Thursday, April 19, 2012

wattles farm fresh!

recently i have become obsessed with the idea of having a little plot of land to call my own...  i want to grow things. and i also want a spot just to sit on and enjoy all of the lovely nature surrounding me.  ya see, before i lost my job, i had actually been searching for a tiny little house with a tiny little yard.  thank goodness i never bought one because i doubt i would have decided to take the chance and start over and instead would still be slaving away in a career i wasn't loving just to pay for the tiny little house and yard i was probably too stressed out to enjoy.  and if i owned that dream house i certainly wouldn't be writing in this little ol' blog... and i wouldn't have experienced all of the amazing adventures that the last year brought!

well, since i am a long way off from that tiny little dream house (the joys of interning!) i decided that the next best thing would be to join a community garden.   let me be clear- i have never gardened before in my life.  unless you count the handful of times i helped my mom or nonna with their gardens while growing up.  i have a small problem keeping houseplants alive and even killed a vase full of lucky bamboo back when it was trendy.  and that bamboo was supposed to be the sort of stuff you can never kill.  well, i have a feeling i am going to have better luck with a garden.  my family is filled with gardeners!  nonna still tends to hers and my mom can keep any plant alive and turn a leaf from one plant into a whole entire other plant! and my dad is from a farming family.  it is in my blood!  therefore i have to excel at this, right???

i found just the garden for me!  a lovely little oasis in the hollywood hills called wattles farm.   a 4.2 acre slice of heaven!

last saturday i met with the sweet older couple that runs the farm and they explained how it works.  there are 172, 15 foot square plots on the farm.  anyone wanting to join must bank some volunteer time over a 3 month period just to get on the waiting list!  and finally, once on the list, it is anyone's guess when a spot will open up.  i have to wait for someone to lose their plot, give up their plot, pass on, pass away, or move away. it could take a few months or it could take longer!  there are several garden masters that keep everyone in check.  oh, and they shared a funny story that is so LA (if you lived here, trust me, you would have been rolling your eyes with the rest of us as we were listening)...  apparently a D-list actor (who happens to have a very A-list actress sister) tried to get a plot not too long ago.  he said he would "have his man work on it."  the folks that run the farm told him that he would have to work his own plot and couldn't hire a gardener to tend to it.   they explained to him that is not the point of a community garden.  if you get a plot you must work on it.  needless to say he was not pleased with this news and was not approved for a plot...  hilarious!  who does that??

i jumped into my volunteering responsibilities the very next day... no need to dilly dally! i need to bank my volunteer time to get on that wait list!  i spent hours weeding but the time really flew by!  i was having a lot of fun plus, i met some really cool people while there...  including a young hippie italian guy who is also trying to join, a sweet 98 year old gentleman who had the most beautiful plot (by the way, i am determined to become best friends with him if he's still there when i finally get mine!), folks from all different ages, cultures (russian, british, mexican, italian...) and all walks of life.  and the spunky 75 year old gal that runs the whole place, gave me a tour which made me that much more excited about the possibilities.   oh, and throughout my tour, she kept clipping samples of the great treats the garden has to offer.  my arms were full of so many wonderful fruits and veggies and spices... oh my! 
i never heard of a loquat before this visit! above is what they look like.  the yummiest new fruit i have tasted!  apparently they don't end up in grocery stores because they bruise too easily.  if you ever have the chance, i highly recommend you give one a try!

here is the plot i was loving the most.  look how perfectly organized this guy was and of course the added touch of pink flamingos!  definitely what i hope to have...
 peach season is a little early this year...
 banana trees
yep, weeds are bad.
 flowers everywhere!

 chard from my 98 year old soon to be best friend's garden!
brussell sprouts are very trendy in LA restaurants these days... i haven't hopped on that band wagon but i do love the look of the plants!
 avocado trees galore! 
an experimental garden using only heirloom seeds (yeah, i don't know what those are but it sounds really important)
 flowers from a passion fruit plant
 i love lemons!
 great use of old sneakers as succulent planters!
 this stuff smelled like heaven! rose geraniums...
 no idea what these are but thought they were lovely...

 my souvenirs from wattles!  perfect for a salad!
so, i have already planned out my garden in my head... all the things i want to plant from flowers to fruits and veggies. and i must have a little chair and table on my plot so that i can spend time enjoying the space... a few of my friends think i am a little crazy to be doing this but i don't really care.  i am pretty excited about the possibilities and i know they will all be envious when the big day comes and i finally have my plot and invite them over for a picnic!  fingers crossed it won't take too long.

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern


  1. We planted our first garden last year, and we have lettuce and spinach popping up right now. Who knows -- maybe this will be the place where you meet a nice boy! Perhaps the older gentleman will have a nice relative. ;)

    Guess what. My textbook and dictionary just arrived for the class I'm taking this summer... Interior Design 121! One of the reasons I have been drawn to your blog is because I may be starting over too. :)

    1. Cindy- of course the thought of meeting a cute single gardener did cross my mind:) and good for your for signing up for class!! can't wait to hear how it goes! xo

  2. You so crack me up, Hol! This will be a fun adventure to watch :) Oh and we can totally share heirloom seeds with you- best ever tomatoes! But than again, I have no idea what the growing seasons are out west. Oh and 'heirloom' plants are ones that have not been hybridized (like so many of the seeds and plants you buy at stores). I have a great supplier from Canada, if you are interested.

    And, of course, you need flamingos in your plot of land...