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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

And the heat’s on

For the past couple of weeks, it’s been cool and overcast in LA, which is always something I enjoy knowing that once it really gets hot I’m going to broil straight through until Thanksgiving.

Each day that I’m not sweating profusely is a meteorological special happy place.

Since I haven’t worked so far this week, I’ve been out on the bike every day enjoying the mist and the cool air (and not using overpriced gasoline, which is always good).

Well, that’s going away now. The cool days are becoming fewer, the hot days are becoming more frequent and the news is predicting record heat over the weekend (and issuing warnings about heat stroke and general sweatiness). It’s easily 20 degrees warmer today than it was yesterday and going to get even hotter, which I’m predicting my tomatoes will not like one little bit.

I’ve already lost two to my garden’s soil borne tomato wilt (also known as “creeping crud”, “icky” and “goddammit”) – one of the two Marvel Stripe plants I had and sadly, my only Jetsetter (the perfect food porn tomato – perfectly round, perfectly red, perfectly tomato-y, perfectly hard to find. Oh, well. Maybe next year), and I’m desperately hoping the extreme temperature shift won’t finish off the rest of them.

I’m also not sure if I should call the diet a success or failure so far. I’ve only lost 5 lbs (target was 10), but my body fat percentage has gone from 26% to 22%.

I don’t think that muscle weight is any better for my knees than fat weight, so I may have to re-think my strategy of hell-bent weightlifting until I can grate cheese on my abs.

Guess I’ll sweat some of it off this weekend by just going outside.  Although if bits of Southern California keep catching fire I may have to stay indoors.

Filed under: life in LA, Non-Work, , , , ,

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