31 August 2010

hedgehog potatoes

The potato harvest was smallish, so I decided to make them special. From Super Natural Cooking, I modified the recipe for Baked Purple Hedgehog Potatoes, starting with the obvious fact that these potatoes are not purple.

Harissa is a hot chili condiment in a base of carrot and beet. It's been waiting on the shelf since I brought it home from Northpark Produce, for the day the potatoes were ready. The potatoes are spiked with lots of garlic and harissa before baking.

I used tofu cheese (technique from Real Food Daily) in place of yogurt, added some almond milk and spearmint from the garden, to make the cooling topping.

And here they are!

28 August 2010

house of olive

My view from the Sweet Orange Studio is warming up. I have been thinking of these colors as green olive, espresso, and cherry tomato. They could also be picholine, kalamata, and pimiento... the House of Olive!

I removed the crusty old screens and washed those bedroom windows beyond the umbrella, vacuumed the sills, and cleaned the glass with vinegar/water inside and out. Our bedroom has gone from cave-like to surprisingly bright! I can see the figs and cosmos when I wake up in the morning.

The best thing about all this forward progress is that we're going slow, small and steady. Start with an idea, and work toward a solution without attachment to outcome.

For example, my husband loves color. We inherited a house that was aged white with oxidized teal trim, and not very inspiring to come home to. I tried to embrace the bright orange and turquoise I was sure he would want when we repainted. A Mexican villa could be very cheerful, right? The sun is strong here and subtle color gets lost in the brightness. Then we landed on these colors, which make us both very happy. It took time, and pranayama practice, breathing through the challenging places. This joyful outcome is not what either of us would have predicted.

We both feel much more invested in this shared dwelling. OUR house. He is being very patient with the difficult and long process of scraping away old paint and glazing...and getting really good at it! I love the way he honors his own body and works a little every day, taking breaks when his back says it needs a break. I also love that he's learning new skills and that it's his gift to me.

26 August 2010

la maestra urban garden

This is Irma. She is transforming a city lot into an urban gardening space for people in the City Heights community of San Diego.

La Maestra (which means "the teacher") is doing so many good things for the community, that I won't list them all here, but you can learn more at their website. A beautifully designed new LEED certified building is at the heart of their operation.

And just down the street a little clinic is buzzing with activity.

The big blue house right next door is the site of yet another valuable program, and provides the space for the garden.

The front garden will be filled with flowers and herbs, and maybe a water feature? The design is still developing. Should the design match the style of the house? Or should it be a wild riot of color?

Around the side and back there is room for a dozen individual plots, plus a nice sized space for composting, and a building with two bathrooms and a shower. What a bonus! If gutters were installed on that small building, rainwater harvesting could begin this year.

Irma is gathering resources, seeking assistance from Victory Gardens San Diego, and from the Sophia Circle. The garden is fully fenced and Irma has her soil test back. She has cinder blocks and good organic compost on the way. We will transform this pile of dirt into a lush and productive garden!

22 August 2010


We grew a small cornfield of "Luscious" this year.

Here's a hopeful sprout on June 3.

Looking pretty hardy on June 13. How he's grown in just 10 days!

By July 27 they're all looking strong. Same view, longer shot.

Organic growing results: One-third to the worms, two-thirds to us.

05 August 2010

where did July go?

Just a quick post to remind myself to write a bit. I've been working on some new projects and investing far too much energy in Facebook. Today I revisited some of my favorite blogs here, here and here. Everything in my body is happier with these slower paced one-on-one connections, even in cyberspace.