vacation day 1: neighborhood foraging

i am on day one of a week-long vacation from work.  or rather, a stay-cation, as i like to call it.  we’ve had some recent changes at work (the ruckus society), and when i go back to the office december 1st, i will officially be the new “managing director”.  so i’m taking this week off not only for the rest (yay), but also to intentionally transition out of my old role and into the new role.  i’m planning a cleanse for mon-fri just to bring that transition concept home for me, in mind and body.

so today was day one of vacation (but not starting cleanse until monday).  i started by making waffles, one of my favorite breakfast meals (and i’m definitely one of those breakfast-anytime types).  jess came home from her overnight shift with a bag full of plant cuttings she liberated from sidewalks and yards on her bike ride home from work, and that kind of gave us our direction for the day.  after she gave the cuttings some new homes, we decided to go for a walk and check out what our own neighborhood had to offer.

i used to love going for walks, and realized i haven’t really done that in years now, so it was nice to get out, especially since we haven’t done much exploring of our neighborhood since we moved in in october.  based on the results of a heated discussion at a neighborhood potluck we went to that some friends hosted awhile ago, we thought our neighborhood was clinton park (oakland), but upon closer examination of this map i guess we’re technically “ivy hill”, part of the “san antonio district”. it’s also now known as “eastlake”, but we’re told that’s the developers’/gentrified name (i’ll save the topic of gentrification for some later post…).

map of ivy hill

map of ivy hill

so anyway, we walked around the neighborhood, jess foraging for plants and herbs, while i carried the growing bag of plant cuttings, and took some photos.

we found a bunch of houses that were using their small city plots to grow food in their front yards, which was exciting – it’s definitely on our list of things to plan out for our sad little dirt-packed back “yard” at our apartment.  and it sounds like we may be part of starting a community garden in our friends’ backyard just 2 blocks away.  hooray!

front yard edible garden

front yard edible garden

we also passed by an awesome weeping willow (at least i think so??) which reminded me of a tree from my minnesota neighborhood when i was little.  i used to ride my bike around our big block to visit that huge tree.  i just love the dangling branches and leaves like a canopy, and always wished we had one in our yard.

weeping willow

weeping willow


all in all, we ended up with rosemary, fennel, mint, nosturtiums, succulents, sweet grass, a few ferns, some plants whose names we’ll have to look up, AND a few free books and a bunch of silverware which we found sitting out on the sidewalk, which just added to the scavenger hunt feel of the whole thing.  we’re suckers for free books.

we then spent the rest of the afternoon burying their little roots in new soil, and re-potting all of our old plants which were all in a pretty sad state for having neglected them in awhile, distracted by our move and whatever else.  at the end of the day we had a house full of happy plants and herbs, old and new alike.


(yes, we paid for these)

(yes, we paid for these)


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