Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

You lose some, you win some.

I love fava beans. Love them. Fresh much more so than dried.

So every year I plant them in my garden. Some years are better than others – but most of the time I get at least 20 lbs. of beans.

This year started off looking promising. In addition to the perennialized beans that come up year after year, I’d planted two other varieties that I’d purchased from Baker Creek Seed Company and things were growing well. I thought perhaps it was looking like a 50 lb. year.

Then, the weather turned dry. Dry for Southern California, which is very, very dry indeed.

The rats (they’re everywhere in the city – in the trees, in the hedges, in your crawl space. Don’t think you don’t have them because you do), understandably desperate for water, turned to my fava beans.

And destroyed them.

My total yield for the year? 12 lbs. I ate what I had and didn’t share (normally I can, dry, or give away as much as I keep) and was very, very disappointed indeed. I think there weren’t even enough beans left to seed  for next year, so I’m going to have to start fresh in the winter.

At the same time, I planted scarlet runner beans. I’d never planted them before, and they went crazy in my garden. Because I didn’t  trellis them properly (not enough room. The vines supposedly only grow to 6 feet, but mine are closer to 10), they’ve formed a sort of thicket (which is overtaking my garden – I’ve had to get the shears and cut back to save the life of an innocent tomato), and now the beans are getting ready to harvest.

I won’t get 50 lbs, but I’ll probably get 20.

Scarlet Runner Beans

These are the first of the beans. When  I was reaching into the plant to grab the pods,  I found a hummingbird nest – abandoned, as babies and mama have moved on, but still awesome.

I did have someone tell me that beans inhibit the growth of tomato plants, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The tomatoes that are near the bean thicket are growing really quickly and are super healthy.

I have two weeks of work starting the 15th. It’s all the way across town, but it’s work and  I’m incredibly grateful for it.

Filed under: Los Angeles, Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Springtime flowers!

This is, by far, my favorite time of year to ride my bicycle. It’s not horribly hot (yet), the threat of rain has mostly passed, and the city has sprung into bloom.

Although it’s a bit too early in the year for the night-blooming jasmine (something I still really miss about Hollywood. There’s not nearly as much of it on the west side), the honeysuckle is flowering, so the city smells pretty good in places (in other places, not so much), and the hibiscus flowers hide the graffiti-covered walls.

Even my neighbor’s unpruned rose bushes are producing some spectacular flowers, waving in the wind like thorny antennae.

My favorite though, are the Jacaranda trees.

Jacaranda Trees

Most of the year, these trees are only remarkable for the terrible mess they make, but in the spring they’re transformed into Seussian purple clouds that make a very colorful terrible mess.

Sadly, the Jacaranda bloom for a very short time and  it’s just about over, so I’ve been trying to enjoy it while I can.

Untitled

Also, gas is really expensive (for America) and I’m unemployed, so more biking is better.

Filed under: camera, life in LA, Los Angeles, Non-Work, Off-Topic, Photos, , , , , , , , ,

Weed faster!

Pilot season is officially at an end here in Los Angeles, so work’s getting a bit thin again.

I’ve been working on weeding the garden, but clearly I haven’t been weeding quickly enough as an irate garden master confronted me this morning.

I was surveying the broken stalks of my fava beans and wondering if I’d be allowed to set up some sort of squirrel catapult (google it yourselves – I gave up trying to find a video that didn’t have an excessively loud and annoying soundtrack), when the garden master snuck up behind me.

He’s from Russia, so his English isn’t the best but the gist that I got was that I need to get the weeds out of my plot because they ‘make seed’ and it’s ‘no more just this plot’.

I showed him that I’d been working at it and he shrugged and said ‘faster’.

Awesome. So now I’m on notice at the garden and am too broke to pay for help like the lady in the plot next to me has (no, really. She hired a gardener for her garden plot. At first I didn’t get it but now I totally understand).

Guess I know what I’m doing for the next few days.

Also, any tips about how to get rid of squirrels that doesn’t involve poison or a standing army?

 

Filed under: Non-Work, , , , , ,

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