Monday, November 21, 2011


It's been raining in LA.  My backyard, which is one big hill, is very excited about the rain and has made good use of the nourishment.  When it rains, the hill comes alive with the sound of music.  Except instead of music, it's mushrooms.  My hill is aliiive...with the many fun-gi...

This causes...death, I believe.

And here, the ground grows...death.
So, this is causes death, yes?

The other thing that happens when it rains is WEEEEDS.  Weeds so thick and green it's like someone laid a Celtic carpet on my yard.  They're growing in the front yard too, which has been a real enhancement to the curb appeal of the house:

Doesn't this sort of look like I'm growing herbs among the rocks?
Let's pretend that this is my delightful urban lettuce garden!

Unless I plan on making lots of death-mushroom and herb-weed salads, I need to call my gardener. Soon.

And remember these three plants?

These three mystery plants have continued to grow.  They are so heavy with their fruit that they are starting to lean over, like the plant on the left.  Their stalks are unbelievably thick now-- my entire finger disappears around the back of one stalk!

Myriam figured out what these are-- these are amaranth plants.  What?  Yes.  Amaranth, a plant with both a noble Aztec history and a fraternal Masonic Order named after it.  A plant whose crop is recommended for use in gluten-free recipes; a plant whose product you can buy from Bob's Red Mill.  I  had always planned to uproot these at some point, because I didn't plant them-- they just started growing like crazy out of nowhere when I moved in and began watering this planter box.  Recently, the little green fuzzy grape nut clusters that they produce had started to turn color, and I thought-- oh, that must mean they're going bad, so I'll take them out soon.

But no-- if the amaranth theory is correct, I think the change in color means the grain may be ready to harvest?

My amaranth
Amaranth on the internets

So, I'm going to leave them in for now.  What if I set up a deal with a local health foods store to supply them with 100% organic, seasonal, hyper-local amaranth grain?!  That is, assuming I figure out how to harvest whatever seed or grain is in those fuzzy grape nut clusters.  I've always intended to have a garden at some point!  The amaranth plants were just a little bit ahead of me on that front.

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