Olives want attention too!

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Garlic olives, home grown, home made in the making

Olive trees. For those that are allergic,  they can be brutal. Messy, pesticide sprayed high maintenance trees that go along with ornamental oranges in my mind of silly fruit baring trees planted in the southwest!  BUT, if you do not spray them , and fertilize them and bother to go out of your way to pick and pickle them… delicious home grown , home made garlic olives = MAJOR yum for months. So as the temperature is starting to feel human  here, and with  LOTS of urban farming things to do outside ( beside the rest of life to dos/ work  and … did I say hiking  anyone ?)  picking and pickling olives is on my timely to do list ! Snooze you loose.

 

What if mother nature wore mascara in the desert ?

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Sometimes I feel that my attempt at gardening in the summer is truly some sick joke I am playing on myself. After months of pampering, and after finally getting 5 yummy pickling cucumbers … I have now successfully killed several more plants it seems. Too much/ too little water, gazillion degree heat, too much or too little fish emulsion, etc etc.  Wondering if these will be the last cucumbers I include in my art for many many many months ? AND I LOVE CUCUMBERS!!!! Ironically I have grown to  also love dripping paint, which by the way  is really not a good summer outdoor activity here either.  The paint seems to dry before it even hits the canvas. I have been thinking… ( dangerous I know ) …this paint technique with this color paint makes me think that the desert dweller mother nature’s mascara is running .

Prickly Pear Cactus Grenades

Between my deep concern about the nuclear deal with Iran and the fact that I finally watched the movie American Sniper the other night....prickly pear Cactus fruit felt even more ominous handling it this week.
Violet is such a spiritual spiritual color, one connected to insightful moments of thought…. and yet there are so many juxtapositions that surround us daily.

Working on the Chakra healing series of paintings does not always result in happy feeling paintings. Between my concern and attention to listening to what varied sources are saying here and abroad about the  nuclear deal with Iran …and the fact that I finally watched the movie American Sniper movie  the other night….prickly pear Cactus fruit appeared much  more ominous when I was handling it this week.

Cucumber triplets

consistent with my mini veggies I harvested my first 3 cucumbers yesterday ( yep finally ) and today it appears the same predator the devoured my one of my eggplant leaves now has taken down several cucumber plants
Consistent with my skill for growing very small veggies , Friday I harvested my first 3 cucumbers. Yeah, go ahead, say it … “really” ? Yep It is almost mid August . Today it appears the same predator that devoured the leaves off one of my eggplants the other day has now done its business to several of my cucumber plants. Sigh. SO , I guess I am grateful to have harvested these yummy small cucumbers!

This busy bee’s creative soul is very grateful to have had an inspiring get away

Although I have not been posting as regularly as I had hoped to when I  got this blog started it  CERTAINLY is not because I have not been working on content.

With that said I would like to add that  having spent 12 days this summer between NY and DC areas really were inspiring. It was great being back in the mode of my street photography,  and running around museums and galleries ( literally burned off some edges of some new sneakers ) . The trip  really put a creative fire in my belly. It has been 4 weeks  ( today ) since I got home and I have been cranking it up with painting, mixed media, shooting photos in my garden and in my studio with treasures from my garden against Chakra Healing Series. I have messing with photos from the trip  to make a separate blog from the images and get family photo treasures scene by …. well family!  AND big reality check…. working on write up and visual support materials to get funding and exhibition ….  and with that said I thought this recent busy bee image I shot in our garden with a night bloomer in it’s full brief beauty seemed very approriate.

Exact opposite of what I was finding myself shooting in NY,NJ, MD and DC
Exact opposite of what I was finding myself shooting in NY,NJ, MD and DC

 

Quail recipe revisited

While watering the veggies this morning I realized my quail recipe I considered a few weeks ago was best that it had not been executed. It appears that the fat yummy quail I had been considering for dinner… must have been pregnant because as I walked up to one of the raised beds a family of baby quail went running out of cover of the cinder blocks that were protecting them( silly kids)  , with their mom yelling at them  ( and me ) from nearby. No photos . Wondering where the nest had been .

A ripe peach in the hand is worth more than 2 in the tree (specifically the ones sampled by birds and squirrels!)

I picked  hmm maybe  60 yummy little organic peaches… and then there were those that already had a bite or a peck or half eaten… darn,  almost a 5 gallons bucket worth. This is what I have learned. Pick unripe  ripen them well inside … it really was upsetting to attempt to have them ripen on the  tree and hope we have a chance to enjoy any of them.

After 4 years I am happy to say I  have  finally gotten a harvest. Each year I have gotten a little  tougher love going with the thinning of the small fruit .

SO this is what I have learned…. Do not put in fridge and THEN try to ripen !

Pick them unripe and give them a nap as described in this great video that really helped set me straight.  It worked 🙂

http://tallcloverfarm.com/74/the-best-way-to-ripen-peaches

peaches harvested by the branch!! Prior to giving them a nap inside to ripen.
peaches harvested by the branch,prior to tucking them in for  a nap inside to ripen.

The strategy of the pit

There it was, in plain sight.

An early morning reality check glaring at me

 

It sat there as a bold statement saying

“GOT HERE BEFORE YOU…. HA HA HA HA!”

Yep, the birds and squirrels were in cahoots again .

My precious peaches  had been covered up with bird netting and recycled Trader Joes Sweet potato bags … for what ?

The competition had done what they do so well .

And as a statement of defiance

One single completely  cleaned off pit sat far away from my single peach tree.

It was strategically placed  near the recycling bin so I would be sure to see it.

Of course it lead me to review the tree and wince at the activity they had already done with my peaches even though they were not ripe yet.

And so I was reminded in that “mindful moment ”  that they were  many steps ahead of me .  I had a choice to make . Let it go? Excuse me. Hell no.

The peach pit glared at me reminding me how the birds and squirrels were smarter than me!
The peach pit glared at me reminding me how the birds and squirrels were smarter than me!

The coverings of the peaches just got more intense… to be continued.