Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

February 28, 2009

Master Gardener Update

Knocked off another week of the Master Gardener course last week. As I mentioned earlier the Wednesday class was on Turfgrass so...nothing too exciting there. But Fridays class was on Vegatable so I was pretty excited. Unfortunately the class was a little dry for what I was hoping for. It was good mind you, but Veggies are my thing so I was hoping for a little more.

I did get a pretty cool bit of news though. It seems that although we've just passed the halfway point in the class, I may have already booked my first official Master Gardener "gig". A very nice woman who, I'm sorry to say I cannot remember the name of, dropped by the class Friday looking for me. coincidentally she ended up asking my wife who was saving me a seat. As I understand it, she had talked to the Instructor about getting a Master Gardener lined up to teach a class in April; just a week after the end of our class. The group requesting the class wants to focus on vegetable gardening and doing it organically. He suggested she talk to me and I, being the gabby gus that I am, of course said I'd be happy to.

In fact, that was one of my greater goals with taking this class to begin with. To be able to better enable myself to help others learn about growing food and plants and maybe to inspire some to do it organically. I foresee a large number of requests this year for instruction in the art of home food production. The fields, so to speak, are fertile for sowing this way of thinking.

Do you share what you know? I know from the emails and comments that I get that there's a wealth of knowledge out there amongst my readers so I wonder if any of you have had opportunities to help in your communities to pass it on? If you haven't, keep your ears open, they're bound to start showing up.

All the best to you all.

February 27, 2009

A loss today.

We had a loss on the farm today. Strangely, I can't really say what the problem was.

It was one of our brown leghorns. You may find it odd that even in a home with three kids, our chickens have no names. They're all called chicken and that's pretty much it. Maybe brown chicken or white chicken but that's about as creative as we get.

But that doesn't mean that they're any less cared for. I try to do everything I can for the most part to make sure the girls are healthy so this surprises me. I didn't notice any lethargy before hand and she wasn't all pecked at indicating that she was beaten up by the others. I found her this morning laying in the nesting box. She was still breathing but very shallowly. I picked her up intending to take her into the garage to find a warmer place to put her hoping to give her a little extra attention and bring her around. She didn't even make it to the garage and passed in my arms.

It's a sad loss, but we'll live. The boys asked what happened and I told them I wasn't sure but that it is how life works. They accepted that and didn't miss a beat. Any suggestions you all? perhaps a late cold snap? It didn't seem that cold though. Perhaps she just got sick?

On another note, tomorrows Master Gardener class is all on Vegetables!! That should be a good one...at least I hope so!
till tomorrow!

February 25, 2009

That blasted turfgrass!!

Today's Master Gardener class was on turf grass, that's lawn to you and me, and it confirmed my fears. I have yet another project on the horizon and it's not one that my back is gonna like. You see, we have really nice gardens around our back yard. Beans grow tall into the air, tomatoes ripen into blushing beauties and herbs and flowers adorn the empty spaces. Our lawn on the other hand is abysmal!

Our Master Gardener instructor made a great joke a while back during our "soils" class, that here in Utah we "grow a lot of basements". It's true too! It's the rare home here that doesn't have at least a half basement, and even rarer still that a newer home like ours not have a full one. So...what does that have to do with crappy lawns? Well when they dig out the basements, all that subsoil (subsoil being the nearly inert, lifeless soil that lies beneath the life giving topsoil.) that was in the whole gets spread out all over the yard before the new owners close on the home and that's what you get to work with! Oh don't worry about all the top soil that WAS in the yard before the building process starts, it doesn't get wasted by burying it under all that subsoil. Oh no, long before they subdivide and put in roads and utilities they scrap off and sell all the top soil to guys like me who bought a house with nothing but friggin' clayey subsoil.

Ok ok, no complaining...Doesn't do any good anyway right? The point of the whole darn rant is this. I promised A~ I'd spend some time getting our back lawn in order this year and I've determined what I need to do. Till. Over the years that we've been here, I've aerated every year, tried metering my irrigation to allow it to soak better, applied organic urea fertilizers but nothing does a thing. The ground's just too hard from the compaction of the clay heavy sub-soil. What I'll be doing this year is to lightly till in a copious amount of compost to the ground and then over seed the whole thing.

I know I'm gonna get people thinking why not "liberate" my lawn and just garden the whole thing? I am...slowly. The thing is I have a family, kids and all. It'd be incredibly selfish of me to just want to garden the whole thing with no regard to them. Perhaps one day, but not now.

So, add to the list "re-do entire back yard lawn" somewhere between "expand garden beds to front parking area" and "build solar greenhouse". Oh, my...I better get exercising, I'm gonna need it!

Till next time.

A change in commute

As A~ and I (A~, that's my wife, in case your a relatively new reader.) made our decision years ago to live a little differently from everyone else around us we had to make some serious decisions. I guess to be fair we didn't really decide to "live differently" from our neighbors, that was just the end effect of our actual decision which was to live on one income so that she could raise our children. Anyway, as I was saying, we had to make some choices that it seems many others didn't have to make. For instance, driving around in a $2000.00, 1989 Toyota Camry for nearly 7 years until at 199,400+ miles it decided to crap out on me this past Friday.Now, to be fair to the car, it's been a really really good car. The only work it's needed in those 7 years has been an alternator, a belt and some oil changes. As for the "crapping out on me...", I think it's probably just the thermostat that froze up.

So then, back to making decisions. One of the lessons that we've learned, and if I can pass anything on to anyone it's this, is to not just deal with what's happening today but at what may happen tomorrow as well. It was in that mode of thinking that A~ and I decided that this spring it was a good time to make some changes in my commuting to work routine. The timing couldn't have been better. We planned either this weekend or next to head out and pick up my new commuter vehicle. It ended up being this weeked.And here it is... well, here THEY are. It's still flippin freezing here in Utah and as I think you can tell from the picture we're still getting snow days, so in the short-term I'll be driving the truck to work. I only have a 5.5 mi commute so it's not too bad, either for my pocketbook or the environment, but as least it'll only be short-term.

Here's another shot of the new scooter. I have to say it's even more fun to drive than I thought it would be.I filled it up after picking it up this weekend and it set me back a whole $1.92 to top off the massive 1.59 gallon tank which should take me in the neighborhood of 140 miles. The plan for at least the next year is this. I'll drive the scooter for probably 7 months out of the year and the other 5 I'll drive the truck. We're budgeting 20/month for my gas whether I'm driving the scooter or the truck. The logic is that the two will balance each other out over the course of the year.

As for the Toyota, it's fate is still up in the air. This is the perfect time for it to crap out on me, as it is just coming up for inspection and registration. for now, it'll stay in the garage for a bit, but soon it'll start getting worked on. I have a nearly fourteen yr old that thinks he's gonna be 16 sooner than the laws of time will allow. He and I will work a little on it here and there if I can determine that it's repairable and it should be ready to go by the time he is. That's just another part of thinking ahead. Like I was saying, that's one of the best tips to living frugally that I could ever pass on.

All the best to you all.

February 24, 2009

Overhauling the Dow Jones

I read today about a debate that’s been going on about whether or not the Dow Jones Industrial average should be overhauled to show a more “accurate” picture of the nation’s economy. As far as I can tell, the argument is that since the long established names like GE, GM and Alcoa are all having such a miserable time, the analysts feel as though they may no longer be good indicators of the market as a whole. This may in fact be the case or it may not be, but either way it leads me to think. Is this a “slippery slope”?

One of the reasons that we establish indexes in the first place is so that we have a free-standing measure to gauge things by. The companies that are a part of the DOW are companies that, when you really think about it, represent a broad sector of the greater economy. For instance, in addition to the aforementioned three which are in the electronics, automotive and Aluminum fields, there are banks like B-of-A and Citigroup, the oil and gas companies Chevron and Exxon, technology companies like Microsoft and Intel and miscellaneous food, entertainment and retail companies like Kraft, Disney and Wal-Mart. (You can find the entire listing here). So you can see it pretty much covers all the big components of our economic picture. So here’s the 10 million dollar question (Read: 800 billion dollar question.) Is the Dow outdated, or are we really just that bad off right now?

I submit that I think it's no more logical to “overhaul”, “revamp” or “update” the Dow Jones Industrial average than it is for one of my kids teachers decide to re-define course requirements because too many of the students are failing. (This is something I’ve seen as a matter of fact and thought to be incredibly shortsighted.) The poor performance, whether it is students or economic entities, is not due to the measure being used it is due to some systemic problem that has revealed itself by way of that measure. The grades and the stock ticker numbers are only indices. They don’t make the problem, they only report it. To take away or change the method that the index is pulled from immediately weakens the entire process. How are we supposed to have confidence that the market is really getting better in the future if we know that when it got really bad the powers that be decided to “tweak” the numbers. Who’s to say that in another ten years Google (which is one of the companies being tossed around as a new member of the index) won’t be defunct and irrelevant?

Now I’m no great economic thinker mind you; in fact I’m novice at best. The thing that gets me so spun up about this stuff is that we seem to be continually moving in this direction and with so many things. I don’t know where it can lead us but to ruin. The facts as I see them are irrefutable and constant. We can’t have a gain without a loss like we can’t have light without dark; the higher the gain, the greater the equivalent loss. If you look at the history of our money with respect to the Dow Jones you’ll see something interesting. For the 39 yr period from Jan. 1930 thru Jan. 1969 the Dow rose from 286 to 935, a gain of over 300%. Great right? Now look at the period from Jan. 1969 to Jan. 2007. In that period the Dow soared from that 935 number to 12,354, a gain of over 1300%! How? Did we suddenly have more money? Did we enter a golden age of phenomenal wealth building? Well yeah, kind of, we changed the way we counted our money in 1971 when we completely pulled it off the gold standard. Once that pesky physical limitation was lifted we were only dealing with numbers. Credit use soared, personal savings dwindled and the market went through the roof.

Unfortunately for us, I think we're in the hangover phase right now. The Dow has dropped something like 49% from October 2007. That's 3% per month. So should we change the way we measure it? No, I don't think so. What I do think may be good for us is to really take a hard look at the decisions we make, how we save our money and how we spend it. The Dow is just one of our indicators. It doesn't need to be changed with breezes it just needs to be seen for what it is. Our economy is not healthy right now and there's no reason to change things just to make us feel better, or worse yet to make us complacent enough so that we go out and spend again.

That's about all I have to say on the matter before I start rambling so I'll check out now. Hope you all have a great day tomorrow.

February 23, 2009

First try at propagation

I guess you could say that the title says it all huh? I tried my hand at both softwood and hardwood propagation this weekend.

Propagation from softwood cuttings is the re-generation, or more to the point the re-creation of a plant from new growth cuttings that were still actively growing when they were cut. The cuttings from my moms Meyer lemon tree were the subject of this first try. The planting medium that I put them in is a 50/50 mix of some vermiculite and peat that I had on hand (It's considered a soil-less planting medium.) that had been completely dampened and them had the excess squeezed out.The first thing that I did was to strip all the lower leaves from the cuttings that I had other than the top two leaves just where the piece was growing. Then, I made cuts to the stems just about 1/8 inch below a leaf node leaving a section that was about 4-5 inches long. That reminds me, did I show you my Valentines gift from the greatest wife ever? Check it out, pruning shears that actually cut!Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, so I made a cut to the stem just below the nodes. Then I dipped the stem piece into some rooting hormone powder and inserted them into the planter. The label on the hormones says that I should see roots appear within 4-8 weeks.
The other kind of propagating that I tried this weekend was on hardwood cuttings. These were from her pomegranate tree. I figure that since pomegranates grow naturally in very arid areas of the world, like the mid-east, that they should do wonderfully here in the arid Utah weather as long as I can keep them warm through the winter.

I treated these cuttings exactly the same way, with the exception of removing leaves. Since these trees had been pruned earlier this winter by my mom, they were just now starting to bud out. All I did was to trim them down to about 12 inches in length by again cutting just below a leaf node. I also dipped these into the rooting hormone and put them into the same type of soil-less growing medium.The last step was to place them in a warm spot. (enter the top of the fridge again) and to cover them to keep the humidity in. For this an old plastic grocery bag was called into service.

For those curious about why I made the cuts just below the leaf nodes here's why. The leaf nodes are essentially places where the plants cells that are able to create new growth have congregated. Under normal conditions, these cells are programmed to create leaves. When the rooting hormone is applied, it tells these cells to change their plan and to grow into roots. Some plants, like willows for instance, naturally have these chemicals in them and can easily propagate. (stick a cutting from your willow tree into the ground if you don't believe me...) Others, like these plants, need to be told what to do.

Hmm... I guess some of that Master Gardener course is rubbing off. I'll let you know how these test plant turn out as time moves along.
Thanks for dropping in, catch you tomorrow!

February 21, 2009

Back from Cali

And oh what a trip! Not only did I miss a nasty spell of cold weather and snow, but I got to see my family, play with my niece and nephew and meet the newest little niece of mine who was just too darn cute. And even with all that, there was more. You ready?

Well some of you, probably a lot, are familiar with the Dervaes family of Path to Freedom.com, FreedomGardens.com & Little Homestead in the city. If you're not, then shame shame...get over there and check them out they're really raising the bar for what is possible in the urban homesteading and urban farming movement. Anyway, if you've been checking in lately to their blog, you may have seen the post the other day about their Saturday Social where they had a particular Freedom Gardener guest from Utah...can you guess who it could have been???

Yep, you got me, it was me! I was so pleased that they invited me out to enjoy some great food, fellowship and music with them at their home. I had an opportunity to catch a showing of their latest video production "Homegrown Revolution" that was recently screened at the Wild and Scenic Environmental film festival and it was really good. I got to meet other freedom gardeners and get to know them and their point of views but best of all, I had a chance to sit down with Farmer D, the founder of the whole path to freedom project and really get to know him a bit. What a very cool and focused person!

I also was able to bring back some cuttings from a few very cool plants that I want to try out in the greenhouse over winter if I can get them to propagate for me. One is from moms Lemon tree.. I think it's a Meyer, but regardless it's delicious and has very strong genes from what I can tell.Another is from a plumeria. (White flower with yellow center.) and it a plant that I've always wanted from the time I visited Hawaii when I was a kid to when I lived there before coming here. I really have high hopes for it. This picture doesn't due it justice, but it does show the tree that I cut from.So wish me luck with it.

Finally I thought I'd leave you with a perfect parting shot from that last night before I left. I took this right at sunset from my Dad's home office window. How would it be huh? I don't know that I'd ever have retired if I had that view...then again if I had that view I may not have been getting much work done anyway.Glad to be back. I'm rested, I'm ready to get working on some things, and I'm looking forward to getting to talk with you all again.
Have a great weekend all... see you Monday.

February 16, 2009

The visit so far...

Hi everyone, checking in from CA today. It's raining and a little cool today, but compared to the snowstorm that A~ tells me they got yesterday, I'm doing pretty darn good. This is the first day of bad weather anyway, paradise can't be all sunshine and roses can it?"

I can't post too many pictures until I get back, because of technical problems getting them off of my camera, and because I don't have any access to any decent editing software here and the pictures are huge! I do have a couple that I wanted to show you though just to make you a little jealous. (unless of course it's warm, sunny and on a beach where you are.) Because this was my Saturday morning commute. We walked down to the beach. Yeah, they're that close. But all was not completely smooth sailing. There was a HUGE traffic jam on that way when these guys just wouldn't quit getting in front of us...
They just kept poking along, sticking their heads in the sand like they owned the place. Geez.

I'm kidding of course, it was a beautiful and relaxing day and I had a great time spending some very long over due time with my parents. Did I mention that we figured it out and it's been something like 19 yrs since I was out visiting my family when it wasn't the whole family on a vacation, but rather just me. Great as it was though, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was just missing my sweetheart. Saturday was Valentines day after all.

And there is was, of all things. Right there on the beach. A Valentine just waiting to get sent home.So there you go honey. It's a little late I know, but happy valentines day.

And for everyone else... Stay warm...(hee hee) I'll post more later!

February 13, 2009

Master Gardener week 3

Hey everyone, I made it, I'm here in San Diego all by myself to visit Mom and Dad, my sister and friends. It promises to be a great weekend so far!

As for the Master Gardener class, I ended up having to miss it Friday because of the flight times but I was at the one on Wednesday and it was pretty good. I do have to admit that as far as classes though that wednesdays class on interior plants (i.e. houseplants) was really not one of my favorites.
It's not so much because the information that we covered wasn't of interest to me, it's just that I guess I'm just not that sort of gardener. I like to raise indoor plants, don't get me wrong, I have a couple in my office, but they're just not what I'm really passionate about. I prefer food production, small scale agriculture and soil building.

I'm just glad that no matter what the class is on, I can always come away with a great feeling since I get to spend a couple of hours with my sweetheart in the middle of the week and I get to talk plants to boot. Now that's what I call a Win-Win situation.

Happy valentines day to you all, I hope you enjoy a little time with someone special tomorrow. As for me, I'm taking a drive up the coast and dropping by some old, and new friends houses. It will be a good day, even if I will be missing my wife.

Happy Valentines day A~ I love you...

February 12, 2009

Oh..I'm off to see the family...

My wonderful family in San Diego...
Ok, well now, that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue does it? But true it is, nonetheless! I'll be flying out tomorrow morning to San Diego to visit with family and friends. It will be a well appreciated break from what has become a quite hectic schedule lately. I'm not burning out or anything, I've been down that road before and this is very different, I've just not had the opportunity to just relax and visit family for a loooooong time.

I'll still be dropping in throughout the trip, although the posts may be a little sporadic. I thought it might be fun to give you all a little glimpse of where I came from so you can get a better idea of how freakin' crazy it is that I ended up being this chicken raising, backyard gardening, pseudo-farmer that I've somehow evolved into.

So then, off to the beaches it is... Maybe, if I'm lucky, I can get someone to turn off the rain while I'm out there.

Have a great weekend everyone.
More to come soon.

February 11, 2009

Seed starter

This weekend past, I spent a few hours each day in the garage working on my newest addition to the growing operation. A seed starting frame. I've been designing this thing off and on in my head and on paper for some time now and I finally got around to getting it built. I figured that I'll be able to put some cold weather plants like cabbage and broccoli here in a month or so as long as I have a cold frame over them so I needed somewhere to start all of them. (I plan a really productive spring garden this year!)

The main features that I wanted to have in the frame were that it hold a good number of seedlings, that it would be attractive to look at since I plan on having it in the house and that it be collapsible. Yep that's right, I said collapsible! I know I'll be starting lots and lots of plants early in the year, and then another batch later in the season for the fall, but during most of the year, this thing would just be sitting around taking up space. I wanted a design that would let me to disassemble it and pack it relatively flat for storage. If I can maximize space in the garden beds, then I don't see why I shouldn't strive for it in the home too!

So, are you dying to see it? Well, it's not quite finished yet. The construction is complete, but the lights are not yet installed and it still needs it's cover made so it's not quite picture worthy yet. I can give you a little teaser though, check these out...a couple of these for shelving...

Toss in a few of these to hold it upright...

And of course I'll need something to hold the seedlings in too right?

Is that enough? Have you got the picture in your head? Does it look anything like this?
It should :-)
I'll post the finished product later this week when I've got it completed. On this note though, I thought I'd ask when you guys were planning on starting your seedlings? Or have you already?

All the best!

February 10, 2009

Master Gardener week III

This was another great week I thought. A~ thought it got a bit "down in the weeds" so to speak, but then again she's more of a big picture girl while I'm the type to get far too into the minutia.

Thursdays class was held off site. That is to say that it was not in the normal classroom environment. This was our class on plant propagation so of course it was held in the Utah Botanical Center. Here's a peak inside one of the greenhouses that were there.
We got a lesson from the director of the botanical center on some of the different ways of propagating plants. I was actually hoping for a little more in depth information than we got, but I did find out that there's a separate class in April that is all on propagation.

After the presentation, we broke apart into groups to do a little hands on work. To be fair, this was really more like "get the students to do a bunch of the work that we need to get done" done for free time, but that's alright with me. For one, it got me out of the office for a couple of hours and got my hands in the dirt and that's always a net gain in my book! Even more than that though, it gave me a different perspective on the workings of a greenhouse and some of the ways things can get done on a larger scale. I do have to say that the whole time I was thinking to myself about all the possibilities I'll have next year at this time with a greenhouse in my back yard!
Here's a few pics of the stuff that we worked on...
I learned what a "dibble" was. What a cool little tool, and so simple. We used this to prep the pots for receiving the transplants that we had to do.
And these would be them. These are native pinion pine seedlings that my group transplanted and that will be sold this spring at a fundraiser for the center.
A little sampling of the different plants that we re-potted. Another group did something like 300 smooth elm seedlings. I helped with that group too.
Yet another group spent much of the time separating seed from native species that were collected this fall. This is part of the work of the center, keeping native species propagated and available.

Fridays class was back in the classroom and had another specialist guest speaker and WOW what a wealth of knowledge this guy had! This was the class I really geeked out on. We talked soil.

We were able to really get into some of the details of the way that soil interacts with it's surroundings, the chemistry of attraction and repulsion that cause clay to be either a plus or minus in the garden, the concerns and causes of soil salinity and my personal favorite...COMPOST! I am constantly amazed when I learn more about the way that the earth works. We're such a small part of the equation but can have such a profound effect on it.

Looking forward to more this week.
Take care all.

February 9, 2009

Still kickin...

Yeah, I'm still here ya'll. You guys are gonna hafta work harder than that to get rid 'O me! honestly, I just needed a break for a couple of days. I usually don't write over the weekend, so that's not actually that unusual, it's just that last week I was wearing three different hats at work while one guy was out of town and another was on leave after having a baby. Combined with trying to wrap up some other writing stuff and the ubiquitous projects list at home and I just needed to take five. I've learned from experience that when I don't, that's when I get sick and run down.

Can't have that can we? Too much going on!
Stay tuned, new post coming right up!


February 5, 2009


I hit a little bit of a blogging milestone today. Nothing huge, but it really makes me happy to see.

I checked my google reader and found that I'm just about to hit 100 people subscribed to my blog feed through google! And there's another 45 or so through other readers. Nearly 150 people out there tune in at least semi regularly to hear...errr read, what I have to say. I can't say it enough times you guys, I am honored.

Now that in itself is a milestone, and one I'm proud of, but this afternoon I was looking over the January/February issue of GRIT ... And I took to reading the editors section about Good Changes coming up for 2009. It was a good read, talking about new additions to the magazine and the online content...
And then I caught it...

What the??? My name is in print!! OK OK, I know, it's just a mention of my blog that I've been contributing to on their online magazine but, and can I say this again, it's my name in print!

I don't know what it is about print media that makes me so excited? Maybe it's just my age and the fact that I grew up on it so it seems a little more elusive than the web. Whatever the case, I'm really happy about it. Want to hear more? Do ya?

Ok, you broke me... I mentioned a little while back that I had some cool news that I just didn't feel comfortable mentioning yet. Well, I've been asked to write a couple of significant pieces for the print magazine as well! Of course, as it is with the publishing industry, I probably can't count on it too much until the work is printed, but it's still a really great opportunity for me and one that I've had as a goal for some time. In fact, it's one of the things I laid out in my 2009 goals. I'll keep you posted as I know more on it.

2009 is shaping up to be a heck of a year ain't it?
All the best to you.

February 4, 2009

Did you notice?

Over there...in the side bar.
The big weigh-in has been updated. It's a new year and it's time to get this pupply up and running. A~ and I have started a new journal for 2009 to let us track all our food production and to help us keep track of our eggs.

Speaking of which, you may have noticed in the aforementioned Big Weigh-In section that we have 227 eggs so far. That is the total for the month of January alone. I'll most likely be updating that either monthly, or potentially bi-monthly this summer. So you realize that that averages to just over 7 eggs a day...IN JANUARY?! No complaints mind you, but that could put us at well over 2500 eggs by the end of the year at that rate.

I'm anticipating a molt though, so that should slow em down a bit. In fact, come to think of it, I think the older white leghorn birds may be beginning to go into molt as we speak I found a couple of them are loosing feathers on their backsides already. I hope they'll be alright. I'll be keeping an eye on them.

Any way, back to the big weigh in. If you've not done it before, I really encourage you to try to keep track of the weight of the production that you're able to get from your yards. It's amazing to see how much we can do on so little.

And in related news, After I put this post together together yesterday, I read today on the Path to Freedom Journal about their new challenge for 2009. It's called the "Freedom Harvest Challenge" and with it they're shooting for production of 1 Million pounds of food grown in the gardens of Freedom Gardeners all over the world.

Honestly, I'd be surprised if they don't exceed it. Drop in an give it a read and if you're so inclined, check out the Freedom Gardens website. It's a growing (pun intended) community of Freedom Gardeners all over the world.

I'm getting excited for this year and the ground's still frozen.
Coooommmeee onnnnn SSPPRRIINNGG!!!

Grow on all!
Looking forward to hearing your "numbers"!!

February 2, 2009

I've got bubbles!!!

Oh yeah I do! lots and lots O' bubblin goodness.

It's been two weeks since the bottling and for Superbowl Sunday I was treated to this most tasty brew!

I really mean it too. It was...is...really good. Over the period of the second week the beer had a chance to develop more carbonation and also managed to shed it's slightly yeasty taste to become quite tasty. I did notice a strange phenomenon that I thought I'd offer up for some comment on though.

When the beer was on top of the fridge, the remaining yeasts in the bottle seemed to form along one side of the bottle and form a slight fogginess around one half of the bottle. I can only assume that the yeast naturally gravitated toward the warmer side of the bottle and grew there.

After taking the bottles down on Saturday and putting them in the fridge they cleared out remarkably quickly. After only a couple of hours the bottles were basically clear (except for the small amount of sediment on the bottom.). Any thoughts? I know I have a couple of experienced beer makers out there.

A~ and I stopped into a local brew makers shop a couple weeks back and checked into what all is required to really start brewing some bigger and more unique beers. It will be an investment for sure and is something I will no doubt try in the future. But, with the fill plate I find myself staring at right now, this is one of those things that will be getting "back burnered". For now at least, I intend to try out some of the other MR beer products. This one was great!

Till tomorrow...

Community Garden

A little while back, a month now, I outlined some of the goals that I had for this year. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, If you set out there what you are looking for and wanting to do and actually believe it, things just start to line up. You may remember that one of the things that I mentioned wanting to get done was to begin taking action towards establishing a community garden. I know the process will be a long one, but I truly believe that it will be a great benefit to our community.

Well, the stars aligned early this week when on a whim (read: divine intervention) I decided to check the website for Wasatch Community Gardens. I found they had posted a list of 20 workshops that they'll be offering this week and the first one was on Saturday afternoon. (If your local to SLC, you can find the full list of offerings here.) Can you guess what it was on? Yup, starting a community garden!

What a great get together. They had a panel made up of five ladies that have all been involved in either starting, working on, or participating in community gardens around the valley and they had a ton of really good information. I was able to talk to them as well as meeting some folks from up around my neck of the woods that have some really cool plans!

I'm going to start working this project a little more rigorously in my "down time" (like I have any?) and will be documenting the progress on my other, sadly out of date, blog Syracuse UT Gardens, so if your in the area drop in and show your support as I put up ideas.

Grow on!!!