Posts Tagged Gardens

Bewitchingly Serious Moonlight

HeatherJ, this post is for you. You commented a while back that you were interested in knowing more about my homebrewing endeavors. I hope you find this information useful when deciding upon your brother-in-law’s Christmas present. Thank for reading and following my blog. I so appreciate you!

Did you know? Sweet Mother Nature, BEER IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU!

One reason I know this is because, back in my librarian days, I worked with a knowledgeable Catholic mother of nine (yes, nine!) children who extolled beers’ virtues for its milk producing capacity for breastfeeding Moms experiencing low milk supply. Of course, she was not advocating getting schnockered, but said having one beer a few days a week precisely timed around the breast-feeding schedule was not detrimental. Turns out, she was right not that I’m breastfeeding or anything.

A quote on a beer community forum site reads ” Beer is a wholesome liquor….it abounds with nourishment. ”

Dr. Benjamin Rush- American physician

Now working for a medical publishing company, I know physician testimonials are worth their weight in gold so I put on my librarian cap and did a little more research. It turns out moderate beer drinking benefits include: a stronger heart and bones; healthier kidneys and brain; reduced cancer, diabetes, and stroke risk; a boost in B vitamins; and a longer life. Heck yah, everybody grab a cold one!

It just so happens that the beer community forum I was visiting was that of MrBeer.com and since discovering it, I’ve decided that MR. BEER ROCKS!!

I decided to buy Mr. Beer’s Premium Gold kit for $59.95, plus $7.95 shipping and handling. This kit included everything one needs to brew and bottle two batches or four gallons of what turned out to be truly great tasting beer. This is what came with the  Premium Gold kit:

  • 1 Fermenter (2 GAL)
  • 2 Standard Booster™ Refills
  • 8 Bottles with Caps
  • 8 Labels
  • 1 Brewer’s Guide
  • 1 Set of Instructions
Of course, being the feminist I am, I had to make some minor adjustments to the kit when it arrived. (HeatherJ, your brother-in-law would not have to make these adjustments.)
Mr Beer Kit

That Would Be Ms. Beer  😉

Some words of advice before creating your first batch:

1) Read the directions

HeatherJ, I hope you found this informative and helpful in your decision-making process. And, finally there is an issue close to my heart that I hope you will agree is important to our health and the health of our children. So, for my friends reading, please take a moment to click the link and support Senator Gillibrand’s healthy food amendment.

And, when you’re done signing the petition, please take a moment to check out HeatherJ’s blog SoFull EATS. She is a phenomenal writer and she will have your mouth watering before you can say yummy in my tummy.

To Mother Earth,

Heather's Homegrown Signature

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Drinking & Staking: Just Say NO

Apparently, the elation of Oakstone’s victory at the cook-off, coupled with the excitement of my successful and tasty first batch of home-brew, prompted me to have one too many West Coast Pale Ales?!

Case in point, staking system number two — the one on the left. 😦

EarthBox Staking Systems

The Left Is Wrong, The Right Is Right

I take this personally and hold only myself accountable. Jake bailed on helping me for the evening before I added the netting to the second one. I have only myself to blame. For the life of me, I couldn’t get the netting to fit. It’s like it didn’t stretch all the way across! The netting is rectangular in shape so there’s only one way it can go.

So, I asked Jake, “What did we do on the first one that I didn’t do on the second one?!”

He said, rather glibly, “You didn’t start it right.”

“Jake, there was nothing I could do. It didn’t fit.”

He scoffed, “Yeah! Because you didn’t start it right!”

Uh huhhh…. Whatever. I surely did enjoy those West Coast Pale Ales. Oh, and that reminds me… HeatherJ, I’m going to post about the process for your brother-in-law. I thank you for your interest!!

It’s a beautiful day so we decide to walk over to the office to see if the replacement for the “dead” grape has arrived yet, and then hit some tennis balls.  That will cheer me up. I cannot be deterred by a little faulty netting — although self-doubt is trying to creep its way into the corners of my psyche. I know I gave it my all last night. That netting didn’t fit!

We stop to appreciate the sunlight cast across the lily pads in the fish pond next to the office and all of its surrounding beauty.

lily pads on the fish pond

Lily Pads On An Ornamental Fish Pond
Birmingham, AL

Anyway, I know it’s Sunday, but I’m hoping there may be someone different in the office who can locate the replacement grape from Gurney’s. There is. According to the pink slip in my mailbox, it was delivered via USPS on Friday and was left with the office manager. However, when this new person looks, she can’t find it either. She said that she accepted the packages Friday, but doesn’t remember one for me. She advised checking back tomorrow. Another strike. Okie dokie then.

Hitting tennis balls with Jake was great, and always as I hoped it would progress. We can actually have a rally now! Before I know it, he’ll be acing me on his serve, little bugger. It’s amazing how quickly little boys become big boys, and how much we love ’em along the way.

So, at the end of the day, I feel better about the staking system. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that important.

To Mother Earth,

Heather's Homegrown Signature

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A Facelift and Life! LIFE!!

Buds On One Grapevine Already!

Buds On One Grapevine Already!

I’m here to tell you that I awoke to buds this morning! I planted a stick a mere four days ago. The other stick (yes, there are two sticks) still appears dormant, but my optimism runs high. I think I’m in shock. Yesterday it was a stick. Today it is a stick with life.

Speaking of yesterday…

Caution: Facelift In Progress

Caution: Facelift In Progress

When I got home from work, I discovered that the apartment community-wide facelift had made it to my unit; and my nicely swept balcony had nails and debris strewn all over it.  I’m assuming that’s why “they” were kind enough to provide a caution tape?  It’s not like all the hammering, banging, shouting, and bulldozering is going to compell me to jump or anything.

Good news. The caution tape wasn’t the only thing to arrive yesterday. I received the rack I purchased to organize my closet and I assembled it despite John’s help.  It fit with room to spare.  Solid. Happy I purchased it.

Dome rack assembled

What Closet Clutter?!

So, after a long day, I felt organized and ready to go. With caution, of course.

I think I’m still in shock that this morning I awakened to life. Life! I feared I’d be blogging about sticks for who knows how long, but to witness the buds this morning was very encouraging.

I eagerly await the arrival of my other plants, especially the mystery plant that is not illegal; and I leave you with a picture of the buds going to bed. Dream of wine little buds.

grapevine budding at night

Goodnight, Sweet Buds

Caution: EarthBox container gardening may be habit forming and/or cause shock and euphoria. Growing your own organic fruits and vegetables is fun, delicious, good for you, and good for the environment; and it doesn’t even require a lot of space. (Plus, it saves you money!) In cases of extreme euphoria, please consult your physician immediately.

To Mother Nature,

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