Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No Snow

Given the dry and significantly warmer weather, it's been nice to walk around the trails. The smell of decay is rich and enjoyable. The grasses in the wetland are sweet and the woodland edge earthy.

It is unlikely that I would go into the middle of the smaller amphitheater wetland because of water in summer or deep snow in winter. But this weather created the perfect conditions for entering all the wetlands -frozen ground and matted grasses.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Exploded Greenhouse

Black Earth

Around here, and for a stretch into Iowa, the soil is a rich, dark, almost black, earth. Not just the farmlands, but in the woods as well. It's full of carbon.

What is it used for? Mostly corn, and lately, for building more and more “executive homesites.” But that is a digression.

I can see that some fields have been plowed quite recently. This is unusual. The fields are typically under a few inches of snow and deeply frozen.

It's been exceptionally warm thanks to the Arctic Oscillation. It is normal in my experience for the high temperatures to be around 15 degrees and the low near zero, but we've remained above freezing most every day. Some days reach the mid-forties. That's coastal weather, yet it feels much warmer here than it does in NYC when it is the same temperature. Maybe it is because there is little to no wind and little dampness to soak your bones here. I've been outside working on my van in temperatures I would scoff at for the same activity in NYC.

In a few days time I will be off to Iowa, hopefully with a working heater, charger, and dash lights. From there, cats in tow, I will dash back to NYC.

It's time to get rolling again.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Local Grocery Garlic

I was shopping for Marie's Boef Bourgignon in our small town grocer- trust that it's not the easiest place to shop for meals (although it is getting better because the town has been growing over the last decade with city folk).

I, of course, found myself looking at their garlic options. The organic Earthbound Farm garlic was about 15 dollars a pound. The Christopher Ranch boxed garlic was similarly priced, but not organic. The "regular" garlic, probably a Chinese grown artichoke variety, was 4.29 a pound and greening up.

The real zinger was the Christopher Ranch peeled and packaged garlic. The cultivar 'Monviso' has been what they are touting as the best tasting garlic- ever. This product is CR's answer to cheap imports. Wish I could remember the price, something in the 6 dollar range I think. It's biggest problem- the expiration date, or 'best before' date, right on front. That's a good amount of peeled cloves to use before January 9. The problem of course is that peeling garlic ruins it's shelf life and flavor. Convenience rarely improves your meal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Before After

The red eggplant I was encouraged to take at the Minneapolis area farmers' market had lived on Rex's shelf and shriveled to its current state. I had forgotten about it and didn't recognize it upon our return. What a beautiful fruit- dried or fresh.

iPhone Kills Basil

It's true. My complete absorption into solving my iPhone video and file transfer issues onto my too old (ha!!) mac have led to forgetting the basil we purposely brought to Minnesota to care for. This is the new world. Dead plants and videos stuck on iPhones.

Sure, it was new years and all that too. But I blame the device.