Monday, June 28, 2010

Great Neighbors and a Growing Garden

When you buy a house, you can have inspections for almost all aspects of the property. The one thing that you can't account for and that's a total crapshoot are the neighbors. Well, I totally lucked out. I have great neighbors! This one will walk the dog, that one has power tools I can borrow, that one will bring in the garbage cans if I'm away and my best neighbor is Karen (and her husband Chip). Karen is the dream neighbor. She takes care of Koko while I'm at the Saturday Market (that's a whole other blog post!), always offers help with this or that, AND is gardening my side yard. Their yard is completely landscaped, so when I offered my yard for a veggie garden she thought it was a great idea. The two photos to the left are the before and current states of the side yard. It probably was always gardened, but hasn't been in several years. It was all grown over and weedy. Now it's alive with yumminess!
The photo above shows what we planted (I might have missed something or other). We went a bit nuts with all that we put in, but we are learning a lot. As very novice gardeners we are feeling our way along, it's been fun and we are starting to see the fruits - and veggies - of our labor.  Because of our cold wet spring, things have been slow to get started, but everything is showing itself and will hopefully take off now that the warm sunny weather is finally here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Berries In The Garden

A Teachable Moment?

This way to the BP exhibit: A worker attaches stickers resembling oil immersed in water to a tank at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa. A new exhibit at the aquarium - intended to showcase the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico with sharks, rays and other fish - will instead be devoid of life to underline the environmental impact of the massive oil spill.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oil Covered Pelicans

"Oil-covered pelicans found off the Louisiana coast and affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, wait in a holding pen for cleaning at the Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Buras, Louisiana"
REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana/Greenpeace/Handout

A weirdly beautiful photo of a horrific scene.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Keeping Tradition Alive

Andean men cross the Qeswachaka hanging bridge across the Apurimac river, at the southern province of Canas in Cuzco June 12, 2010. The handwoven bridge made out of a local grass called "Qoya", spans 120 feet (36 metres) and is rebuilt every year as a communal effort. About 1,000 farmers from the Andean communities of Huinchiri, Quehue, Choccayhua, Ccolana and Chaupibanda take part in the weaving and construction of the bridge, keeping alive an ancient Inca tradition using techniques that have been passed down through generations. 
Photo: REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Vertical Farming Project

The Problem 
By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim.
An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?
A Potential Solution: Farm Vertically
Don't miss these other very cool vertical farm designs:

Originally found through unconsumption 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today's Reality Check: Pogrom

"Mass murder in Kyrgyzstan: An Uzbek refugee fleeing ethnic violence with her family weeps as she waits to cross the border from the Kyrgyz city of Osh into Uzbekistan. More than 140,000 Uzbeks have fled a pogrom that began last week in southern Kyrgyzstan."

Friday, June 4, 2010

'Bout Says It All, Huh?

"Oil fills a footprint left in the sand on Dauphin Island, Ala. Crude from the gushing Deepwater Horizon well made its first appearance two days ago on the shores of Alabama."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today's Reality Check

"First the volcano, then floods and mudslides: A woman cries as she uses a cell phone following the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano in Calderas, Guatemala. After the eruption blanketed Guatemala City with ash, the season's first tropical storm caused flooding and landslides that left 120 dead, at least 53 missing and thousands homeless."

Today's Very Cool Picture

River floating season opens in East Peoria, Ill.

Today's Laugh

I'm an ex-Florida girl...