Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Hat!

I made my first hat! Yayyyyy. Crocheting is such an easy medium to tote around with me on my travels. My new hat! Sorry I've been a bit MIA (if anyone even noticed, lol), I've been very busy up in Santa Rosa, Napa, Davis, and cooking for guests from Ireland!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

CSA Day!!

We harvested so many wonderful vegetables and herbs for the CSA pickup day this week! Oh my god. Pattypan squash, carrots, basil, melons, peppers, beans, zucchini, leeks, kale, eggplant - oh god so much!

Quin and Georgie harvesting the sweetest carrots.

Quin and Georgie

Justin bunching leeks after Quin picked them, so Georgie and I could wash them.

Justin at Mano Farm

Look at all this bounty!!!


What a fun day <3 I really like this farm.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mano Farm

Oh wow....this is a real farm. Beautiful. It's in Meiners Oaks, near Ojai.

Mano Farm

Quin and Justin run the farm, have a 20 person CSA business and are starting up a seed saving business too! It's all All Good Things. They are so knowledgeable, it's almost intimidating. Luckily they are so kind and eager to share their wisdom, it doesn't feel awkward to ask a million questions.

Evening Picking at Mano Farm

We eat SO WELL here!! Quin and Justin are great cooks - always using fresh things from their farm. There's an outdoor kitchen I will have to post pictures of soon, it's a dream. The entrance to their living space and communal area always takes my breath away.

Communal Space at Mano Farm

Georgie is another WWOOFer working on the farm. She is from London, has a dream to start a business with her best friend who is a wonderful cook (she would grow the food her friend would prepare), and we immediately became buddies (the only girls on the farm gotta stick together, ya know? haha). In the middle of the day we usually get a decent sized break, and this is when Georgie and I go to Meiner's Oaks and Ojai to find internet and coffee.

Georgie at the coffee shop

Sadly, Georgie leaves soon for her next farm and to visit her family friends in Oakland. I'll really miss her! After we pick for the CSA shares, I will drive her to Santa Barbara where she will be staying the night at Hotel Santa Barbara in downtown. She gets the bus the next morning, but possibly coming back to Mano (depending on how she likes the next farm).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Goodbye Dinner

My parents took me out to Spirit Land Bistro and surprised me with this belated birthday treat!

< Goodbye Dessert

SLB is a great restaurant specializing in organic world cuisine with a TON of vegan and raw/vegan dishes. So good! My mom ended up eating the entire chocolate cake because I was too full from dinner. haha

Road Trip to SF!

So we reach Ragged Point and get out of the car to explore the area and stretch our legs. Sarah asks a stranger to take our picture, who happens to be the guitarist for Smash Mouth (haha!). Tom gets weak in the knees and gets loads of pictures taken with both Mike and Dusty. Sarah's pants break and she runs off in a panic. She disappears into the blackhole (aka the ladies room) for a good 20 minutes. They invite us back to see the view from their room, and also offer free tickets to their private concert happening the following night. Because we were on our way north, and had a long way still to go, we declined. Anyway, Ragged Point was beautiful... Ragged Point

Smashmouth and Tom lol
Tom and Smashmouth

On the way through Big Sur we saw a free concert at the Henry Miller Memorial Library - SO COOL! We were still on our way to SF so we only stayed for a little while. Sarah and I dropped Tom off in Redwood City, and then headed to my sister's place in the Mission. We arrived around 1am, and talked until we passed out... It was so great seeing my sister! Next day we went on a walk with the dog, ran some errands, and had the most scrumptious vegan mexican lunch. Too bad I didn't get a picture of it :(

Mano Farm will be coming up soon! I'm excited to find out what this new farm will be like....another Madeline situation?? EEEK!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Road Trip!!

I spent the night at Sarah's hermitage (thank you so much you sweet, sweet woman! What a friend) after leaving the ArtFarm. I was exhausted, and completely slept through her allergy attack, moving the bed by herself across the room, and her attempts at moving me over to one side of the bed (I'm a bed hog I now find out). Hahah Sorry 'bout that! The poor lady didn't sleep a wink, and I was out like a light.

Next day comes and we head off to the beach for a short meander mid morning. By 11am I'm at my parents house figuring out my next move, checking on FB and find out Tom, who is still living at ArtFarm, is looking for a ride to SF instead of spending $300 on trains and buses. While we try and figure out the logistics of this impromptu road trip, he is trying to calm Madeline down over at ArtFarm who is having a complete melt down... Madeline is upset that Tom isn't gone like he said he was going to be since before we talked he was planning on taking a train, but with me driving him we had a bit more time to plan and pack. She's upset that he lied to her and is telling him to get back to work because he's still at the farm, and not actually gone. But he is frantically trying to get me to give him a ride via FB chat. She's also pissed that he has internet and her internet isn't working. Thus Tom is the devil and probably need to be kicked out. hahah no, just kidding.

Then, Annika brought up to Madeline that the food she was serving us for breakfast and lunch was between 1 year and 5 years expired! Madeline says that when her son started asking questions like that, she told him that he needed to move out. What? Is this not completely backwards?? Anyway, she and Annika go back and forth with their points for quite some itme, until Madeline says Annika should get out of ArtFarm. This obviously makes Annika very upset, as she is being kicked out for being served extremely expired food at what is supposed to be an organic farm. Tommi stays and comforts Annika while Tom tries to diffuse the situation, and I come to pick him up just about at the time she is sufficiently calm. He is beyond grateful to get out and be free of this black hole of drama, as I think anyone would be!

We then pick up Sarah and head off in the direction of SF! We drive for a few hours until we need to stretch our legs and take a look at elephant seals doin it.
Elephan Seal ViewingIMG_0040
Elephan Seal Viewing
We head back out onto highway 1 and reach Ragged Point...more on that later.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Okay, Madeline scares me. I left the farm the morning after she was accusing the WWOOFers of stealing her cat and threatening to kick people out who didn't clean up the house to her (undisclosed) expectations. I saw her in the morning and she was already was grumpy and unhappy about something, so I just packed up my things before work and flew away. HA!

I went to put my feet in the ocean and tried to figure out what I was going to do until the 15th, when I could go to the next farm. It was the most beautiful morning!

Later, I met up with current WWOOFers and ex-WWOOFers and we had a BBQ at Goleta Beach. The sunset was beautiful. Oh my god <3<3
Goleta Beach BBQ
Lots of fun!
King of the World!
Alex and Kathrina from France make such a beautiful couple :)
Aww love

Later we got tipsy at the Mercury Lounge in Old Town Goleta haha
Party at the Merc

Friday, September 9, 2011

Operation ASAP complete!

Apparently, the cat is with Animal Services now...hallelujah. I felt so bad for that cat. Unfortunately, Madeline is very upset and came into the our house blaming us wwoofers. This was after coming up to the house, taping a note to the piano reading, "Dear Woofers: Please clean up the ktichen/livingroom/dinig area and bathroom and KEEP MY HOME CLEAN or you're not welcome to stay here. Thanks, Madeline" and walking out without saying a word. The lettering was huge with double underlines and exclamation points galore. Tom, Liza and I were in the living room just waiting for her to say something, but she just turned around and walked out. She came back about 10 minutes later, after we had read the note, and yelled at us about the state of the house. She said it was offensive to her and she told other WWOOFers before us, who should have told us her expectations. I asked her for a list of rules, so there was no room for confusion but she didn't address it, and just went on about the dishes etc.

Maybe I've just left a house in which I lived with 5 people and the state of that house was always much worse than it is here. So now, I've become immune to the mess, or something. I don't know but it really isn't bad here! We all started cleaning and scrubbing away immediately. Kathrina from France even started scrubbing Tommi's face! .....no just kidding. haha Kathrina and Tommi scrubbin!
I worked with Anie from Germany (and learned a few new German words myself!) watering the entire garden which takes about 2.5 hours, and turning compost. We then picked some green beans and a tomato for lunch. It was so warm today, we really enjoyed watering and 'accidentally' spraying eachother hehehe
Anie from Germany
I've received a response from a farm in Ojai that wants me to come on the 15th of September to stay for a few weeks. That leaves me with some time to kill if I leave this farm... Oh what to do what to do? I do know that I am going to a Fleet Foxes concert on Tuesday with Sarah though! I'm so excited!!! More updates to come once I figure out what I will be doing in the next couple days. EEK!

The Drama Mama

Madeline is crazy! Out of the blue she kicked out Bel and Max! She blamed Max for a gate being left unlocked, which neither Bel or Max had, and then yelled at Bel for over feeding the animals (but she was just feeding them like she was taught from Madeline when she arrived!). They asked for a grace period so that they could have a little time to find another place, but she refused and made them both leave immediately, stating there were "lots of reasons" she didn't want them here. But not one reason did she give them besides the gate (mute point) and overfeeding the animals. Is that really any kind of basis to be kicked out? Here's my last picture of Bel (with Tom) as we get ready to head down to the gate and squeak for Madeline. But we'll have a BBQ at the beach soon with Max and Bel and all the new wwoofers :) What fun!
Waiting to start our day
Kate and Dave left for their next farm :( As they were leaving, and hitching a ride with Bel and Max, Madeline yelled at Dave calling him a liar! She didn't believe they were catching a ride with them, and then told them to go around the outside of the house to get out--and would not allow them to walk through the house to get out through the front door. What?! Kate asked her to act like an adult and not call people names, then she walked out. Smart move.
Btw, this was all happening when the next set of wwoofers were arriving from France! Hahahha what craziness. They sure were surprised at all the yelling, and bad behavior. I explained everything to them as best as I could. Later everyone went out for dinner with Bel and Max and had a great time. After work the next day, we had lunch and i grabbed a picture. Another two wwoofers arrived too! Liza (from Nor Cal, a vet student studying at UCD funnily enough!) and Anie from Germany (which made Tommi happy to be able to speak so much without confusion).
Our lunch spot was right by our house, under a tree. So sublime! Lunch at Art Farm 1
I'm thinking this place is a bit dramatic for me....I don't know what Madeline will choose to hate me for and quickly kick me out with out warning. I've contacted a couple farms nearby so hopefully I will hear back from them sooner than later. I'm worried my time is up!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Operation ASAP

Madeline's cat has an awful gaping wound and smells like death. She's really sweet and wants attention, but Madeline says we can't allow her in the house...that is just so sad. That poor kitty is slowly dying, and Madeline won't put it out of its misery.
Cat Wound Tom had a stuffy nose and couldn't smell her rotting away, so lucky for him. And Bel just loved her so much she would cuddle her--somehow she could ignore the stench.
Usual evening at the house
I'll be sad to see Kate and Dave go, they are really fun. Kate is working on a beautiful nautical scene in embroidery as a thank you to a friend who had them over to stay upon arriving to the US. They will be heading to Gaviota to a large farm there where they will learn about biodynamics, permaculture and garden design. It sounds lovely! In the evenings, we usually watch old movies like Indiana Jones and Ghostbusters while the girls usually craft. I made some earrings, Kate worked on her embroidery, and Bel painted a scene in my art journal. What fun!
Kate working on her embroidery
Usual evening
Dave could usually be seen updating his blog here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beach Day

We worked on the farm for a bit this morning. Kate and I weeded the vegetable garden, while Bel fed the sheep and chickens near the house. Tommi and Max thumped German techno music and worked on this glass bottle igloo project and Tom plugged on with the outhouse construction. We BBQed burgers, and had pasta and potato salad. After a rest and some relaxation, we headed out to the beach to play some frisbee. If you know me--- you know I'm not sporty at ALL :( It's kind of funny actually... Trying to catch a frisbee lol
The beach
It was a beautiful day today. Wow. While at the beach, I ran into an old friend of mine, Margy, who I haven't seen for probably ten or so years! She, her husband and her inlaws were visiting her hometown all the way from NYC before she heads off to India to do some Mormon missionary work. WOW! What a coincidence. It was so lovely to see her, she hadn't changed a bit. Sweet and kind as ever <3

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Emergency Room Visit

Max, Tom and Tommi were working on cutting wood for the outhouse they're building when something made Tommi's skillsaw jerk and almost slice his big toe off! While I was planting basil with Kate who arrived with Dave (the couple from Scotland) I got a call on my cell from Max who let told me he was at the ER room Tommi and told me the story of what happened. I brought Tommi his wallet he had forgotten in the rush to get to the hospital which had his insurance card and all that. Here they are at the Goleta Valley Emergency Room:
We found out Tommi's toe was fine, and the saw had just cut open his flesh but not touched any bone or anything. YAY! Unfortunately, he did have to fork over $500 for a simple cleaning of the the wound and a bandage. In the evening, he was even doing some P90x workout stints with Max, lol. Very silly...
We're having a lot of fun here!

Monday, September 5, 2011

First WWOOFing days at ArtFarm!

I've arrived at my first farm! Immediately, I'm surprised with what I find here...a house covered in bright graffiti art and painted murals of mermaids, fish transforming into hummingbirds, Jesus and the Mona Lisa, and even MickeyMouse. I hear a squeaking noise, and notice a young woman standing outside a colorful gate, with a basket of fresh brown eggs, squeezing a soccerball shaped horn under a sign that reads: "squeak the horn for Madeline." She introduces herself as Bel from Massachusetts, and then we go off in search of Madeline after a few minutes of waiting with no response. Later on, I meet Max (who is Bel's boyfriend, also from MA) and Tommi who is from Germany. Nans, from France, is scheduled to catch a train at noon for Mexico, so I get a short tour and work in the garden for just a little while before heading up to the house to make lunch for everyone. Bel and I work on a tofu stirfry, with a fresh mix of veggies from the garden and market and serve it with brown rice. Here's Max and Bel -
After lunch, Nans leaves and soon after that, Tom from England arrives. A bit later, I wander again through the garden, which is like a jungle maze of art and strange treasures like old windows, sinks and bathtubs filled with vegetables and herbs, and slightly alarming sculptures. There's a huge yoga and mediation deck, with a hammock nearby where I sit and read for a while in the afternoon. FUN DAY!
One of the many Pathways
Tomorrow, two people from Edinburgh are supposed to arrive and another woman from Germany, Karo, should be coming in the evening. More updates as they come!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lady Love!

Sorry for the absence - life just happened! I'm starting the blog back up, hopefully this time I'll be more loving and caring to it. No more neglecting, Miss Julia-Rose! ;) I am very inspired and hopeful currently, and I just have to share two great things!

1. I'm going to WWOOFing! I go to my first farm on September 1st, and I'll be there from somewhere between a week and 2 months (depending on many factors), then I'll move on to the next farm, and then the next, and the next! This first one is on an ARTfarm to boot!

I had a bit of epiphany (or life slapped me in the face, you choose) and suddenly things fell into place. I quit my job, didn't renew my lease on my house, sold most of my possessions, bought a used (but more reliable) car and now I'm going to do what I've been saying I want to do for years. Even if it's rash and considered odd or frivolous to some people, its not hurting anyone and I'll never know how happy it could make me unless I give it a full swing :) Living organically and learning about organic farming, permaculture, sustainability, homesteading, alternative living styles--it all sounds like heaven to me. AHH! While on this crazy adventure, I want to keep in contact with family and friends (and other WWOOFers I meet along my adventure!) so there will be a lot of farm posts :) Fair warning1! PS. If you're interested in it, talk to me! Or visit this website for the US: http://www.wwoofusa.org/

2. The second thing is that in our front lawn in which we planted a vegetable, herb and flower garden, there has been a most delightful batch of additions - baby ladybugs! I planted about 10 mega huge sunflowers in the front of the garden (to buffer the view for neighbors, who are more of the perfectly mowed lawn types), and they all became disgustingly infected with aphids! BOOOO. So my plan was to go buy a bunch of ladybugs and hope they stayed long enough to rid me of the aphid-pests. But slowly I noticed more and more ladybugs flying to the leaves on their own, and then doin' it! Soon after that, I saw little yellow eggs on the undersides of the leaves, but I didn't put two and two together. Then, I saw some ladybugs actually laying the yellow eggs on the leaves... aha! Sex = Babies! I waited and waited for something to happen with the yellow eggs, but for a few days it seemed I was finding more batches of eggs on the leaves, but the ones that were there the day or two before were all kind of dried out and gone :( I thought something was eating the eggs and I got upset and worried -- by now these were my welcomed and appreciated friends. (This may be the point where I became unheathily attached to the fucking bugs. Really Julia? *rolls eyes* ANYWAY) I was wrong! They were hatching and eating their egg sacks! Oh happy days in my little heart <3

Ladybug Babies!

I've heard that it's the little things in life that make us happy. In this case, they are REALLY tiny!

Cheers to changes, dreams and goals taking shape, new life, and seizing the day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good Morning!

Happy Saturday :)
Vegan Pancakes with Syrup!

For my Saturday (your Friday) I made pancakes for anyone in the house who was up by 8am (who ended up being just Katie, Dave and moi). I forgot how much I really really love pancakes. They were super light and fluffy, and sugary crunchy around the edges. Perfecto!

Katie and I have a date to visit Tahoe today. We'll get a map, only ride the small streets (no highways if at all possible), and drive in the direction of the lake, stopping along the way wherever our fancy takes us. We want to relive our road trip days! Woohoo! ...even for just a few hours. haha Pictures to follow!

Have a great Saturday :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Foggy Friday (yes, I know it's only Thursday, but for me it's Friday!)

Last day of my work week, woot! I have some awesome cooking, gardening, and ragrug making plans for myself this weekend. This morning Katie and I were on our usual walk and boy was it foggy. You could barely see 200 feet ahead of you. I had to run back to the house and grab my camera for this kind of fog.

January Fog

This row of trees stretch for over a mile, to give you an idea of how long you should be able to see for. Headlights were appearing out of no where and I had a few close calls taking these shots. haha

January Fog

January Fog

There is this old boat that just sits on the side of the road near my house. It's now growing moss.

Moss on a Boat

On the way back from our walk, I noticed a splash of lovely pink flowers in a bush :) So pretty.


Shower time!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I made the quiche I promised myself I would. It was so delicious if I can say some myself, it was gone in 3 days!
vegan broco quiche
For Christmas I was given a fabulous vegan cook book from my sister, Supermarket Vegan. Sometimes before bed I sit under the covers and read the recipes and then have crazy food dreams. haha I've seen some recipes with portobello mushrooms in them that look like fun to try, so on Saturday I bought a couple at the farmer's market along with my brussels sprouts and beets.

I keep coming back to these pictures I took of the house in Santa Cruz where my family and I all stayed after Christmas. The house had all sorts of hidden rooms, closets within closets, sun rooms and such cute country style decor! This was my favorite sun room.
window piece

More food! I had to share this super yummy breakfast I had: vegan plain yogurt, granola, peanut butter, agave nectar, and diced blackberries!