Posts Tagged nature

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 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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Wanted: Alive or Alive

Does this look right to you?!

dead stevia

(From Right To Left) Sweet Live Stevia, "The Stick", and Bitter Dead Stevia

Okay, so I’m pretty sure even Step #6 in the Gurney’s Grow It Guide (a.k.a. “Keep watering!”) won’t help this one:

Dead stevia plant

Bring Out Yer Dead!

Sadly, this little guy came out of the box like that. I don’t even know why I bothered to plant it. I guess that’s  my optimistic nature. Fortunately, I sent Gurney’s a picture  and the next thing I know, I receive an email confirming shipment of a new stevia plant. I didn’t even have to ask them to. Good ol’ Gurney’s! You guys got my vote! So, there’s a new grape and a new stevia en route as I write this post.

It’s probably advantageous that I rethink the plant placement this time around as I purchased a few staking systems when I bought the EarthBoxes and it will most likely be better if I have the grapes planted together in the same box. But, of course, who am I to know? This is experimental gardening. Educated guess gardening.

So, that’s where I stand at the moment. Stay tuned because the Roma tomato and Popper Whopper jalapeno plants will be arriving any second now. 🙂

To Mother Earth,

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Beautiful Day For Zone 7 Container Garden Planning

Heather's Homegrown Pink Seedless Grapes From Gurney's

Pink Seedless Grapes From Gurney's
(And Two Empty EarthBoxes)

So, after last night’s EarthBoxing antics, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping like mad, and apparently remodeling has begun on the unit across the parking lot from mine. I’m sad to report that I showed my kids, Jake and Chuck,  my EarthBox experiment and they were less than blown away by “two sticks stuck in some dirt”.

Undaunted I got to work, sweeping off and rearranging my balcony, which is probably around 40 square feet. I could tell by the direction of the morning sun, I would have to move the EarthBoxes from the side of the balcony (where I placed them last night) to the front of the balcony. It has Southern exposure, so the grapes will get maximum sun exposure in that location, I hope.

Rearranging meant moving my chair, table, and rug to the side of the balcony where I had originally placed the EarthBoxes. It was a bit of a squeeze due to the fact that I have a satellite dish on a tripod competing for space. Everything fit and looked okay. Next thing I know, my big, fat, orange tabby, Chet, is sitting on the table… Staring… Up.

He’d found where all the chirping was coming from.

Heather's Homegrown's Own, Chet, Discovers Mr. & Mrs. Finch's Nest Of Baby Finches

Heather's Homegrown's Own, Chet, Discovers Mr. & Mrs. Finch's Nest of Baby Finches

I can’t remember exactly when Mr. & Mrs. Finch moved in. I do know the fern was still very much alive when they built their nest smack dab in the middle of it. I didn’t water it after that, obviously, and then it went through the Winter. So now, I have a dead fern teaming with a different kind of life adorning my balcony. And, I suppose I will have a dead fern on my balcony until the Finch family flies the coop, but I do intend to give it a little haircut though.

The next thing I do is check the water reservoirs on the EarthBoxes. Interestingly, you cannot over water in an EarthBox. And, that’s a good problem for me not to have. One must simply remain vigilant in keeping water in the reservoir. I intend to check it a couple of times of day. I know I’ll have to water more frequently as Spring progresses in Alabama. It doesn’t take long for things to heat up around here, and it will be a hundred degrees in the shade before long.

Thankfully, there is a storage closet on my balcony, in which I plan to organize my pots, tools, and planting supplies with the help of this rack from

Dome Baker's Rack from

Dome Baker's Rack from

The closet currently looks like this:

Closet Clutter

Closet Clutter

I expect the rack to arrive early next week. Hopefully, it won’t be too difficult for me to assemble. I may have to enlist the help of my friend, John, in case I need some elbow grease. Even more importantly, I hope it fits. It measures 29 inches wide by 55 inches tall, but I didn’t measure the closet before I ordered it. Hopefully, I guesstimated correctly.

Please stay tuned. Subscribe to my posts and follow me. Because, even though things don’t look too exciting around here presently…

Balcony View From Inside Apartment

Balcony View From Inside Apartment

I have high hopes that thanks to the sun, water, fertilizer, and EarthBox container gardening system, soon my dormant sticks and dirt will be teaming with as much life as my dead fern with a family of finches living in it.

To Mother Earth,

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