Garden musings

How does your garden grow? 

During this dormant period at the farm when there 
is not as much daily work to do, the idle time leads 
to musings on the incremental changes that are harder to see. 
(does that mean we are not looking deeply enough?)
So less to do, coupled with winter weather, makes this an ideal time 
to catch up with some of the other gardening blogs we enjoy.

One blog we like a lot, that we've shared with you before, is A Sonoma Garden
which always has thoughtful posts, with good tips, and intimate reflections.
 A recent post captures beautifully how we are feeling this time of year 
when it is hard to suppress the urge to have our hands in the dirt. 

The Urban Artichoke reminds us, just when we think perhaps 
we can't grow anything delicate until Spring, that the garden is full of surprises
And SmartGardener is a reliable and all around great resource, very aptly named! 
And you can find tips on more than just gardening. 
This week they are sharing this video about how to prepare endive.

Today I stumbled upon a new one that captured my interest: Outlaw@home

Filled with ruminations that are thought provoking, there is much to contemplate here.  
Riffing on this quote from Henry David Thoreau: "Gardening is social, says Thoreau, 
and I think this can be true...The act of gardening is an activity 
well suited to companionship. From orchid societies to garden parties 
or sitting in the backyard at home; plants are the focus, the backdrop 
or the cornerstone to a huge range of social functions.  
We gather and play in shared green spaces. 
We work together in fields and greenhouses." 

For our fig farm project, gardening/farming is both solitary and social. 
Executive Chef John Toulze treasures his time in the garden as meditative, 
precious alone time where he can get "lost" in the tasks there 
that relax him even as they tire him.

Everyone who toils at our farm experiences some version of this.
Some of our sous chefs and other staff volunteer to help 
at the farm for these personal benefits. 
Interestingly then, while each of us is in our own zen place 
of focused mindful labor, what happens is a quantum 
"whole is greater than the sum of its parts" dynamic 
and the farm energetic becomes very communal

And certainly the most social aspect of our farm project 
is the food we plant, grow and cook for you.
This is always what guides us, keeps us going 
when the weather is bad or something we've tried is not successful so we plant anew. 
We "get" so much from our farm project 
but it is all about what we bring to you that matters most.
winter squash photo by Steven Krause for
Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country
Executive Chef John Toulze and his team at the James Beard House
photo by Phillip Gross
Are there any gardening blogs you particularly like?
Tell us about your thoughts on gardening, how it is your private passion 
or are you part of a Community Patch? 


  1. Thanks for the kind shout-out! I always enjoy reading your thoughts about Fig Farm: the beauty of the land in all its seasons, the beauty of growing and cooking lovely food to share- a real celebration of life.

    best wishes, Patricia

  2. Back at ya, Patricia. Appreciate that you follow along with on the journey-both the farming and the learning.