Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Garden Wrap-Up

It seems a bit early this year, but my garden tells me that fall has arrived. I can see it in the color of the leaves, the density of the vegetation, and the production. So, how was 2015 compared to years past? Not great.

I got enough cucumbers and zucchini to eat fresh for a couple months, but the need to make zucchini bread and freeze it or take bags of produce to work never materialized. The pole beans grew and climbed and looked lovely, but I didn’t get a single bean. The plants did have plenty of blossoms, so I do have to question the abundance of pollinators. If I realized the job wasn’t getting done, I would have gotten out there with a tiny paintbrush and taken matters into my own hands.

I did get a cantaloupe, which was surprising since I didn’t plant any, so no doubt a product of compost that didn’t thoroughly compost. And, my two egg plants yielded a dozen vegetables. I didn’t have the energy to make eggplant parmesan, but we discovered that they can be quite good just sliced, lightly seasoned, and grilled.

My usual “go to” crop, tomatoes, yielded plenty to eat fresh and I did freeze several gallon-sized zip lock bags of whole fruit for the winter, but compared to the nearly dozen bags I usually freeze, they were a bit of a disappointment. The only crop that held its own this year was the Big Jim chili peppers. For the past couple months we’ve had enough to roast a nice batch every few weeks, and there’s one more round out there.

I’ve enjoyed the produce I’ve gotten, but the harvest was definitely not up to par. We did have a late cold spring and a cooler than normal summer, but I’ll assess all the variables and re-adjust the plan over the winter and hopefully remedy the situation for next year.

I hope all my gardening friends out there had better luck than I did. And, I’m already looking forward to next season to try new ideas to increase my yield.    

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Adventure Inspirations – The Discomfort of Adventure

“You’ve been so long in the rain, you feel like a dirty dish rag. But despite the misery of your water soaked body, you look around to see verdant leaves dripping with water. The air entering your lungs smells vibrantly clean. To experience adventure, you must be willing to be uncomfortable at times and enjoy the loneliness by being happy with your own singing. A song pops out of your mouth… "It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was fine…”  

- Frosty Wooldridge, Golden, Colorado, camped out in Hyder, Alaska near a grizzly bear’s den -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Changing of the Guard

Every hour, 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, visitors can witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Not only did I have the privilege of seeing this elaborate ritual, but it was immediately followed by a somber wreath laying ceremony.

More than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families have been laid to rest in the cemetery. I was honored to have the opportunity to pay my respects to all those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Adventure Inspirations – Edward Abbey

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."

-Edward Abbey-

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Our National Capitol

I recently had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. for the first time. Despite the oppressive August heat and humidity, it was worth the effort. The city itself was much more user friendly than I thought it would be, and the monuments gracing the National Mall were awe-inspiring and humbling. There was so much to see that I felt we only scratched the surface, so hopefully I can return someday and take in the rest of the historical and cultural sites of the city.