Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Hang on little tomato
Has it really been a month since the last entry? My deepest apologies to our loyal readers and fans for the delay. Evidently, the pressing needs and demands of a growing garden trump the documentation of it. As the sun shines longer and hotter, the "to do" list grows along with the veggies and weeds. With so many developments and so much growth, I find myself now confounded with how to explain it all. Nevertheless I will do my best to recap the developments at Amyitis that continue to make this such a great and interesting season.
I am excited to announce the addition of a new member to the Amyitis team. Eben Bell, a permaculture landscape artist, has joined up with us to help see Amyitis along its path. Until now Amyitis has been taking baby steps to success. Creating a restaurant CSA while holding down another job has thus far dictated the pace of our expansion. Now with the addition of Eben we hope that Amyitis will enter toddler hood and begin running and jumping its way into new spaces. We are happy to have Eben. His background and help will undoubtedly give solid momentum to our growing project.
It goes without saying that San Francisco has interesting weather. But for the sake of this blog and its widespread readership (ha!) I will explain it anyway. While my friends back east are enjoying the heat of May, San Francisco is like a petulant child in the throes of indecision. She's hot one day and cold the next. She's 90 degrees in the sun and 65 in the shade on any given day. Above all, she goes to bed early pulling the icy sheets of fog over her everyday at 5pm. Each backyard garden too has its own wild ways. Two of our gardens lie on opposite sides of the same street no more than 100 yds. apart. On the same day I have experienced up to a 15 degree temperature difference between them. In some ways this is ideal. We've found that the warmer garden is well suited for tomatoes while the other is best for greens. I suspect that after this season we will be able to make expert choices as to crop and variety locations. Having a variety of spaces and micro-climates has allowed us to think about product diversity in a new way. Due to Eben's influence, I've begun letting certain prolific plants go to seed in hopes that we can save them. The idea being that, plants who've done well in a certain climate and location will produce seeds that will produce the same results in the next generation. Since this is all really one big experiment anyway, it doesn't hurt to try to produce "indigenous" seeds to help us out. Eben's ideas also make me excited for the rainy season here in the city. As it turns out, his interests in mushroom cultivation have carried him a bit further than myself. With his ideas and planning, Amyitis might become the gourmet fungi producer I'd once hoped.
In the restaurant.
As we continue to grow food, the Corner and Weird Fish continue to find ways to serve it up. We are grateful to the innovative staff there that are helping us streamline the way we serve them. While we eventually aim to serve a wide variety of restaurants in the city with our produce, we have had the great pleasure of having a direct relationship with the kitchens there who keep us informed about our product and how they can use it. It is clear that we will need many more spaces here in the city before we can serve anyone else. It has been a great education and a fortunate union to pair our fledgling project with a burgeoning restaurant. Go down to the Corner and Weird Fish and give them (and us) your feedback.
Its a girl?
We've got our first tomato! One hot day this past week Eben and I and a couple of hardworking volunteers got the tomatoes into the planter boxes we'd built for them so long ago. They are happy as.... well... tomatoes. When you've nurtured such a fickle plant from seed in an even more fickle environment, sign of the first fruit is worthy cause for a celebration. We hope this means that they are happy. And now our mouths and stomachs look eagerly to the future when the first taste of a Green Zebra tomato passes our lips.
For other San Francisco gardeners (or just gardeners in general) SF Grow is a great organization providing tons of resources to people like us and you. From compost giveaways to free weekly tips, they are a vital source of info on all things garden related. Be sure to give 'em a click. www.sfgro.org