San Francisco’s Mission District.

MAPS ONLY: RADICAL CARTOGRAPHY IN CONTEMPORARY ART, MAY 26, 2012   Leave a comment

The walls were painted, the floor adorned with a painted compass rose;  a collaboration of Oliver Lowe, Deborah Scailes and Char Green, with much feedback from the gallery. The walls got the artists names,  and  their art work was hung by Kevin Evenson of exclusiveartservice@mac.com, May 25th, 2012.

Tempers flew, in not a bad way, food was eaten, wine drunk and relationships forged at this show. It was really a great evening of Art and an artful moment. In presenting MAPS ONLY: RADICAL CARTOGRAPHY IN CONTEMPORARY ART I wanted the ‘artful moment‘. I wanted the gathering together and hanging of the art, to be Art.  I really like the artful part of Art. The artful part of Art shares food, wine and lemonade. The artful part patches walls for one night and paints on the floor for 2 nights. This hard work or Art in this collaboration between the artists in this show was over in a moment.

Spring in the Front Yard Garden   3 comments

The weather this year has been a bit confusing.  It has been unusually cold in San Francisco, California and hot. My seeds did not do well, but the self seeded plants seem to be growing nicely; ” nature knows so much better than me.”

The mustard has been popular, the peas need some explaining. I will be planting squash plants for the popular squash flower soon, so be watching for that.

Fall in the front yard garden   Leave a comment

I love the changing of the season for this neighborhood tree and the newly planted ginko losing its bright yellow leaves, across the street. The mums growing low to the earth, propped up with a repurposed stake, by an unknown Urban Farmer, seem to bloom until the dark gray weather of winter arrives. Winter hasn’t arrived and it’s unseasonably and unreasonably warm weather for San Francisco, California, even for the ‘Sunny Mission’. The bench top shows and still the homemade trellis’.

One of the winter squash seeds I planted, this is the first year from seed for my neighborhood, is poking up through the soil.  I feel like the farmer that goes out to pull the corns ears to make them grow faster, but for me, the Urban Front Yard Garden Farmer, “it’s making sure the plants are alive, showing signs of growing and feeling the responsibility of feeding others.” The neighbors are asking questions, seeds they muse, obviously doubting, so it’s important to me that it not fail.

Front Yard Garden Food   Leave a comment

In my neighborhood, the streets are clean of urine, the trash is mushy and stuck to the gutter floor, it goes unnoticed, covered with sticky, wet, leaves, and the soil is saturated with water, because of the rains. The rains also mean, the tomato plants, that needed to be taken out last week and weren’t, must be taken out this week and replaced with…. and that means, ” the hot pink art, attached to the tree for support of the tomatoes, will be coming down.”

That is the question, “what food plant to plant on the street in the front yard garden?”  I put a lot of thought into this question every year.  Here are  the particulars, what will stay contained and be rather neat, with little upkeep and little water? Very important if you want your garden to be minimal work, and I do.

What food is recognizable to my neighbors? This is probably the most important question to me.  If I am wrong and I have been, food does not get eaten or picked. That is the worst, plain old waste.  I know the worms eat it and the birds, but I plant for humans, and it is a drag when the food doesn’t get eaten.  There is not only waste, but somehow the garden stays less neat and clean of debris.

What’s the weather looking like for this fall? I guessed wrong this summer,  I planted tomatoes, but the regular warm days came late to San Francisco, and the cherry tomatoes were small and few. There were still harvesters, but the garden stayed looking a bit bedraggled, because I guessed wrong.

So, I am back to the question, “what do I plant?”