Monday, April 30, 2012

urban gardens in new york

One of my favorite places to visit in Manhattan has become the High Line. What a great use of space, way to revitalize an area and unique view of the city.  

We had Sunday brunch at riverpark. They have lovely outdoor dining on the river and their own 'farm' by the restaurant. I hadn't thought of reusing milk crates for gardening but it seems like a great use! 
I also came across this article from Whole Living that challenged urban gardeners in Brooklyn to grow in only 8 square feet.  It included lots of great ideas and included a garden with a lime tree. I'd thought the climate wasn't right here to grow citrus and been sad about that but maybe there is hope... I'll have to do some more research.

Since we have a large yard (especially for the area we live in) we put in raised garden beds and didn't explore other urban gardening ideas but perhaps we can use them to expand on our growing or on extending our growing season.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

lovely lilacs

One of my favorite signs of spring is lilacs. The Arnold Arboretum has incredible lilacs which they are so proud of they do an annual lilac festival on Mother's Day. Since everything seems to be coming out early - the lilacs in my neighborhood are already in bloom this seemed like a good time to visit the arboretum to see the lilacs.

And good timing to test out some of my skills from yesterday's photography class.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

photo refresher

A friend mentioned that she was thinking about taking a digital photography class and invited me to join her. I've never taken a digital photography class before and have been spending too much time with my camera on auto so it seemed like a good idea. She'd found a one day workshop nearby. Which was a really helpful refresher and the instructor was entertaining and informational so the time went by quickly and I feel like I learned a lot.

Some of the exercises we did...

changing the aperture and changing the shutter speed

changing the white balance

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Water and Sun

With this warm weather the seeds I planted in the hoop house have been bursting up and it's made me excited to get my hands in the dirt and our last bed planted. 

I am not the most planned gardener although this year I did do some research about what grows well together so my vegetables won't be fighting each others in the beds but instead of checking the weather or waiting until May I let my excitement win and put more seeds in the ground, outside in a bed without the protection of the hoop and will cross my fingers we don't have another frost. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Coastal Tour

There are things I miss about not having a car, particularly on days like today. It's the perfect day to jump in a car, roll the windows down and enjoy the coast. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends who agree and good public transportation. 

We took the commuter rail North and were picked up by friends who took us straight to JT Farnham's in Essex for fried clams. We also tried the chowder. 

And then we had to walk it off. So we went to Rockport, where I've never been before and was a really cute coastal town. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Buzz

The city is buzzing. Monday if Patriot's Day, AKA Marathon Monday. The weather is warm, about 80, which will be an added challenge for the runners. But it's a beautiful weekend for the tourists who are out in full force, enjoying our little city and bringing this happy, excited energy, the city only gets this kind of buzz once a year. Windows being washed, awnings being cleaned, streets swept.... I decided to take the morning to wander around a bit and play with tilt shift which is the editing that makes photos look like little toy landscapes.
finish line for the Boston Marathon, testing their video cameras and finishing the scaffolding. 

Public Garden 

view from the Longfellow Bridge


Friday, April 13, 2012

Opening Day - Go Sox

The first game of the season at Fenway Park. Oddly enough it feels like an honor to be here Opening Day of the 100th year of Fenway. Perhaps it's just because I feel honored that my friend chose to invite me for this special day when almost anyone in the Boston area would love to be here. It's that fresh energy of a new beginning and feeling like anything is possible - this could be the year. Even though they haven't been playing well this year... but today, today is different. The Red Sox took it from the Rays 12 - 2!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Green Apple Juice

We keep getting really bruised up apples in our farm share and I've been saving kale stems to juice so it seemed like a good time to do some juicing and a little fridge clean out.

I juiced:
kale stems
parsley stems and some parsley
fennel tops

It was a refreshing afternoon treat!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Auction Items

I was honored to be asked by a friend to create some items to be used in a silent auction for the Somerville Homeless Coalition. And then began a bit overwhelmed by the idea. His suggestion was a gift certificate which seems straight forward but I have never done a gift certificate for my etsy shop so I have to learn how to do that. I also don't sell individual items that are very high in value so worried that a large amount may not be that useful unless someone needs custom invitations or announcements or something. I also started to think about what I would bid on at a silent auction, would I be more likely to bid on a certificate or something tangible? 
So I've done a little of both. 

This new adventure of a gift certificate, which will drive people to have to go to my etsy shop which is a good thing. 

And I put together some of my gnome items and called it a "Gnome Whimsy Box." So there is also the option of someone getting this tangible take away.

And I'm hoping to be able to put some bookmarks out as a take away for anyone interested. They have my original photos on them and where to find me. It seemed a little more interesting to me than a business card even though there's a shift toward e-readers and bookmarks may be one of the next things to become obsolete...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ice Cream Marathon

Every year in April Ben and Jerry's has a free cone day. Years ago... I can't remember how many now, maybe 8... some friends and I decided to turn free cone day in to an ice cream marathon. In the Boston area there are 4 Ben and Jerry's within walking distance from one another (there were 5 when we first started).

The rules:

  • get ice cream - no frozen yogurt 
  • get it on a cone
  • no napkins - wear your mess proudly
  • one ice cream from each shop
  • walk between shops

I think the most we ever managed in one year was 4 and as we've gotten older the number seems to get smaller, this year we only got one free cone... maybe next year we'll work our way back up to at least 2 cones...

Monday, April 2, 2012

color me purple

Our house needs to be painted. We've been walking around the neighborhood and looking at houses to get ideas for paint colors. We keep coming back to a heather-gray-purple colors. House painting is a big investment so we are taking advice we were given to test out colors before diving in to painting the whole house. We picked two colors to test and painted them both by the front door so we'll take a week or two to get a feel for them and decide if we like them or need to test another color.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Woodchuck Weekend

This weekend we decided to dig out some stumps from the backyard. It made me realize I could never be a woodchuck.

First step is digging a big hole around the stump, break the dirt away to expose the roots.
Then we took the hatchet to it...

It was a harder wood than we expected so some sharpening was in order for the hatchet.

Once we finally got the stump out - after a lot of work with the hatchet and digging - it was time to back fill, get the dirt all back in the hole hole where the stump was, stomp it down and add some more dirt from other areas of the yard so there wouldn't be a big hole.

And the other weekend achievement was getting the hoop house back up so the little guys I started inside can get outside and into the ground.