I resume my volunteer activities in the garden on Monday. I expect there will be a lot of clean-up work to do.
In the meantime, it's sunny and there are pretty flowers.
There's something wrong with this picture.
Once upon a time, a squirrel cached a berry in this tree, and now the berry is a shrub.
The tree is fine.
My friend and I had lunch at a restaurant we go to a lot. The proprietor stopped to chat with us, as she often does. Her conversation deepened today's theme of doom. A consultant she met recently told her to expect startlingly higher food prices this year as the price of oil increases demand on corn and food oil for fuel. She feels pessimistic about business in 2008. I know San Franciscans have idiosyncratic concerns, but this is not the first time I've heard someone I know be worried about this.
Then when I got home, a book I ordered with a Christmas gift certificate arrived. Steve Solomon started Territorial Seed and has written several books. He's a huge name in the west coast organic gardening scene.
"The decline of cheap oil is inspiring increasing numbers of North Americans to achieve some measure of backyard food self-sufficiency. In hard times, the family can be greatly helped by growing a highly productive food garden, requiring little cash outlay or watering.
Currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods are largely inappropriate to this new circumstance. Crowded raised beds require high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter, and demand large amounts of human time and effort. But, except for labor, these inputs depend on the price of oil. Prior to the 1970s, North American home food growing used more land with less labor, with wider plant spacing, with less or no irrigation, and all done with sharp hand tools. But these sustainable systems have been largely forgotten. Gardening When It Counts helps readers rediscover traditional low-input gardening methods to produce healthy food.
Designed for readers with no experience and applicable to most areas in the English-speaking world except the tropics and hot deserts, this book shows that any family with access to 3-5,000 sq. ft. of garden land can halve their food costs using a growing system requiring just the odd bucketful of household waste water, perhaps two hundred dollars worth of hand tools, and about the same amount spent on supplies - working an average of two hours a day during the growing season."
By March last year, I was calling bees the big garden story of 2007. This year, will it be...doom?