a mixed weekend: by J

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Gardening School, with perfect weather and introductions to compost, soil amendment and ornamental landscaping.

Back dancing at Club 1994.

A delicious brunch here.

And the Ólafur Arnalds concert, completely amazing. Living Room Songs first caught my attention.

xo J

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my final farm day: by J

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Farm School this Saturday, began with a rich hued sunrise and an early rainbow.

We walked the small acreage, surveying and readying to harvest the labours of our 5 months.

Then, it poured rain, the sky a relentless oppressive grey.

We headed to and uncertainly stayed perched under the tiny cover, anticipating the rain to stop or at least ease.

A few, brave or with better rain preparedness determinedly started picking peppers, beans and eggplants.

Eventually the rain eased, and we skittered out. I picked purple beans from small bushes, so packed with beans it seemed like a neat trick. Squatting tightly in rows of bean bushes, my quads burning, my hands neatly snipping off beans, each bush taking longer than I would have imagined to remove each vibrant bean. If you’re too rough you’ll uproot a small plant, too delicate and gentle and you’ll spend much longer than is right or reasonable.

The rain started up again, heavier than before, so we found plastic bags and made long rain tunics, perfect for us if not horrible for the environment.

We stayed harvesting, until we were wet, chilled, and satisfied with the piles of harvested vegetables.

After sorting and boxing, and filling containers for ourselves, we heard the lovely and unnerving news.

Sammy, the owner of Bi-Rite, who was making us a lunch that was to be served at the farm, would instead be having us in his Sonoma home.

To be clear, all nervousness came from the realization that we were all certainly wet, some certainly dirty, and for me, my unwise choice of moccasins were nothing if not disgusting.

We drove over a caravan of us.

At his home, we tidied ourselves on the porch, entered, welcomingly warm, with the smell of good food.

Sammy and Anne, his wife, were gracious and friendly.

A plastic cup of rosé in my hand, barefoot I settled onto a bench, and watched as the food was made ready.

We were invited all around, to the beauty of heaping dishes filled with vegetarian food prepared by his family, from the harvest of our season. Our delicata squash with delicate butter lettuce, romano beans strewn with velvety peppers, new potatoes tossed with pesto made from basil grown in the yard, roasted beets with their greens and goats cheese. Accompanied by fresh bread and finished with still warm chocolate chip cookies.

The truest beauty was not simply in the deliciousness of the food, but in my connection to it, in the welcomeness with which it was made and served, in the lingering earth on my skin and clothes.

A day made perfect in the way that only a heavy rain endured can.

I still feel the sweet spot left in my heart.

xo J

 

 

harvesting weekend: by J

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Friday night was Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords at Oddball Comedy Fest.

A clear night out on a lawn, laughing, and enjoying the nearly full moon.

Saturday was the last day of Farm School.

More on that later this week.

I did spend the morning in heavy rain harvesting beautiful purple beans, that transform to green when cooked.

You can actually buy them at Bi-Rite right now.

Happy Monday,

xo J

type.lites: by J

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I’ve been buying these locally made candles for awhile now.

The scents are so delicious, from bartlett pear and nectarine mint, to my new favorite citrus cilantro.

I found them at the Urban Air Market, a few years ago, and just keep buying them.

At $20 per candle, they are very reasonable, and I’m always happy to support local businesses.

xo J

Hair inspiration: by J

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This image is a reminder of everything I love about short hair.

I’ve been wearing mine in this range for a little while now, but get irritated with having to get it recut so often to avoid the weird in between stage.

Emily Weiss is making me want to keep at it for awhile.

Sometimes I feel like short hair can easily waver between little kid hair cut and matronly.

Weiss reminds me of the chic easy edge that lands perfectly with short hair.

xo J

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Summer Movies: by J

Thought I’d do a little run down on my favorite movies of the summer.

In A World

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A smart quirky comedy that makes for a perfect date movie. Lake bell, wrote, directed and starred in this family drama, that looks at the voice over business, sexism, and relationships, in the funniest sweetest way possible. My favorite of the summer.

Short Term 12

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An edgy drama, about youth in a short term care home and those employed to care for them, laced with a unique sense of humour, and anchored by a deep heart. This had me in tears, and thinking about the story for a long while after. Another directorial debut with some of the best newcomers and amazing performances across the board. A very close second.

The Spectacular Now

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The coming of age summer movie. This one reminded me so much of the feeling of being in high school. It has a dark edge to it, and looks into the not so simple parts of growing up.

xo J

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A summery weekend: by J

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I always forget just how nice it is here in the fall months.

This movie, which I loved, and a late dinner here, delicious.

One of those rare nights in the city where you don’t need a jacket and walking home is a sweet pleasure.

My first day of Gardening School learning basics of how to analyze site for sun exposure, soil type and irrigation needs, amongst so much more.

I have homework, and I’m so excited.

Sunday was a few hours at foggy Ocean Beach, and a quiet dinner at home with a ginger, cilantro seafood pot, steamed brown rice, and chile and fish sauce stir-fried greens.

Happy Monday,

xo J

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gardening: by J

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Farm School turned out to be one of those unforgettable great adventures. It will soon be wrapping up, and I’m so happy to have experienced it.

I’ll give a fuller account once I’m officially done the course.

It does turn out that I don’t want to keep my hands out of the soil, so I’m starting The Get Up: Gardening and Composting Educator Course at Garden for the Environment this Saturday.

It’s funny how things shape up and creep in. When I first moved here I had the idea that it would be beautiful if all of the plants in our new apartment were edible or food related, even if they weren’t currently fruiting, like miniature fig trees, rosemary, lavender, and citrus trees.

I didn’t do this at the time, but it did seed an idea in my mind.

I realized my true goal is to grow beautiful functional things; to grow for pleasure and purpose.

I’m excited to learn more, because in truth I’ve always returned home to deathly ill herb plants after a trip, and felt too discouraged to replant, or try new things.

Fingers crossed I’ll develop a green thumb,

xo J

photo credits to A at Farm School