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Tag Archives: garden

Friendly Exhibit: Ghost Bike, Park(ing) Day, Printerns and More

My friends are awesome. Besides putting up with plenty of b.s. from me, they make and do amazing things. I’m so blown away by their talent and courage. Lucky me.

See what I mean?..

Ghost Bike: Michael Christensen

Mike and I sip coffee at Coffea every so often. He usually wears tight pants and a helmet. He’s the author of The Minus Car Project, a blog about his mission to minimize the use of his car. That means biking it is his normal mode–even in January. This seems awesome enough in itself. But he recently did something that might just be the coolest project I’ve seen yet. He and his bike-shop buddy came up with Ghost Bike, an artful tribute to a fallen bicyclist in Sioux Falls. Read about it on MinusCar and Argus Leader and watch it on Keloland and KDLT.

photo by Flickr user Bill J

Park(ing) Day: Whitney Parks

I learned how awesome Whitney is when I watched her almost single-handedly make Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 13, 2010 in activism, Raves

 

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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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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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Cow Pie Bingo and Late for School (plus a rainbow)

Every town has a summer festival of some sort right? Well our little town didn’t, until three years ago when a committee formed a new annual celebration, and held a contest to name it. So the Irish Spudfest was born. It’s pretty much perfect. Family focus, low-cost, simple and “villagey.” We kicked it off by conquering the 1 mile walk as a family. The girls ran the last quarter-mile or so, because they decided it was a race. Kayla had an injury (blister from those new Nikes) and convinced me to give her a lift on my back.

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Following the big race/walk (some ambitious/silly people actually ran a 5k), there was lawn mower bingo for the kiddos (and at least one adult–more on that later), the big tater dig in the community garden, a spud-themed parade, kick ball and bean bag tournaments, inflatables, vendors a silent auction, a dunk tank, fresh-cut fries and sweet corn, a big community picnic (tater salad), and dancing to the harder-than-expected rock of the Neo Johnsons. Did I forget anything?.. Of course–the Cow Pie Bingo. We bought square E11, to no avail.

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Today was day 1 of the 2009-2010 school year her in Montrose. And we were late. It’s a long story–something about hair pieces in the wrong spot, a calculator and the ‘meanest parents in the world.’ Nice way to kick things off.  The big deal this year is Hope moved to another building, so Mesa is on her own in the first grade. Zoey is kickin it at the daycare as the “biggest kid” (oldest) around. Despite the rough start, Mesa said the first day was ‘fabulous.’

As a parting gift, here’s a panoramic shot of the full rainbow we saw one evening this past week. I used some software that came with our Canon camera to stitch three photos together. I am not a pro.

rainbow panorama

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Celebrations, Family, Food, garden, Weather

 

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Oh Hail

Saturday morning I went to set up the Green Project booth at the Sioux Falls Bio Blitz. I stepped outside into a sauna of 95% humidity on the way to 90 degrees F, and wondered how soon this would cook up the kind of south Dakota summer storm we haven’t had yet this year. It only took a few hours. By 2:30pm our garden was trashed and smashed, along with our heat pump and some siding and deck posts. Still beautiful though, don’t you think?

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2009 in garden, Weather

 

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Garden Surprise at Dusk

Just before bedtime tonight, in between swing set play and  some left overs from the Methodist ice cream social, the girls discovered these yellow beans ready for picking. Then we remembered that the north half of our pea rows are snow peas–great for picking and eating the whole pod. Hope’s excited to pack her lunch tomorrow for Totus Tuus (whatever that is).

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Another surprise at dusk for me: an awesome half moon seemed to suddenly appear against the pale blue sky. So I wrote this spontaneous haiku. I guess most all of my haikus are spontaneous–my friend Tim might call it slam haiku. Just whatever words are given.

half moon rises in still blue
solo artist on shy dusk
floating pearl sends rest
 
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in garden, poetry, writing

 

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Weeds and Neighbors

Both are growing at our place.

We’ll have new neighbors next door by Fall. The footprint of the house is staked out already, and word is the basement will be dug this week. It’s a great thing for our community–our soon-to-be-neighbor is a young and wonderful music teacher that we all figured would be whisked away by some other school district with better pay and bigger band budgets. Thanks for planting some roots in our little village Mr. Whitcomb.

rows of weed

rows of weed

And then the weeds…I had more weed than crop. No, not the kind Justin likes to plant in the hidden confines of the backyard cornfield. I’ve been ignoring my gardens (and my family, for the most part) the past week and a half. We launched a trashy new program at work, and it piled up a bunch of long hours for me lately. So, my neglect packaged up with boatloads of rain mean the gardens were green, and plumb full of weeds. I went on a ruthless killing spree last night out there. No undesired plant stood a chance…

Oh, and check out what my radishes did during the week of neglect. Skyscraper root veggies.

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Those are a couple of homemade compost bins cookin’ in the background. I invited Rani to add to my newest pile any time she wants. Since she politely listened to my detailed DIY compost bin instructions before telling me she’d rather give the stuff to me instead. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in compost, etc., garden

 

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