Out in the hills on a bike ride today I immediately realize my error in not packing along a couple of plastic bags as I roamed fifty-plus mile into West Marin’s farmland and ranches being sold to create subdivisions (mansions only). Two places for sale, the Borello ranch (670 acres or so) and some other one, 1000 acres. Longtime residents are cashing out.
The 800 acre beauty, the one on Wilson Hill has been developed into a wine yard, sadly. The colored vines arrayed along the road and up the hill mean “there goes the neighborhood”.
Out with the unpainted barn, the cowshit-smeared road (how I miss it, I do, I do!)
the roses on the fence and the laundry on the line. In with the wine. The olives. The car collections.
I drink wine.
I like local products.
The first find, at the corner of Creek Rd and ooh I can’ tell you, was the first feijoa of fall.
Er, ‘autumn’ .
Mark Fitz sez his wife, downhill champ Marla Streb, refuses to utter the word ‘fall’ because it’s bad ju-ju.
I stuffed about two dozen nice big fat “Martian lemons” in my jersey, and found a bag to put them in further up the street, stashed the full bag deep in the brambles in the next block. Over 50 miles fruit–any kind–in your back pocket will become salty, gooey compost.
Head out west to the farmlands and soon-to-be patchwork of palaces on 10 acre plots. Daydream about how very similar this all seems to 1981, the year I dove into racing, time trialled up that road (permanently earning the opprobrium of the Boys Of Summer, thanks to my sketchy judgement in the s-turn section) and really, it’s not all that different except traffic is way up, maybe five fold since 25 years ago.
Around the dam-side of the Nicasio reservoir there is a roadside ditch that always has watercress. In recent years the ditch has been eradicated, save near the Tocaloma Bridge, and there I threw down my bike (sorry, carefully laid ‘er down on the non-derailleur side).
Tip toed into the mire, and pulled out two handfuls of the fresh stems and leaves.
It’s an easy-to-pick-herb, nothing stringy or tough about it. But because of its need to have wet feet it’ wouldn’t be easy to cultivate.
Making it all the more Desirable to have on the dinner table.