Tuesday, April 21, 2009


As the season kicks in to high gear here at Amyitis there seems to be less to say and more to do.  Well that is not totally true.  In fact, I have so much to say I don't know where to begin.  Do I begin with the huge debt of gratitude I owe to all of my volunteers and clients?  Do I begin with the extreme quality of the baby greens we've been harvesting from the gardens?  Or, do I begin by talking about the challenges of growing for a new restaurant?  While all of the above are topics worthy of further missives, I will stifle my will to blather on and simply say that Amyitis is moving rapidly forward.  And, if the results we've seen so far are any indication of what is to come, we are in for an exciting summer full of challenges and triumphs.  

The recent SF heat wave has shot things into full summer at the gardens.  The heat is such a stark contrast to the cold snap that came just before it, I often wonder how plants manage to hold on.  Well, I guess that some do and some don't.  The cold nights we recently had paired with the wind in the evenings has wreaked havoc on our squash and basil.  Most all of the squash and basil transplants either stunted or died.  Hopefully, after some more in-depth investigation we can actually grow a decent squash plant this summer.  They've always grown like weeds before. I am unsure of what we are doing wrong there.  

In other news, the tomatoes we started in the basement are outside hardening off... and just in time for the heat wave.  That was lucky timing.  They are a bit leggy but I think that they will adjust to full sun quite well.  We've transplanted them into 4" pots to give them a bigger root ball and a thicker stem before we let them go off on their own.  

We couldn't be happier about the quality of the arugula, mizuna and lettuce that are coming out of the gardens now.  I can shamelessly say that they are without a doubt some of the best greens I have had the pleasure of eating.  It is these times here at the gardens that I would like to take a moment to enjoy.  There is no prouder moment than harvesting something delicious that you've nurtured and cared for.  In the contrast of a relatively harsh urban environment, to eat such a fine salad is almost enough to make the tears flow.  Well, at least salavatory tears.  

Lastly, while harvesting the lovely greens I speak of last week for a delivery to Weird Fish and the Corner, I stumbled upon a large and lovely toad enjoying the refuge of a canopy of mizuna. I nearly stepped on him as I made my way through the rows.  And while fully aware of my towering presence next to his, he sat seemingly indifferent eating flies.  I have no idea how he got there.  In fact I am not sure I care.  It's undoubtedly a good omen.  

Happy gardening.  


Lovely D'avignon Radishes

A Friday Harvest

Fat Omen Toad

Friday, April 10, 2009

on the menu

Link of the week

I just wanted to post the interview I recently had with Adam at SF menu pages.  I am grateful for the press.  Certainly, spreading the word about what we do is the hardest part.  A little help never hurts.  Thanks Adam.  

Be sure to come down to The Corner this weekend for some fresh mission-grown green garlic, salad mix and Russian Kale!!

Click this link to read the interveiw.  



Monday, April 6, 2009

Farmers Anonymous

There really is no stopping a moving train.  At this point we've gained enough critical momentum that there is no stopping or turning back.  Not that we'd ever had plans to stop.  Simply put; the reality of the encroaching growing season and, its unique backyard slant for us, is setting in quickly and deeply.  We predicted we'd be busy, but as we've learned recently with our economy, predictions are one thing, reality is another.  
During the past two weeks, both Jessie and myself have moved homes and started building a new garden space in the Mission.  We've developed strategic tag-team watering plans for all of the spaces (plants don't give us a day off!!) And we've begun to take the first of our weekly shipments to The Corner (18th and Mission www.thecornersf.com).  We are jumping with glee each time that we do.  Moments like that are when what we do most feels like a selfish act rather than an environmental or communal one.  Mainly because it is.  When what you happen to enjoy is also something that is good for communities and the environment, there is no reason not to be as selfish as possible.  The pure satisfaction I get from bringing our own city-grown organic produce to a restaurant 4 blocks away is narcotic.  All idealism aside, I like this.... a lot.  
Of course I knew that I liked it when I was farming in VT, but this is something different.  I am continually awestruck by how little I know each time I learn something new. Each piece of food we pull from a backyard feels like a triumph, a victory.  It feels like we are regaining control of our spaces and inspiring others to do the same. And not simply because it is trendy or altruistic, but because it feels good.  It feels right.  

Here are some pictures of what we've been up to:

"talkin' it over"

"step one"

"a little help"


"almost done"

"Green garlic for The Corner"

"Proud grower"

"Proud grower"