Sewing New Seeds.

Gardening projects, backyard renovation, + life thoughts.

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This post is a bit bittersweet, as I start my new job tomorrow, which is most definitely a good thing. However, it’s also the symbolic finish line for the projects I’ve been working on over my last month off from work. During that time, I’ve planted a new garden, renovated our backyard, as well as, refurbished some furniture (pictured below). Converting a run-down backyard space into a livable garden, a venue to entertain friends, and a space for nightly talks with the boy has been absolutely amazing.  Over the last three weeks or so, we’ve had so many laughs & glasses of wine in our new space (probably more glasses of wine than laughs). Moving forward it’s gratifying to know that we have a full home that feels warm and now extends outdoors, as the outdoors are such a big part of Ryan and I’s life.

I’ve always wanted to plant a garden. Growing up my father had a beautiful garden in our yard before we developed on the land. As a child, we had fresh tomatoes, basil, carrots, eggplant, and more. As a twenty-something, finding a space to garden isn’t always the easiest. Moving into our apartment about a year and a half ago, there had happened to be a raised bed; however, our neighbors were using it at the time. Since that time, the bed had become untamed without care, and I was fortunate to take over the space! Checkout the conversion below and let me know your thoughts. Also ya’ll have to come over for dinner soon. #Pizzanight with fresh veggies for everyone.

FLOWERLAND.

Flowerland, which is located on the border of Berkeley and Albany, CA was my first thought when it came to planting a garden. A known institution in the area, and a spot for some awesome coffee, courtesy of Highwire, this place is a must. Not only is there selection of plants and more amazing, but the place is stunning. It’s aesthetically incredible, is so authentic, and also captures the zeitgest of the moment with it’s witty signage.

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GOOD READS.

Not only does Flowerland, have and incredible selection of everything for your home garden, but they also have an entire indoor store with a great selection of candles, coffee table books, notebooks, local art, and more.

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FINDING THE RIGHT PLANTS.

After stopping at Flowerland and picking up a few transplants (it’s too late in the season to start plants from seeds, for most plants, Kale you’re probably safe with, as well as, most squashes) I headed over to Westbrae Nursery , and found the rest of the plants I was looking for. As an amateur, a couple of resources along the way helped to solidify the right choices to ensure a good harvest. A couple of must haves for any Bay area gardener I’ve attached in a link below!

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THE SUPPLY.

With a full crop picked, and some diversity and balance found between herbs and veggies, the lot was ready to go.

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(From left to right by row) Carrots, Broccolini, Chives, Italian Parsley, Thyme, Celery, Sweet Basil, Cilantro, Purple Collard/Kale Hybrid, Authentic Thai Basil, Lemon Mint, Mint.

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PLANT ME.

This was the most fun part. Ryan, Jack, and I (Ryan not pictured, as he was taking most of the photos) went to work with our new garden bed. We found some great organic soil to revitalize the older soil, tilled the land, and laid the plants down. A couple of the herbs were potted on their own (as pictured below), and the rest is history. Currently we are two weeks into the process, the carrots and broccolini are grown very, very well, and the rest of the crop is moving along just fine! Not pictured below, a tomatillo plant, which I’m super excited to make salsa verde with in a few months.

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Thyme
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Cilantro + Parsley

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Broccolini after two weeks!

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Jack Joe Kiss Garden
Kisses from my little helper. Ryan was taking all the photos this week.

TABLE TALK.

So, in the process of planting a garden, I was also re-doing our entire backyard. I found this table on Facebook Marketplace for free, and it was in pretty rough shape. I took it home, purchased a can of outdoor paint, and painted it white. The white adds a nice depth and sense of ‘new’ to our backyard without feeling too rustic. (The original look of the table was similar to that of the weathered chairs.) We’ve put up string lights, laid new mulch, and have created an entire space for hosting guests, along with a fire pit.

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TAKING THE TIME

Before I close out, there’s a couple of things I wanted to say. First off, taking on any project takes time (and most of the time, money too). During my few weeks off I definitely did my share of adventuring up north, finding a good book (or two) to read, and had my share of a few good times out. However, the biggest life lesson I learned from this project came from giving myself the time to fully see something through from start to finish. I see the same maturation with work projects all of the time in my profession, but taking on a side project has given me a newfound respect for nature, mental health, and the importance of defining what you want ‘Home’ to mean to you. I invested four weeks of time into little projects like this garden and the revitalization of our yard because home to me is defined as a place where love, conversation, debate, and true authentic experience should be shared. I challenge you, to define what ‘Home’ means to you, take on a project and live that truth. I’m so grateful for my time off, it was better than any vacation I could’ve taken. Sewing new seeds, and finding a place that you’re proud of to have as your own and to share is nothing short of incredible.

CELEBRATION.

Lastly, to celebrate, we had our friends over for dinner + games this Labor Day weekend. Check out these smiles. Thanks for being our family. Love you all!

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Photo taken by @cru.cait

Pictured:  @sswonkohw @ryanarthurwright @sweden95 

THANKS FOR READING.

Philz good one-2

 

 

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Healdsburg

Healdsburg day trip, new gardening endeavor, and more.

Hello food lovers, friends, + other internet people.

I’m back in action with some highlights on our bay area life, plus a little bit on fruit!

Over the past couple of weekends, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been crazy on my Instagram game, and there’s a good reason for it. Instagram is a true vessel for creative expression and it’s free! I’ve been spending some hard thought on what I want my brand to be, and I think I’m finally getting somewhere. I’ve always been in love with food (like seriously in love) and I’ve never really found a way to incorporate it into my life, other than the obvious dinner party & sharing with friends. Those closest to me know that my one life goal is to have a successful career, with food being the common theme.

Over the next couple of months I hope to bring more flare, color, Berkeley lifestyle, and food into my Instagram. Any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions are highly welcomed.

Thought I’d let you know why I’ve been an instagram-crazy lately 😉

Onto the food.


FRUIT + MORE

Living in the Bay Area is truly a blessing. We have a LEMON TREE in our back yard. #Blessed. I cannot tell you how amazing this has been. From homemade pasta dishes to dressings, and cocktails to desserts, living in one of the most fertile regions of the country has been unreal.

Before moving to the Bay, the organic food movement, was very very low on my list of priorities or disciplines to study. The reason, I don’t really know I guess. I’ve always been such an avid lover of food, but I guess I never really put the sourcing and economics of food to the forefront of my mind. However, since moving to the Bay a little over two years ago, I’ve been challenged to think outside of the box. Ryan and I live in a place where people use their front yards as garden space, rather than a useless lawn (for more on this, give me a call, there are so many useless side effects of Captialism/materialism, and ‘The lawn’ is one of them) People plant gardens at their children’s schools based on the seasonality, and use the harvest to feed the local community, one another, and as a source of income for the under privileged. My point here, sorry for taking the long way around, is that the actual anatomy and epistemology of food is common knowledge here. This has radicalized my process in the preparation, cooking, and serving of fresh and local produce. The culture has engulfed my life, way of thinking, and has altered my technique.

This weekend, Ryan and I made our way up to Healdsburg, CA (about 1.2 hours outside of the Bay area), and found ourselves at one of our favorite spots, The Shed.  They supply high quality, locally grown & sourced ingredients to a variety of lunch and dinner guests, as well as, a number of events. Their space is beautiful, features white-washed walls, and is always full of natural color from the fruits and veggies that fill the room.

From the beautiful yellowish tomatoes to the organic blueberries and strawberries, this day trip gave me the inspiration to create our own organic garden. We’ve got a raised bed in our backyard that is currently unused. Stay tuned for updates (most likely during the late fall months) to see what we yield!


Beauties from our trip to The Shed!

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What type of food methods/techniques/sourcing, are you infatuated with? Have any of these differences made any change to the way you think about food?

Comment below! 

As always, thanks for reading. I love you all!