July 17, 2013
almonds, avocados, California, gardening, grapes, pistachios, strawberries, vegetables
I have been in California since July 3rd and won’t return until the 24th. I have left others at the house in charge of my vegetable patch. I am hoping for the best. Even though I left good instructions I think my garden misses my dirty hands….. It’s not that others can’t do what I do but I would suggest that my soul and the soul of my garden have a stronger connection. I am missing my visual fix, my fix from the garden/earthy odors and the fix I get from sampling the bounty.
My son Joe is at the house now….I asked him to send some current photos……he said he would – when got around to it. Now I suspect that was a literal comment and he is hunting for a “roudtuit”! Once he finds it it I am sure he will then send me some photos for my visual fix!
Here is what I remember….. and what I need to see more of!
Wine Barrel Composter
Gate to my Garden
The pole bean arches with some red blossoms.
The May 10th tomatoes picked in the dark. Dark at 10:30 AM. Yes AM – today’s storm is very dark. 4 inches per hour of rain heading our way!
One of the many blackberry clusters.
Celebrity Variety – 4-5 inch size and does well when it is hot.
Some of my Swiss Chard
All is not lost…..I have been up and down the state of California traveling through those commercial sized gardens and orchards. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, citrus, avocados in the orchards. Fields of strawberries, tomatoes, grapes, onions, cabbage and more. Last Friday I sat a the in-laws place watching polo on some of the most verdant grass you have ever seen!
Prince William galloping across the verdant grass on his way to scoring a goal in the 2011 match in Santa Barbara. From the in-laws patio!
Joe – I am still waiting!!!!!
September 22, 2012
California, Gardening, mulching, Philosophical, Photography, Travel
almonds, carrots, dairy, lettuce, melons
I mean that in the nicest way. I am in the Golden State for a bit of work and then off to the coast to visit my Mom. Her to-do list has grown to two pages. I am keeping with the gardening theme as several tasks deal with re-potting and replanting! I get spoiled on my California visits….you can find a twig, stick into the soil, add water and it will grow.
Oh, there are some draw backs – this is the time of the year in and around Bakersfield when they are defoliating the cotton and the shakers are knocking the dust and almonds off the trees. The air is thick. I have also noticed that there is a familiar strong scent all over town. I grew up a little south of town near Larson’s dairy. This familiar scent reminds me of time spent across the road around the dairy….There is an earthy component in my Larson’s dairy memories but I am afraid that the proliferation of the mega dairies that have invaded the Kern County landscape have permeated the south end of the San Joaquin Valley with a scent that has gone beyond the earthy farm scent it is an odor…..it has begun to stink!
Shift gears – the good things are abundant….I drove over to Mom’s place through the Cuyama River Valley – truck loads of carrots were heading down to the processing facilities in and around Bakersfield – I passed through probably 10’s of thousand of acres of carrot fields….many just harvested and others dense with lush tops crowded into little green furry hedges. Melons lying in the fields leftover from the recent harvest, thousands of burlap sacks bulging with harvested onions waiting for the trucks to roll through. Sprinklers shooting the high arching streams of water irrigating the fields spreading across the valley floor in a seemingly endless vista. And yes, the big guys are here too – Grimway Farms and William H. Bolthouse – in the next week or two look at the label on a carrot bag…..I just drove by what you are eating now! (US based readers and maybe Canada too).
Los Osos, the bears in Spanish, is where Mom now makes here home….the cooler weather is home to the lettuce, cabbage, parsley and flower growers….I will try to shoot some photos today or tomorrow for another post….Pumpkins both large and small are peeking through the dying vines in the fields now…..beautiful, dark black rich soils contrasting with the greens, yellowing leaves and bright orange of the pumpkins! Should have stopped then but I was on a timeline to catch a sunset!
Looking across the bay in Baywood adjoining Los Osos.
Lovely evening….I was one of dozens at water’s edge watching the sun put on it’s evening show – free of charge!
October 16, 2011
almonds, carrots, citrus, cotton, gardening, grapes, lettuce, peas
- Graceful and Uuuuuugly
No, I wasn’t really calling it a winter’s day and “all the leaves are brown” but I was dreaming of owning my own piece of ground in California. I spent a week in California, five days in Bakersfield and then a quick visit over to see mom in Los Osos. I am envious as I drive through fields of green and, in this case, field of orange pumpkins. The little valley on the way to mom’s house has the most beautiful dark – almost like dark chocolate-colored soil. Cabbages, broccoli, lettuces, sunflowers, seed flowers of brilliant hues, winter squashes and the list goes on. In the rolling hills are cattle grazing in lush pastures…Does it get any better than this?
My dreamin’ continued as I took a back road to avoid the construction delays on Highway 101. I cut over at Santa Margarita, through to Creston and hooked back into the Highway at Shandon. I fell in love….Santa Margarita area is temptress, rolling hills, big oaks, digger pines and beautiful little ranchettes. The seduction was complete as I rolled through Creston. I heard the Syrens song – I almost stopped and dug my hands in the soil. Here is a place where your California Dreams of getting back to the land can become reality. Warm summers with cooler nights, temperate year round, open spaces and rolling hills. The view is made up of vineyards, pastures, grazing animals, wonderful plots of land …… I didn’t ask about mosquitos! I think I could put up with them here…….I get so tired of them in Houston.
Note to wife….. Kathy – somewhere down the road we may want to consider a little hideaway in these hills. Still close to the beaches but not overrun with tourists and other crazies.
I also chastised my self for not pictorially documenting my field of dreams – oh yes, did I mention corn??? I had my camera and with all the beautiful land around me ….. all I captured was the image of a buzzard. Now, don’t get me wrong they are beautiful in their own right – graceful in the air as they glide along the ridges searching for their next meal. But on the ground – butt ugly
The drive along Highway 46 back over to I-5 is a growers smorgasbord. Grapes of all types, table grapes green and red, wine grapes, olive tree, pistachios, almonds, citrus, cotton, hay, carrots, black-eyed peas, and so much more. Last spring I was driving along I-5 and saw some little trees that where both new and, to me , unrecognizable. On this trip I saw that they were loaded up with pomegranates. Oh my…… I absolutely love pomegranate jelly and my mouth was watering thinking about a piece of hot toast, melted butter (real butter!!!!) and pomegranate jelly.
This is my California Dreamin”!!!!!!! Hun….. I want to share it with you. XOXO – Bishop