Category Archives: garden

Hello Springtime


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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in garden, Weather



Don’t Fake It

real vs. fake christmas tree debate

photo from

I was recently interviewed (again) by my pal Flowerman on the world’s greatest rock gardening radio show.  It’s a special holiday season for me this year, even though my amazing wife has come close to accusing me of being a scrooge. This year I have the honor of being featured in the magical 100th episode of Rock Garden Tour to talk about Nancy’s trashy christmas tree in my living room and fish mating in the family stock dam. It’s a real vs. fake conversation.

You can listen for yourself to the interview full of some tips and tricks for loving Earth and your christmas tree on RGT 100: That Creep Can Ho Ho Ho Man (listen to the whole show on SDPB). You can also learn a bunch about the great real vs. fake christmas tree debate by clicking on the photo above or visiting Green Your Decor.

(And just to straiten things out, Flowerman was not announcing my new religion. Key to the Cow God Admirer reference: from a bartblog back file.)

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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in garden, going green, music


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Urban Hike: Chicago

Yes, I’m supposed to be working. But I skipped out for a couple hours for an urban hike to the Daly Plaza Farmers Market, into Millennium Park (where a really wacky orchestra was assembling and warming up), and through Laurie Garden and Grant Park this afternoon in Chicago. Along the way I happened into the Chicago Cultural Center and listened a bit to some students reading short stories.

One of my favorite spots was an empty stage in Grant Park. The stage where President Obama made his big speech on election night. Kind of cool to stand there and imagine so many thousands of joyful tears shed out there across the vast lawn along the lake shore. There happened to be one empty chair sitting there on the stage, nothing else.  Doesn’t matter if you love him or not, it’s still a cool little spot in history.

Yesterday evening walked along the Chicago Riverwalk to a reception (forgot the camera). Got lost, but loved it. Be home soon.

(more photos on Flickr.)

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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Architceture, garden, hiking


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DIY Radical Raised Beds and Hoop Houses

More video love. This time from the 1st episode of “hi im Lang Get Radical” show on YouTube. Make food not lawns, yo. What a concept.

Chris Langford is a Sioux Falls dude who’s partaking in a self-proclaimed “radical shift” to live differently, starting with growing his own food. Here he builds a simple raised garden bed, plants some seeds, and makes an in-garden greenhouse out of PVC pipe and plastic for about 12 bucks. Catch Chris on the Rock Garden Tour #73.

Also, catch episode 6. Put dill in pots to prevent the dark side takeover.

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Posted by on July 23, 2010 in Food, garden


Ninja Gardening in the Rough Part of the City

Some friends of mine enjoyed breaking the law with squash in downtown Sioux Falls a while back. But turns out it wasn’t squash at all.

Even if you don’t dream of the unbridled freedom breathed each day in the life of a full fledged guerilla gardener (like I do), you must watch the wisdom in this short video. Then you can see what happens when cucumbers masquerade as summer squash, in this 12seconds video from today.

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Posted by on July 21, 2010 in funny, garden, video


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Raspberry Smoothies

Smoothies taste dramatically better when you’ve picked the fruit yourself. Zoey found out yesterday. My favorite quote of the day from the Z: “Daddy, I didn’t even know I loved them.”

Thanks to the McAreaveys for letting us raid their raz patch on a hot summer day.

Here’s our smoothie recipe du jour. Roughly. Just blend it all up, serve, and smile. And don;t you dare follow these directions. Smoothies are for making it up as you go.

  • 2-3 cups of fresh picked raspberries
  • 2 peaches (not very good or ripe, but they did the trick)
  • 1 handful of fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of local honey (also from the McAreavey farm)
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (haven’t quite made the jump to the Greek stuff. no matter how much Torin likes it, it’s still just sour cream to me)
  • a little bit of orange juice
  • 3 handfuls of ice cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly ground flax seed (don’t tell the kiddos!)

Posted by on July 11, 2010 in Food, garden


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Saving money in the dirt

photo on Flickr by Harpo42

The wifey is making some changes at work. She’s set to end maternity leave in about a week, and when she heads back to the office, it will be on a smaller scale. So, part time work means part time income, which lead us to talk some turkey this weekend about what we’ll change in our life with a smaller budget. Let’s call it our “happy up, money down” plan.

One line on the old Dave Ramsey-inspired budget that needs some polishing is food. We spend a lot on it. So the obvious part is cutting out the lunches at Wild Sage, Parker’s and Uno Zoni, and brown bagging it. The other part is cutting on the grocery bill. We decided a few years ago to pay more for our groceries. Why? Because real food generally costs more money than fake food. We want to feed our kids goodness from the Earth, not crap, so we pay more. Not saying we never buy any high-fructose-in-a-box, but we try to cook well-rounded meals with ingredients that our grandmothers might have actually fed to our parents as often as we can. It’s a journey.

So, back to the budget. We need to grow our own food. We got way behind nature’s eight ball this year with our garden. Our house was pretty busy this spring, you know? So, the garden pretty much sucks right now. We’ll be leaning heavily on the Farmer’s Market, community garden and the Co-op. And Denny’s extra garden bounty for sure. But, we figure, it’ll save us big bucks if we don’t have to buy so much. We’re even planning to learn the art of canning.

Synchronistically, I ran across an article on the topic today on Mother Nature Network’s blog about a couple who actually kept track of the money they put into their garden, and what it would have cost them to eat the same food from a grocery store.  Read “How Much is Your Vegetable Garden Worth” here.

For this Maine couple, over one year it came to 834 pounds of veggies from their garden, that would have set them back $2,200 at the store. Wowsers.

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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Food, garden, money


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