Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Garden Blooms

I thought I'd take the idea from Chuck B and add a garden bloom day to the blog.
Here's an image of our back yard ... We are in the red circle. This image must be from a long time ago, because that big conifer to the left of my yard was killed by bark beetles, slowly lost all it's needles and was removed a few months ago. You can see the hugely tall palm trees in the back yard. They tower over our 3 story building.

Pretty cool that you look right in your own house.. (scary too, I guess)
Anyhoo, you can see how our yard is open and joins with our neighbors yard. I really like it. And to be surrounded by buildings, it get freakin' amazing amount of sun, and it protected from wind.

Here's my little corner that my landlord allows me to tinker in. I'll admit that it's been neglected for the last year, since I started taking the class on Saturday. I just don't have any time.

I like flowers. I buy plants on sale, nothing expensive, because I know as soon as I move, he will tear it all out and put in his non-flowering green Fatsias, Flaxes and Bamboos.
Here's what is blooming today:

I pulled all the Dietes from this area and it was nice and bare, so I decided to do an experiment and build a trellis, stick my Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot canes in the ground, rig up some vineyard-style drip and see what happens!

Here we have some little lepidopterae of some sort making little homes for it's pupae selves on the Budelia. It's a rangy out-of-control type plant, and apparently butterfly larvae like to eat it as much as the adults like the flowers. But I like the plant for all those reasons!

Here's the Chinese Mustard Greens. Yummy! I bought these this weekend. I have some from seedlings but these will be tasty soon, and the little one's can be harvested later.

This is the beginning of my wine barrel garden. I got a lot of ideas from the book McGee & Stuckey's Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers.
I can't wait to have a little eatery right outside the door, then when I move, I just take a hand truck and wheel it away to my next home! And as you can see, the bonsai palm is not dead yet. LOL


So there you are.... the beginning of this years growing season. Exciting eh? ;)

Sunday, March 25, 2007


No more BGH in California?


Richard Cotta, CEO of California Dairies Inc., the nation's second-largest dairy cooperative, is guided by a simple business philosophy: "If you want milk with little blue dots, you'll have it, as long as you are willing to pay for it.''

So, when a string of major customers, including supermarket giant Safeway, came to his co-op saying they would no longer accept milk from cows treated with a genetically engineered growth hormone, the co-op bowed to the inevitable.

In January, California Dairies' board voted to ask its members not to inject synthetic bovine growth hormone into their cows. If they do, their milk will have to be segregated and they'll pay a surcharge.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Construction Class

I love our construction class. Most of us were in it together last semester. It's a lot of very hard work, but we have learned so much, and gotten much stronger too!

Irena and Adalberto are working on a dry stack wall.

Kate, David and Tim building a worm box. They are working next to the raised beds we just finished.

Dana, or Lady D, as we call her, is working to finish up the flagstone steps. We started this project last semester, and it's exciting to see finished now.

Our instructor, Robert. His grandfather started their garden maintenance and installation business and he has followed in his father's footsteps. He's an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher. We all love him!

Jamie, who never likes his photo taken, can't run from me now!

Zoe making morter for our water feature, affectionately called the "pile of rocks."

Dana is supervising, an art form we all strive to learn well, as Ester and Bill work on the mortar.

And, voila!, our steps are finally finished. This used to be a path of rotten railroad timbers, which we ripped up, built a complicated form, pored about 3 tons of concrete and applied the flagstones. They look gorgeous!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Machines Class

Tonight was so much fun! We dug trenches with the back hoe and filled them back up. I love driving the bobcat and the tractor too!


I can't believe I got tickets to see Bjork! Woohoo! I love her so much, she's amazing and we will be there, Sec. 202, Row P. I really hate the Shoreline, but, whatever, she's worth it!

The tickets are on presale today

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

The World Protests

However, Bush is not about to pull out until the Iraqis ratify this law to give oil rights to western companies.
And honestly, some people right here in our back yard still don't have a clue...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Support your local Atheist

California Congressman Pete Stark has announced that he is an atheist by. I'm sure this brave proclamation will bring his way all sorts threats of "hell and damnation" from our more evangelical citizens. Show him some support writing a letter. Just click here.
We athiests are the last to come out of the closet, so to speak. We can show the world that you can be a rational, caring person without the help/prodding/threats of everlasting hell from a god-figure.
Way to go Pete!!!

Man, this has been the best 4 days I've had in--forever! Four days off from work, four days of gorgeous, warm, cloudless weather. My construction class on Saturday was so much fun, Sunday we got up early and went to see 300 at the Imax theater. If you go to a 10:30 am show, it's so cheap! We paid $9 for the Imax, and it's usually $15. Anyway, the movie was very good, I loved it. I love all these graphic novel style flicks that are being done these days. Monday I went to the Building Resources yard, did more shopping, passed my Pests midterm and found out the tonights Soils midterm is delayed a week. Yesterday I spent the entire day in the back yard, working in the garden. I even set up a trellis and planted two of the vinifera canes I brought back from my vine pruning classes last month. They have been in a vase of water since then.
shot with 12 seconds left in the 3rd period. It was like heaven! Sigh.... Here's some pics I grabbed with my phone THEY WON!!!!!! A real laugher too. Guerin with his first goal as a Shark gets the hat trick on a penalty goalThen, to cap it all off, we went to the Sharks game last night, sat 3 rows from the glass by the Sharks' bench, and camera. Finally, we see a win. Amazing! And now, this morning, to see such encouraging news in the paper... please don't wake me up, let me stay in this happy dream for a few more moments ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I bought this cute little canary palm to make a bonsai. I've never done this before with any plant, and there isn't much on the internet, an nothing in books about palms as bonsai. But I figured a mini-palm tree would be so cool, and if it dies, it only cost 6 bucks...

So here's my little pot-bound palm.

I had to figure out what kind of pot to use. I didn't really feel drawn to any of the traditional pots I looked at. Yesterday I went out to Building Resources. They do a lot of very creative things with junk. I was inspired. (I also bought a bunch of stuff to make a water fountain.. more on that in a few days.)

I found this old lighting fixture for 5 bucks, turned it upside down, covered the hole with mesh and voila! a perfect planter!

So here we go... the first cut is the deepest! I read that you need to wash all the soil out of the roots and cut them off. I read a few books and none of them give much instruction as far as root pruning goes.

I may have gone too far!

The one reference I did find online said that palms were super easy, and to just use plain potting mixture, preferably one with a lot of sand for support. I used the ubiquitous SuperSoil.

Here's the end result so far. We'll see if I killed it or not. Maybe I should remove a few fronds. I hope he lives because he sure is cute!