Greener Acres

You're all too young to remember, I'm sure, but there was a hilarious show called Green Acres about a couple, played by Eva Gabor and Eddie Alpert, who move from Manhattan to Hooterville for the farming life. My love of pigs undoubtedly stems from the show, which featured on  occasion the "son" of the Ziffles: Arnold, a very intelligent pig. Here's Mr. Douglas on his John Deere.

We don't have a tractor, but homesteading is nevertheless proceeding apace. 

As you can see, the greenhouse is replete with new life. I transplanted some of these darlings into the garden yesterday, so of course today it's been pouring nonstop. Luckily, the garden is on a slope. 

It's puddly! Potatoes are on the right. Those white domes are row covers--translucent cloth that keeps the bugs off plants, in this case the crucifery. What? Didn't you pay attention two posts ago? Cruciferous vegetables are cabbagey things. Shall we take a peek under the covers?

Look how happy they are! This trick won't work for every vegetable because some need pollination, like tomatoes and cucumbers. But if you're eating the leaves or the roots or the pre-flowers, or the roots, it's an option. It's a little warmer and more humid under there, which can also give plants a boost. 

Who's a pretty cabbage?

As big as the vegetable garden is, it's smaller than our ambitions. This plot, between two retaining walls, is ready for figs, herbs, flowering shrubs and berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants and gooseberries. I am a berry fiend and cannot wait for this to get going!

It's still raining in sheets as I write this but eventually the sun will return and those little transplants will start getting a grip. In the meantime, here's a sunrise shot from the other day. As Mr. Douglas said, "Green acres is the place to be!"

To all the moms, have a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Follow the Yellow Brick Road, or I-80.

When my husband and I talked abut leaving California for Virginia, we considered walking. No, seriously. What could be a more deliberate way to leave one coast for the other than marking the entire distance, step by step. We do love to walk.

Sadly, we didn't have the time. We toyed with the idea of combining walking and train-riding, mostly as a way to speed things up and avoid trudging across Nebraska. But in the end we did what most people do: Road Trip! 

Most of our belongings were already on their own road trip, so we packed the Subaru with only the necessities: some clothes, important papers, our laptops, two cases of wine and a ceramic pig. 

He's Mexican by birth and become our mascot after our last dog died. He came to us house broken.

We set off in early April and left California behind the first day. The weather was glorious. This is near Salt Lake.

We soon established a routine, sharing a Subway foot-long veggie sandwich for lunch every day and a bottle of pinot noir with dinner every night. We also made a friend in Wyoming.

Not long after that, it became less scenic and, clear sky junkies that we are, we thought about turning the car around. This was in Nebraska.

A lovely spring day!

We spent the last night of our five-day road trip in Lexington, Kentucky, the place where horses deign to allow humans to care for them. If you have a chance, spend a day or two in this pretty city. 


The next day we set off for our new hometown of Lexington--Virginia, this time. We'd only been there once, in January, when there was snow on the ground and the trees were sticks. I admitted to Richard that I barely remembered it. He shrugged. We could always move. Such free spirits!

Almost there...

We drove through the town. Our jaws dropped and our hearts soared. It was beautiful. I'd never seen so many blooming shrubs and trees in my life. In the countryside, dogwoods and redbuds flowered everywhere. 


A year later, I'm more in love with this place than ever. Every morning when I wake up, I feel like Dorothy stepping into Oz. And, yes, I'm glad I didn't have to walk here.