The Progression of Things

In the garden:

Native wildflowers that I stuffed into every available small pot are glorious and lush. I may not be able to feed my family more than once a week on what we grow, but our little corner of the world is suddenly the hotspot for local pollinators, bees and flies alike. Not quite an enchanted fairyland, my container garden is more along the lines of a wild greasy spoon. I think the bumbles put up an invisible neon arrow sign that says, “Eat at Joes”, pointing to my clover patch.

Nettle continues to volunteer in every seedling pot, and this lovely patch of rogue Miner’s Lettuce also is flourishing along with its more domestic cousins. One of my more recent dreams is to farm not only the usual crops, but to grow all those things that we usually forage for. Can you see it? A couple acres of land, with only wild edible species…nettles, miner’s lettuce, berries, cattails, edible flowers, mushrooms, native trees…a super version of the permaculture idea of the “edible forest”. Anyone can sell tomatoes at a farmer’s market….but what about cattail flour?

Although I can’t even seem to grow nasturtiums very well, and these effers flourish in the worst conditions…so what does that say about my gardening prowess? Seriously though, a few of my plants look anemic like this…pale leaves, pale flowers…mostly my rosemary (why is it yellow?), marjoram, etc. Any growing folks out there have any tips? They are growing in compost, I feed them with worm juice, sometimes seaweed or fish emulsion…so far I have chalked it up to SF cold + not enough sun + plants don’t like containers.

Spinach from seeds I saved from last year. Now that I am into seed saving and exchanging, I look quite differently at seed catalogues. It seems almost laughable.

I thought this little guy might help a tomater get a leg up, but we’ve had a lot of cold, rainy days and so far it’s slow going. The tomato may also be too afraid to grow, considering whatever is hiding behind it at the end of that pipe. Come summer, the garden will be full of miniature Shelobs. (I love them, by the way. But they do have this way of lurking in invisible webs that you don’t realize until you’ve walked into one and she’s sitting on your nose.).

The potatoes that Fern and Leo planted are up.

In the Quest for Home:

Beady eyes plus fuzz. The two biggest prerequisites for Cute. 

The question of moving and Where, When and How are looming larger and larger each day. I have been feeling progressively more depressed every time I see yet another friend getting bees, or the baby chicks that have just hatched. I have really worked with our situation in the most stellar of ways, if I do say so myself, but enough is enough. The time is ripe, and not being able to act on it feels insufferable. We found an amazing homesteading situation in Emeryville, and the landlords seemed very excited about us…only to call one hour before we were to go look at it to tell us it had been rented. I have cast out lines to other possible situations, to never hear back. I am trusting still, mostly. I mean, I don’t want to live in Emeryville, I’m thankful to not even have to make that decision. What is hard is the lack of agency I feel…I can’t tell if things are tough because we’re getting close, or if things are tough because it’s hopeless.

My thoughts and ideas around what home needs to be, in the best interest of us all, is shifting and changing right now…so I suppose even though I am impatient, it is not yet time. I think I may just be antsy because while the rest of you are putting on swimsuits and making summer plans, the SF June Gloom has arrived and we’re back in winter. I can’t believe I’m doing this AGAIN.

In the Realm of Toddlerhood and Night Weaning:

Um…why no, officer, I didn’t steal that sign. Why do you ask? *shifty eyes*.

I am not ready to report on the flower essence yet, but I am beginning to see the subtle shifts. We are no closer to night weaning than we were before, but things have definitely changed. Fern is no longer willing to accept comfort from Jeff at night, so while he snoozes on, I am doing a lot of side-nursing. Sweetly, I can now tell her that “Boobles are tired. Time for boobles and Fern to go back to sleep. Roll over now and be cozy.” and 90% of the time, she rolls over on her own and goes back to sleep! Huzzah! She often doesn’t roll very far, so I frequently can be found clinging to the edge of the bed, while Fern clings to my back like a barnacle. The bond we are sharing at night is reverberating into the day, and her tantruming, in general, has subsided. Except for last night. Let’s not talk about last night.

Now, if you were a cat, what would you think about that hand?

We have really gotten into our local library, and have been reading “Come Here Cat” (the original 1973 version). Fern really gets it, and has begun to express very gentle, but deliberate interest in relating with our resident polydactyl feline, Franny. Alas, the lovin usually goes something like this.

See ya!

I may not do Foraging Friday tomorrow. I have a busy day scheduled, plus we are going car camping on Saturday…I may save the foraging for then, and regale you with fabulous tales next week.

Have a good weekend!



6 thoughts on “The Progression of Things

  1. Sad to hear about Emeryville – but don’t give up! The Ebay mostly has great views of the June Gloom despite being caught up in it every once in a while. Go East!

  2. sorry to hear about the house. the right one will come along at the right time. sweet, sweet pics of fern and the cat.

  3. best of luck with the moving situation. have fun camping too! i wonder if it’s possible your nasturtiums are getting too much nitrogen? i’ve heard it’s possible… mine thrive on a diet of neglect, that’s all i’m saying. (i have other plants that don’t, just so you don’t think i’m all superior over here… just different ones being finicky for me.)

  4. things are tough cos’ you’re getting close…i was in the exact same position everything and every place I felt I was supposed to be kept falling through and now I’m where I’m meant and want to be it will come and when it does it will be awesome! good luck!

  5. oh mary. loving you. a better one will show up. when we went lookin for our abode, it was such a magical process. i hope you begin to feel it that way. just channel me. i am good luck for finding houses. you guys have been up to a lot of weekend trips. i love it. i want to do that more this summer. yep. i love your idea of a wild edible permaculture farm thing. i planted your seeds you sent me. i did it fairy style, cuz that’s what a lot of seeds told me to do, and just mixed them together and threw them to the wind in the garden. the garden wanted magic more than order, way way way more than order and signs. i was inspired completely by the link you gave to susun weed’s fairy talk. i still think about round houses a lot. i read about round beehives today in my gunther hauk book, and then i went and found one at the thrift today. a weird straw one that is so not functional as far as i can tell, but still!!! so neat. round. round. round. loving you. you’re gonna move on into the most magical land of all. it will so happen. sweetpea. you will have a sign that says ‘ wild greasy spoon’ in the front of your garden. i don’t know what’s up with the sickly plants. nitrogen? soil is weird. and i’ve ALWAYS had trouble with nasturtiums. i just planted some of those huge honkin seeds yesteday. i keep trying. maybe if you take that essence, you’ll get some info…. and that sounds so great and like positive forward movement with fern and tired boobs. she is so ready. it is good. she breaks my heart with that cat. that top flower reminds me of the way clary sage looks when it flowers.

  6. I do think that once one’s made their mind up, it’s hard to stay grounded. You’ve already started to moving in a way. I know each time we move it’s been that way. And we move pretty much every 2-3 years for all sorts of reasons. I actually think we are half-tumbleweed at this stage in life.
    Reading about your yearning to live elsewhere and your visions for the next stage of your family’s life reminds me so much of myself a few years ago. I think also because I was in the Bay Area (Oakland and Berkeley) and I was craving to move away from that pulsing, people-energy, place/race. Everything felt like it was always moving so fast and I couldn’t dig my hands into anything solid, like dirt. I think too that those first few years of motherhood/parenthood are so transformative/formulative. For me it’s felt like a tug-of-war between vibrant past life yearnings. The me who wants to weave for god-knows-why. The me who wants to homestead…with no experience in it whatsoever. The me who wants her children to dig, taste and breath the best Mother Earth has to offer us.
    Peace to you. Sending you patience vibes as you wait for that ever-so-perfect situation that will come at just the right time.

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