This morning, Justine and I decided to find her farm, which turned out to be disappointingly easy given that Carpenter has published the address on her blog. We love us a good sleuthing mission and this did not test our well-honed skills. We could tell you stories . . .
The place was literally just off a monster freeway. Not a great neighborhood, lots of boarded up windows and stray shopping carts. But not entirely awful. There were families around doing ordinary Sunday things, like walking home from church and washing the car. No sign of Carpenter. It felt wrong to just barge into someone else's garden, but the gate was open and bore a welcome sign, so we did.
It was a mess -- but wonderful. I think my lame photo up top just captures the mess. You have to trust me, the ramshackle, pell-mell abundance was beautiful to behold, with peach and avocado trees and scarlet runner beans and trees full of figs and unripe apples all higgledy piggledy with tomatoes and chard and zucchini and artichokes. We also saw one chicken and a few cages of bunnies.
And, of course, there were bee hives. I have to say, Carpenter's bees seemed a little lethargic compared to mine. I wonder if the one of the hives is defunct.
I absolutely love this kind of place, always have, and don't know precisely why. I can't say my reasons are purely noble; they're not grounded in concerns about sustainability or protesting Nabisco or anything high-minded like that. Or at least not completely. It just makes me so incredibly happy when I see a much-loved, food-growing garden, especially one with animals. That this one sits in the middle of a gritty neighborhood makes it all the more magical.