Above: A cluster of Calochortus venustus glow in light of a late April morning.
Welcome to 7th Street Farms, an on-going adventure in urban farming! Spring 2013 has sprung in the East Bay. And a very dry Spring it has been. Don't want to use the D-word (drought), but it looks like that's what we have to look forward to.
LATE APRIL: Knee-deep in Calochortus Season!! As the above picture attests, we now have an abundance of blooming Calochortus on hand here on the "Farm." All the Globe Lilies have bloomed, and the Tall Mariposa Lilies are presently taking the stage: venustus, superbus, luteus and leichtlinii are all struttin' their stuff at 7th Street Farms. Only C. argillosus--the Johnny-come-lately of the Bay Area Calochortuses--has yet to flower. More below...
Food: Our Dinosaur Kale has begun to go to seed on us--after providing us with a great deal of food for soups, and pot greens. We hope to save some seed for germinating in the late summer. Our Purple Collard Trees have gone nuts!--we can't keep up with their production. We also found out that they need to be well-staked or else they get so top-heavy, that they fall over.
This year we've decided to grow Scarlet Runner Beans. We found an old box spring--sans springs--to use as an improvised trellis for them to grow on. As April wanes our bean vines have now climbed about 4 feet up our Bed-Trellis. "Excuse me...Where are my beans???" Gettin' impatient here...
Our first attempt at growing Fava Beans has been fairly successful. We need to get out and start harvesting those humongous beans. Now for a nice kidney and a fine Chianti... [jk]
Left: C. pulchellus--the Diablo Globy Lily; Right: C. amoenus--the Purple Fairy Lantern of the Sierra Foothills.
More Calochortus. . .
In spite of the fact that the winter rains have been somewhat disappointing so far here in the San Francisco Bay Area, our summer-sleeping friends in the world of Calochortus have not let us down at 7th Street Farms. Our Mount Diablo Globe Lilies were the first to send forth a flower bud this season, followed quickly thereafter by the Yellow Cat's Ears, the Diogenes' Lanterns, and the Purple Fairly Lanterns. Recently, the Subalpine Mariposa Lilies (C. leichtlinii) and the White Globe Lilies began to bloom, followed this week by the Butterfly Mairposa, Superb Mariposa, and Yellow Mariposa Lilies. This Spring's colorful fiesta is now fully under way!
March 15: The Ides of March have brought us a great many yellow C. monophyllus (Yellow Cat's Ear) blooms on our plants, the foliage of which has proven to be attractive in its own right.
Easter: All the Globe Lilies have budded and three species have early blooms. Pictures coming...
April 5: April Showers have sprinkled on our flowers!!! We really need the rain! See the picture!
April 24: Calochortus venustus blooms--Butterfly Mariposa Lilies--are exploding all over the place! Check out our new Calochortus Image Gallery, which we will update daily as the season unfolds.
Six varieties of tomato plants are now settling in for the fruitful summer ahead. Our principal crop will be the high-lycopene Health Kicker, but this year we're checking out another high lycopene variety: the open pollinated Crimson Sprinter. We'll see how this tomato fares in the not-so-warm summers of the Bay Area. The Italian Heirloom, and a Mexican Cherry Tomato are also of interest to us this season, among others. Harvest time will be upon us before we know it--I can already smell their intoxicating perfume like a pleasant olfactory halucination in the kitchen of my mind.
Praise God from whom all Blessings flow!
Praise Him ye creatures here below!
Praise Him above ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!