Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Driveway farm 2013

Arugula, carrots, beets, kale, lettuce, onions yellow, onions white, garlic, peas Mr. Big, peas English, sweet white corn, watermelon, potatoes Yukon, potatoes red, potatoes other, spinach, beans tricolor, beans long, beans purple long, walking stick kale, strawberries, pumpkins, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus.... All coming up, most from seed. Cukes are a no show so far, and the three pineapple starts haven't proven themselves out yet. Oh, and lots of sweet peas for flowers! Growing food in my driveway in Oakland!
Still planning on sweet millions, green zebra, maybe black krim, and an early girl. Gots to have the maters!


Friday, February 01, 2013


Girls are in the bath after an... interesting dinner. I'm listening to them negotiate complicated social issues like who gets what toy and for how long. Now they are practicing crying, then giggling./

Okay, I started this post a long time ago on a Monday, and am finishing it now on a Friday. It was a long month, with too much work to do on the February issue followed by the hub going away for a week to teach. But we are finally to a weekend together at home with not too much extra work, and I have some raised beds to get planting in, a throw blanket to knit, and several books to finish. :)

Here's a society shot of my mum from The Age, 1954, throwing a party way back when:


Friday, October 12, 2012


We've have had an awfully good run harvesting tomatoes. In fact we've eaten so many tomato salads that we are almost completely sick of them.

We got one giant pumpkin and two dinky ones. We also have had a regular supply of jalapenos and the occasional cucumber. The artichoke plant came back after I cut it down to ground-level although I don't think we'll get any more artichokes from this year.

Kyra started kindergarten at the end of August in Montclair and is super in love with going to big kid school. We've already gone on a field trip with her class to Fairyland which was quite the big kid experience. That's all for now as tomato soup is on the stove and grilled chz sandwiches are just about finished.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

More on the driveway

New pumpkins have arrived; I had to chase -very carefully- a baby skunk out of the patch tonight. Tomatoes had to be tacked up more as there is a ton of fruit coming. Corn is not looking like we will harvest much, but it is great to watch grow. Girls pictured helping out harvesting seeds from the walking stick kale, which I almost pulled out, but then read a bunch about them, and now am into trying to cook the leaves again.

Bought my self a tree dahlia which I'm excited about. I'm not sure if I can keep it in a container, but I'll try that first, then put it in the ground if it doesn't grow.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Return to the driveway

The driveway is booming'. Squash has taken off and I need to find some recipes tout de suite. Peas are blooming. It's really pretty exciting. We picked about 15 tomatoes yesterday, mostly cherries, and two squash. And the pumpkins are coming!


The girls picked a bunch of the pea flowers for me. Very sweet. I even have some watermelon coming up from seed, but don't know where to put it. Lena,the cat, has been "helping" me a lot today. I think she missed us.




Have to figure out when to pick the green zebras.


Wilds of Wisconsin

Back today from the north woods of Wisconsin. It was crazy hot, 100 degrees some days and humid like the inside of a just-used running shoe, which meant we spent all of our time in various ponds, lakes, and rivers. It was beautiful and fun there, and we got to see almost all the relatives... Matt and I went golfing together for the first time in six years with John and Roger. I didn't suck as badly as I thought I might after all that time. Great Grandpa John came and visited a few times. Grandpa Terry built a play set at the campground and dragged the beach at the campground lake, and all around took great care of us.

We stayed at Grandpa Terry's campsite in a popup for a few days, then into Auntie 'Licia's camper for the rest of the time since she has a/c. There were toads, clams, and fish to catch in the lake (okay, clams don't really try to get away but that doesn't detract from the fun for the 3-5 set). Kyra and Nora got to play with their second cousin Amelia a lot, including planning a pirate trip with the map of Wisconsin, and I got to hang out with Melissa, which was bonus!

I learned a few things: brown leeches don't care much for people, but still have their creepy fu regardless (the first one I met was about six inches long!). Mosquitoes live in the grass there, and still like me and mine better than almost anyone else. Clintonville fireworks are still the best I've ever seen. Catching lots of fish is the best ever for the kids, but takes a lot of work for the poor parent who has to keep removing the hooks from those tiny hungry fish and rebaiting the hooks with worms. I cannot swing from a rope swing (no, there is no video evidence, thank you very much). I now know the best way to cook a tenderloin, thanks Grandpa Terry!

Next, perhaps an update on the driveway farm...




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rock on...

roller derby girl!


Driveway farm

Last year there were relative successes and failures in the Trombi driveway farm. Corn grew. It was giant and fantastic. And even edible. Tomatoes, which should be one of the easiest things, failed entirely. Asparagus was in its first year, so performed as expected. Potatoes failed at "towerdom", but there were potatoes nonetheless. It was satisfying to grow things, but not exactly a harvest...

This year I've set my sights much higher. There are tomatoes - even, dare I say, sexy tomatoes. Asparagi were harvested and eaten and have gone to fern. Artichokes have surpassed expectations. Potatoes have been harvested and planted again for seconds. There are carrots, cucumber (though we still struggle with the cukes for some reason), beans, peas, squash, pumpkins (oh last year's pumpkins were pathetic), and I even have hope for my fig tree.

My apple tree is going bonkers! Fanfreakintastic! The girls loves nothing better than coring and peeling an apple, and I'm thinking about apple cider in the fall.

Needless to say, I'm feeling content with my urban farming endeavors. Next, chickens! I've been offered the deal of "get rid of the motorcycle and you can get a coop" by the ever generous hub. I needed a new motorcycle anyway... :)


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Egg day!

The Easter bunny hauled her ass out of bed at 5:30 this morning to put out the 50 some eggs for the girls to hunt for. Not exactly passing along a survival trait, but it makes for a fun morning. I'm going to have to call mum and tell her to come early I think. There was a high level of excitement from the under five set yesterday, and I think our brunch might have to be a breakfast.
Tomorrow the sis-in-law arrives with hub and dot. They at staying at a hotel, but I'm still seeing our house through hostess eyes and cringing about the chipped paint in the door frames and lino that needs to be replaced etc. Yesterday was spent returning things at Ikea, power washing the flagstone, and washing dogs, except for a brief interlude podcasting, which I was completely brain dead for and probably should have passed on. Sigh.
I've been planting the driveway farm. Have beans, carrots, peas, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes in. These are all in very small numbers, mind you. The asparagus has been coming up, but never in quantities large enough to do more than supplement what we buy at the store. I am excited about this year, hoping it does better than last year.
Oop, one child awakes! Not the one who will bounce out of bed ready for the egg hunt, but this means I need to get going.