Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sutoria Farm

A lot has beein going on here in Sutoria. "we" just completed out greenhouse. Our fantastic neighbor, Sharif, built it out of reclaimed windows that we both collected. I found mine from a home that was being remodeled and the owner had posted them on Craig's List. Sharif had picked a whole bunch up last year when Whole House Building Supply moved locations. We had known for a while what we wanted to do, but it wasn't until Sharif built one at his place and one at his mom's that our collection really began coming together. It is beautiful and with a few finishing touches it will be complete! We just need to figure out our watering system will be like and our ventilation system is coming in the mail! 

Sharif is really the star of this show though. He knocked this thing out in three days! So, not only is he our way cool neighbor, but he is super driven AND has a way adorable baby that I love squishing! ;) (hint hint Kyli!)
So on top of this super fast and nearly unbelievably impressive job, I had a horrible accident where dogs got into my chicken coop, so he took my last remaining hen and then dismantled the chicken coop so we can build a way super awesome hen house that will be way safer for our fine feathered ladies in the future. He also is making some pretty nifty arches for our passion vine to grow on on the front porch since the one in the back had about 300 lbs of plant (vines, leaves and fruit) last year, we wanted to make sure to have something nice for these ones to climb. Yes, passion fruit grows here, and it does well. We had about 50 fruit from one vine.
Sometime in the near future we will be redoing our front fence as well, so look for that story soon! As far as edibles in the land of Sutoria, we have put eight more planter boxes in the back filled with soil from Lyngso. Then we went straight into planting a ton of seeds I bought at the heirloom expo and from Baker Creek Seed Company/Petaluma Seed Bank. I tried out gluing seeds to napkins and planting those. It worked well since it was raining when we were doing it and Olivia was able to help me plan and space. All I had to do when the sun came out was lay them out, toss some soil on and mark them. I also put hog wire over the tops of the beds since there are about a million cats in the neighborhood. We've got radishes, beets, carrots, kohlrabi and rutabagas coming up in the beds from seed. Jason cut back our dinosaur kale, chopped up the stock and rooted the pieces. We have red swiss chard going to town as well as some other kales, sunflower volunteers and enormous amounts of potatoes out of the compost pile.
Jason thinks he grafted about 15 scions this year, which is down from years past, but we have nearly everything we want and can get our hands on at this point. Many of our trees are already setting fruit, which has me super excited. (Which reminds me, have you seen the photo of a nursery sign that says, "Spring is here! We are so excited we wet our plants!"?)
My dear friend Hannah has taken a bunch of seeds up to Mendocino to a major greenhouse to start for me. The best part is we are trading her labor for a bunch of the plants!! Between her and I we will have a bounty this year!
This Saturday is my third seedling sale this month. This one though I will have some plants I started, hugh's tomato, orange fleshed purple smudge tomato, san marzano tomato and ragged jack kale. I'm planning to use the proceeds for the fundraiser I am planning for Collective Roots coming up at the end of July. Look for information on that event soon as well! Live music, hopefully by Curious Quail, local produce from back yard gardeners in East Palo Alto and surrounding areas, and food from local cooks/bloggers and bakers. Anyone who would like to volunteer anything for this event, it would be more than welcome. All of the proceeds will be going to Collective Roots!
Spring has sprung and we are moving and shaking! What have you got growing on?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Squash Adventure

A couple of months ago I decided to start all sorts of squash to give away. I watered and checked them daily and nothing happened. I abandoned them and Jason combined all the soil and reused it to start ice cream bean. Guess what came up?! Squash! And we don't know what is what! I can't give away plants that have no identity, so we planted them - all 15 of them. There are Wyatt's Giant Wonder, Cinderella Pumpkin, Baby Blue Hubbard, Omaha Pumpkin, and louffa gourds. There may be a couple of others as well. We'll see!
We also planted black beans, okra, zucchini, fennel, sunflowers, eggplant, orange bell peppers, tree tomato and giant white maize. Hopefully it is a bountiful harvest this year!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tomato season is here again!

I had my Master Gardener sale on April 2nd, and the GreenSteaders sale was on the 10th. I have way too many tomato plants somehow and no place to put them all! I ended up with 5 tangerine, 2 Berkeley tie-die, 2 pineapple, 1 pork chop, 2 San Marzano, 2 Mama Leone, 1 Cherokee Purple, 1 black cherry, 2 Hezhou, 2 Paul Robeson, 1 black oxheart, and two from Apple something or other farm. Holy cow!
I've got beets in the ground and I'm getting fruit off of my snap peas. I've also joined the board of directors for GreenSteaders. :) Next up is to finish planting all those tomatoes and to start my next round of seed bombs!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011


I doubt we will get snow this evening, but it is in the forecast for large parts of the bay area! Jason patched up parts of the greenhouse that were destroyed in the last bad weather, and he just covered the tender plants. Hopefully most will be hardy for the cold!
We have two new additions to Sutoria Farm, a pair of ducklings named Zorro and El Kabong. Thus far they've made their home on the side of the house (they like to be near the heat vent at night), and during the day they bask in the sunshine in and around the lavender bushes in the bee garden out front. They will be quite at home this summer, and will look very cozy in the lush garden!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

January heat wave

It is scion season again for the California Rare Fruit Growers ( and our second daughter was born right in the middle of the exchanges. J went to a couple alone, and last weekend we went to the Sebastapol exchange. We tried to go to a couple of interesting places while we were there (the Yerba Mate factory and a Seed Bank), but they were closed. We did however try out the Petaluma Pie Shop and it was pretty tasty.
The warm spell we've been having has been beautiful for us, but confusing for our plants. Some of the trees are beginning to bud already. Our garden in front is sprouting California poppies and other wild flowers.
J is starting some seeds and rooting indoors. It is the cusp of spring and we are anxiously waiting for it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter Garden

Garlic is sprouting up, some leeks are hanging on (forgetting about them and then having them trampled may not help them), and snap peas are green! The chickens have some babies, and the chilacayote is going crazy. As I write, I am making some squash gratin for a pot luck. Just last week we used the finger limes for some marmalade.
As the rains come some of the natives are beginning to pop up again. We went to Annie's Annuals a couple weekends ago and picked up some longer term plants to incorporate into both the front and the back yards. The most interesting of which is probably the Puya, a variety of which that will take 8 or so years to bloom. We have some others to attract pollinators into the back, like a couple of new lavenders (a white and a pink), and a matilija poppy.
The rain and storm today were beautiful. Seeing ice (hail) in the garden was strange for California, but I loved it just the same.