Saturday, April 3, 2010

not basketball

It finally dawned on me why today was a particularly lovely and uncrowded day to learn about heirloom tomatoes from wildboar farm and to hike in Sonoma County Sugarloaf Ridge Park. We were not watching basketball. Walking down the sidewalk in the town of Sonoma at the end of a busy day I overheard a woman telling her husband that Butler was in the final four. Logging into facebook this evening a high school friend commented that she was going to grudgingly root for Duke. From these two scraps of information I expect that the final game is Butler vs. Duke. We shall see...

Meanwhile, we spent the day learning about heirloom tomatoes from a local grower and hybridizer, finding such interesting varieties as Berkeley Pink Tie-dye. Chuck and Felicia came to the class to learn more about how to grow great tomatoes. We shall see if the advice improves our tomato crop this year. We have so many small plants that we will need to host a tomato festival in September.

After "class" we went with friends Craig and Millie to Sonoma County to hike in one of the state parks, hoping to see birds and wildflowers. We saw turkeys taunting us because they seemed to know that they were in a protected zone and no spring turkey hunting season applied to them.

There were some early wildflowers, but they seemed a bit confused by the weather that has been very warm, then freezing, now wet, and finally a day of sun.

Views from the Sugarloaf Peak trail are stunning. In such an intensely farmed region, there were only a couple of hillside vineyards visible from the trail, and none from this view looking over the Sonoma Valley north of Kenwood.

There were wildflowers and lichens:

I was struck by the color contrast of the madrones and manzanitas in this greenscape. Ireland must be as lush and green as this landscape. But clinging to the hills are also these richly colored California natives.

Please forgive the formatting anomalies. "Scribefire" and blogger are both being difficult.

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