a summer salon at fairy-tale farm

the chickens roam the farm

Just inside the gate at Fairy-Tale Farm last night, the first summertime salon was commencing,

summertime salon at Fairy-Tale Farm

with beautiful glass jewelry and buttons,

beautiful glass jewelry at the Summertime Salon

treats and a bright, slightly herbal punch,

cupcakes, -ade, treats

and jams and produce for the urban farm market part of the event—all in keeping with the organizers’ wishes: “Our intention is to grow a farmer’s market for the DIY community who doesn’t make enough to sell at the Farmer’s Market.”

jams and produce

Karsten showed my wonderful friend Margaret and me the rest of Fairy-Tale Farm,

Fairy-tale Farm

and as we were about to venture beyond the fruit trees and the hives,

fruited trees and bees

Karsten’s lovely wife Debbie, wearing a dress I covet, serenaded us and asked that he let the chickens out,

Karsten's wife (she is serenading us)

and so Karsten did, explaining about the laying cycles of late in this coop, fronted with a repurposed circus board,

more on the chickens

as the ladies went scurrying into the yard,

the chickens are out!

and gently, he lifted one who likes to stay in the coop out.

this lady likes to stay in the coop

There were a few new beautiful blue eggs,

fresh eggs on Fairy-Tale Farm

and more of the farm to see—some new things growing where tables for underground dinners used to be set up,

more of Fairy-Tale Farm

and you will find you are surrounded by circles, the most special being the circular area in the center of the garden, just large enough for one table (what you can’t see in the photo are the girls sitting in that circle, perhaps holding forth in their own club, surrounded by string runners for peas and tall, swaying plants).

it's a farm of circles (and there's a circular center to the gardens)

Heading back to the salon behind these two noted open source software advocates, I noticed the table set up for collage work with seats of orange pillows on hay,

chickens roaming the farm

and smiled at these two in the foreground, clearly intrigued by something (capturing a chicken?) off to the right as the food table busied,

everyone in different directions (what I love is that these two kids were definitely discovering something to the right)

laden with cauliflower of a Madhur Jaffrey recipe to go with basmati rice,

cauliflower recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's Climbing the Mango Trees

near pan bread with lemon cheese and apricot chutney, two sizes of biscuits, butter, and jam.

salad and pan bread with lemon cheese and apricot chutney and biscuits and jam

Margaret and I agreed that the biscuits were made with a great starter (Margaret has expertise on biscuits and the deep level of commitment it takes to start and build communities, the same way bread requires proofing),

biscuits and jam (the biscuits had a great starter)

and the maker of the excellent jams encouraged sampling,

sampling very good jam (the maker is on the right)

as someone left, smiling, with his arms full of basil,

Margaret, Karsten, others at the farm

and the grower of the basil, her hands full of sweet peas,

hands full of sweet peas

let me try one of her alpine strawberries (these are also known as fraises des bois and they are magic).

alpine strawberries (fraises des bois) hiding in a basket

Margaret and I found a little bench tucked away behind the collage table to catch up from our travels,

tucked away on a little bench

and as we left this wonderful place full of the sort of people that make Santa Cruz exactly where I want to be this summer, a maker of pastel marshmallows appeared,

the arrival of the marshmallows

reminding me of the colored marshmallows at the markets in Nice last week (more on those adventures tomorrow) and of how makers and markets all over love to share why they make what they make…

Update: July 2, 2010: Karsten posted on the urban market, explaining the concept and detailing the makers and musicians who came with clear passion. He also said some really nice things about this post (thanks, Karsten!) For more on Fairy-Tale Farm, follow their site.

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