Kali Hermitage

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since Apr 08, 2019
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Unincorporated East Bay Area, CA
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Recent posts by Kali Hermitage

I have searched and searched and not found a single article that addresses this, I can't be the only person in the world with this problem, can I?

I have 3 big, healthy tomatillo plants in a large raised bed together, growing like crazy, covered with flowers and multiple types of bees pollinating them. It has tons of fruit, but all the fruits are small, yellow, and not healthy looking, and many are just dropping to the ground. I've tried calcium thinking it might be the equivalent of blossom end rot, I've tried a small amount of bio-live fertilizer. I don't water them much. Anyone have any idea what's making my tomatillos so unhappy? I thought these things were supposed to be easy like weeds?
3 years ago
I was inspired by this idea a few years ago, and started transforming my empty, dead yard. I recently bought a little greenhouse for my patio and have started tomatoes, tomatillos, several kinds of peppers, broccoli, beets, and lots and lots of greens (which we can grow year round). I have to say though, it's a little scary being surrounded by millions of people who grow nothing. Our goal is to move to a less populated area as soon as possible.


Now if everyone was doing what we are doing, I'd feel differently. One can dream..
My Frederick went from 6" to 10' in one season. It has weathered some slight frost fine. I prune it a lot to keep it under control. The flowers are gorgeous and the fruit really tasty. I am in zone 9-10 though...

3 years ago
There is no difference, some passionflowers have fruit, and some are ornamental (have empty "fruit")

fwiw I have a Frederick

Lovely plant, large, yummy fruit!
3 years ago

Alice Tagloff wrote:http://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/view/?id=3600
Has a 'Richmond’s Pride’, a purple 'tree collard' that grows to 6-10' and 3' wide.

Wow, thanks for this! Annie's is my local nursey. Now I know what to plant in my dedicated greens bed!
3 years ago

Tereza Okava wrote:Kali, my mother was a big fan of Crockett's Victory Garden. She always had a garden, although she usually got distracted from it between all her responsibilities and it didn't yield much. I didn't learn til I was much older that as a girl she pretty much survived on the garden of the neighbor lady who took her in when her own mom split (lots of stuff we didn't talk about in our family when I was little). The garden represented safety.
I also get very emotional thinking about people who come together to grow food when things get tough- I've lived in a few countries where people did this, independently feeling they needed to take responsibility for making change, and I think it represents the force for good that still exists.

Tereza, thank you for this post and your stories. I get emotional over the same things. My mother abandoned me as an infant and my paternal grandparents took me in. Lots of stuff in my family we never talked about either, and never will be spoken of. Also lots of beautiful stories out there of people who cared for others. Sounds like your mother was a lucky woman in that sense.
3 years ago
I read an article this morning that basically explains why I named my little patch of urban/suburban dirt "War Garden Farm"


"What we need is radical conservation now. In the World War II mobilization, broad swathes of society accepted the need for considerable lifestyle changes. We don’t have that level of urgency."

I was raised by grandparents, who were adults and extremely poor during the great depression and during WWII. I grew up with their stories. I believe we can make the world a better place, we can address widespread pollution, soil depletion, decreasing biodiversity, and have a world where everyone can live simply and happily. But we all need to do our part. Although WWII was horrible in many ways, the way that many families around the country responded was beautiful. I think we need to do something similar not just for our physical health, but our mental health as well.
3 years ago

Mandy Launchbury-Rainey wrote:I would just like hot water and a shower this year.  I have given up hoping for a kitchen, to see my family or that my poor old dog will start behaving herself.  Being clean and being able to wash up indoors are my two main ambitions now.

Hi Mandy, I have to admit that yesterday I was so depressed that all I could do was be thankful for my hot shower. I am an orphan, thankfully very happily married, but we are both only children and have no children. My husband had an ideal childhood, but his mother died 15 years ago, and he has a very distant and strained relationship with his dad. We have no family to spend holidays with, his father spends his with his girlfriend and we are not invited. I never had problems with holidays from my 20s into my 40s, I was tough and driven and just too punk rock for that ;) But now that I am nearly 50, and my father was found on the streets of LA after being missing for more than 20 years, then died in 2018, and something in me has changed. This is it? In just about every way I should be happier than I have ever been after such a traumatic life of abandonment, abuse, homelessness, seeing things no one should have to see and experience. But I've always been ok, became "successful", and for what?

So, a hot shower, a clean and warm bed to sleep in, my dog to cuddle, a tiny backyard to dig in the dirt. I try to be extremely thankful for that and make it through another day. Maybe it's menopause, maybe just being closer to death than birth, or just being lonely (while being surrounded by people all day every day...), I'm not sure. But I hope you get your hot shower.
3 years ago

leila hamaya wrote:
i have been following a bit about this stuff...and looked into the USDA programs and what might be coming from all this stuff --->



Hi Liela, thanks for those resources. I also recently found out about a program that pays for you to not farm land (but restore it to native habitat) I thought that could be an interesting idea for us older people.

I think one of our biggest problems is how we now view land or property, it's no longer something to tend to and care for and pass down for the future generations, but an "investment" for individuals. I'm a firm believer in private property on a scale that people or communities can care for, not a fan of a small minority hoarding it all for themselves. I also get quite frustrated with older folks I see selling off property to the highest bidder, which inevitably leads to development, then they complain about how all the land is being developed. Well we can't have it both ways! If you want to get rich off your property then you'll most likely not be selling it to people who will maintain it. I hear a lot of this is going on in some farming areas near small towns and universities, land is being bought up and developed by foreign investment, driving up prices above what regular people can buy (I know it's driving property out of our price range in the area we are looking).

I guess we all need to change our priorities from the right now to caring about the future. I'm not all that hopeful we will.
3 years ago
This is so sad, and I don't know the answer! My husband and I are nearly 50, with no kids, and want to retire on property. I'm constantly thinking about how to do it without kids. Is there an organization out there that connects young people who want to farm/work the land with older people who want to find someone to pass their resources down to? Maybe this is something that is needed?

I know my friend, who is 85, managed to find a family to buy her 200 acres for a very cheap price so she could live there until her death and they could farm it (her husband died 10 years ago), I would think a way to connect people to take over these properties would be a good thing. It seems like we are more connected than ever technologically, but we can't seem to connect in any meaningful way.
3 years ago