Plants 365, week 46, 47, 48, 49

Week 46 + 47 + 48 +49! #fall

New to this page or missed some of Plants 365 and want to catch up? I recommend starting from the beginning with week 1.

Hi! I’m Jenn – botanist, CEO, potty mouth.

This is my “plant diary”, where every day for the entire year I will log my experience with plants. I’m not sure what that’s actually going to look like, but it doesn’t really matter – I just want to talk plants.

But first, here’s a little context about me: I fucking love Champagne. I don’t really like reading fiction but can digest it in the podcast form. I listen, read and observe a lot. I happily overeat carbs. I call myself a botanist because I have been a professional (as in, I pay my bills by) horticulturist for the past 15 years. The past 4+ years I have been researching plants with indigenous Mayan and Garifuna cultures in Belize – mostly focusing on organically farmed Cacao theobroma and jungle-grown Yam root. This means lots of time spent working on family farms, lots of jungle hikes, lots of eating weird things and even a bot fly in the arm (I dare you to google bot fly). Vanilla planifolia and Crocus sativus are my jam right now. My hands-on background is florals, farming, herbalism, horticulture and jungle growth. I’ve dabbled in greenhouse growing (3 years in community college, greenhouse management degree), grafting and stone work. I’d like to practice bonsai more. I’m terrible at grammar. I love holistic approaches, but loathe buzzwords and “internet experts”. I could spend less money on crystals. I should do more yoga. I am meditating more. I get angry at Terry Gross, but then fall back in love each week. Reality TV shows are a must. Woodford on the rocks with a twist and a cherry. Hip hop keeps me human. Kale is king.

Why write this? Because I want to remember and reflect on the time I spend with plants.

Ok. Here we go.

Thursday, November 19th, 2015 – HMB

Well, holiday is going well… people are loving seeing me as Clark Griswold hanging lights and garland on the shop windows.

I feel like Fall has been rushed a bit this year… Maybe it is every year, but since I’m in hmb it doesn’t feel that way. With pumpkins being such a huge emphasis in this one-horse-town, Fall officially comes in September. But this year, December is coming quick and I’m not sure I’m ready for it… Maybe if I just string up more lights….

Friday, November 20th, 2015 – HMB

I found a quote today that spoke of “being grateful for the flame on which to cook”, which I just adore. How nice to think of the small things that support us without asking for anything in return…

Saturday, November 21st, 2015 – HMB

This has been a busy and stressful month. I’m trying to acknowledge the amount of pressure I am putting myself under today, while going for a little jog. The jog is not helping…

I want so badly to reach more people, offering my products and plant services. I want to talk about plants with everyone – but not in the main stream ways I see out there now (at least not the ways in which you seemingly garner a lot of attention). I want to talk of ceremony, ritual, healing, wild, energetic plants that we walk past every day but pay no attention to. I want to talk about how we are mostly distracted, numb and forgetting how to feel good… And how plants can help.

Money’s involved. Time is involved. Blind faith and extraordinary effort is involved. Which was all fine, except for I’m not 18 anymore 

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 – HMB

Presenting my final business plan to Lloyd today. TBD.

Monday, November 23rd, 2015 – HMB

Today we are back at the cliff… Staking, mounding, planting manzanita. I feel like manzanita is always a good idea.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 – HMB

Pre- thanksgiving running around and checking on plants at various jobs. Secretly, it’s my favorite thing to do. I don’t charge anything and it takes time, costing me money. But I love doing a little walk through and tidying what needs tidying before a holiday. It’s nice to work solely on what you feel like doing, and no money or expectations are involved.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 – HMB

Baking delicata squash, yams, red potatoes, sweet potatoes and acorn squash today, in prep for tomorrow’s meal.

We are in Fall, right?!

I’m going big into root crops this year… 

Thursday, November 26th, 2015 – HMB

Sharing Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Oysters. Turkey. Champagne.

Cards Against Humanity and a ton of weed and whiskey.

Friday, November 27th, 2015 – HMB

I worked a bit on this sunny, but cold Black Friday. But then raced home for the last bag of oysters and last bottle of champagne th Matt. We sat in the garden and listened to a podcast.

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 – HMB

The Brugsmansia is starting to look how it looked in January, last year. Dry from the cold…

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 – HMB

We are bringing in the blue pine tree from the garden, our Christmas tree from last year. The one from the year before is still sitting in its pot in the garden, and I feel a little bad for him. Matt says he’s too prickly, but I love the color and span of branches. I’ll repot and fertilize him so maybe next year we can do a swap and let the blue pine sit out a year. Two living Christmas trees is perfect for holiday succession.

Monday, November 30th, 2015 – HMB

Today I had phone calls with my nutritionist, attorney, therapist and multiple clients. Wow. It really takes a team, doesn’t it?

hug your local business owner/human.

The Brugmansia is perking up a bit and giving a last show of flowers for the year.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 – HMB

Today we made succulent letters, pretty much all day long. I have a sneaking suspicion that when completely calculated, this makes us zero money.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 – HMB, SF

Thus morning was a fun one. I needed a day like today…

I woke up at 2:45am to get ready to take the shop girls to the SF flower mart. With tea in their hands, they arrived on time and we all piled in my truck for the sleepy trip to the city. It was their first time seeing the market and they loved it. We picked out Manzanita, Palm seed pods, Roses, wreaths made of Pine, Euc, Oak and Fir. We chatted with the venders I’ve worked with since I used to come in my pajamas when I was 14 years old.

On our drive home I brought them to the best donut place in Pacifica (I didn’t have one since it wasn’t Saturday. The struggle was real.). The owner had crafted a huge Christmas tree made entirely of donuts. We were deliriously tired and excited about seeing the donut tree… Lots of selfies happened.

Once back in town, I dropped the girl’s off and headed to the shop where I met Erica and Juan Carlos, who helped be clean and reorganize the shop.

Three and a half hours later, when that was done, I met the ladies from Gardenista, who preceded to do a fabulous photo shoot and interview.

I love when people say, “I never see you working in the shop”. Nope you don’t. I’m sorry my 12-16 hour work day isn’t televised for you.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 – HMB

The shop is so lovely from all our efforts yesterday. It’s positively dripping with garland, mistletoe and holiday goodies. I brought my oil diffuser from my house today and filled the small resevoir with water and a tablespoon of Vietnemese Cinnamon, for burning. It smells lovely!

Other then Belizean Cinnamon, Vietnemese Cinnamon is the best!

Friday, December 4th, 2015 – HMB

I planted variegated scented Geranium in the woolly pockets at the shop a few months ago, and they are totally popping now. Scented Gerainium is such a summer plant in my mind, I would have never thought about planting it during holiday.

Saturday, December 5th, 2015 – HMB, San Mateo

My farmers market trip to CSM was a huge success. I love all the amazing food and growers we have in CA!

Here’s what I got:

  • Mellow Yellow fresh cheese curds
  • Kale, Swish Chard, Onions from the Andreiotti’s
  • Spinach
  • Dried peaches and raisins
  • Pate from the French dude
  • Unsweetened granola from the granola dude
  • UNsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
  • Epi baguette, slice of chocolate and slice of almond cake
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Buddha hand Lemon
  • Dried white and red beans from Ilocopi
  • Leeks
  • 100% Cacao chips

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 – HMB, Pescadero

A trip to Pescadero and our favorite local haunte, Duarte’s.

Artichoke soup, salad, homemade (knock you on your ass) eggnog.

Monday, December 7th, 2015 – HMB

Today was spent wrestling with contractors at a on site in HMB. Why are contractors so incredibly inconsiderate and ridiculous?

In any event, the job is turning out lovely…

Stipa ichu, Manzanita, Lavender ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Grosso’, Miscanthus, Carex, Oregano, Mint, Agave attenuate, Dudleya, ‘Sonoma Coast’ Yarrow, and so forth.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 – HMB

Wow. These contractors are supremely dumb.

We are planting in a location that before was farmed, so the soil is impeccable. Rich, dark and fully of worms. In certain spots I can still smell a trace amount of tractor grease, which just brings up some of the best memories I have.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 – HMB

Sucuumbing to the planting of white cyclamen. What can I say, they work! I love and hate these plants…

Thursday, December 10th, 2015 – HMB

I wonder how many plants I would have if all the plants I ever found, bought and was given, lived. If I had a huge plot somewhere where they could grow, I wonder how many I’d have. I can’t even begin to count…

Plants 365

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