05 February, 2010

Full of the joys

We're in the rainy season here which means that it gets a bit British every now and again - clouds, rain, wind. A lot of the time though it is like Spring. Cherry trees are in blossom in the streets. It is sunny and warm. We had lunch outside on Saturday. I'm beginning to like this Californian weather.

On Saturday, we wandered over to Bernal Heights, to the big Farmers' Market near the freeway. First we pottered up Cortland Avenue. Bernal Heights is a neighbourhood clinging to the sides of one of the highest hills in San Francisco. From the top you get spectacular views of the city in the north and the bay in the east. Cortland is on the south facing side - the village high street including funky cafes, a library, organic grocers, butchers, galleries and a really lovely second-hand book shop (Red Hill Books). It is much less posh than Noe Valley and also less gritty than the Mission. For my London readers - a bit like Stoke Newington. You feel separate from the rest of the city and up some of the streets, it gets quite countrified with grass growing in the pavements and dirt tracks.

After we had stopped for coffee and books we headed over to the market which is the original market for San Francisco and is apparently a lot more real and less fancy-pants than the one at Ferry Plaza (which I haven't got to yet). I still can't get over the fact that you can buy local strawberries, oranges, lemons and spring greens in January. Most of the market was fruit and veg, some organic and some not.

All pretty reasonably priced. There were also apple juice stalls, dried fruit, mushrooms, cheese and so on. We bought a few things and then ate pizza from the wood-fired pizza stall. Really really good.

Since then the weather and my empty deck have been calling me. I've come to realize that just because I'm now in a city on the other side of the world it doesn't mean I'm going to turn into a different person with different interests. I may have taken up Pilates (well I had one lesson) but I still love cooking, growing things and pottering about quietly at home. That's just me. So I am now taking the garden in hand. It is a rather dark and damp area at the bottom with several lovely shrubs, lots of seating and lots and lots of empty pots. I think some of this stuff must have come from our deck because the deck is very empty and the garden very full. As the other tenants don't seem to be keen gardeners and they all work full-time, I've decided to tidy stuff up a bit and at the same time sort our deck out. So far I have thyme and rosemary, lots of seeds ready for planting and a wooden owl I found in the garden, looking a bit mouldy. He is now guarding the deck.

I'm also heading off to the School Greening Committee meeting this afternoon having in a foolhardy moment offered to provide tomato seedlings for the Green Fair they are having in April. So right now I'd better get those seeds in some pots. I'm feeling particularly foolhardy because a biologist greening committee dad has told me that tomatoes are really hard to grown in SF because of the cold summers. But this is California! What can he mean? He's a born and bred Bay Area resident so I'm guessing he knows and I've arrived in the Wales of California. Ho hum.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tomato plants grow just fine in San Francisco. Getting any ripe tomatoes ON those plants is the problem. San Francisco is notorious for (relatively)cold, foggy summers and tomatoes like/need a certain amount of heat to ripen. Mark Twain is reputed to have said "The coldest winter I ever saw was summer in San Francisco".