Friday, April 27, 2012

Tunes and Blooms

Every year, the Cincinnati Zoo hosts a Spring concert series called Tunes and Blooms. They offer free live music, food, beer, and flower bulbs from the gardens for sale. We made it out for the final show of the year last night and it will definitely be added to our annual calendar.

Enjoying live music has always been a part of my life, and since becoming a mother to a very sensitive little girl, it's something that I have really missed. She had a great time and I enjoyed the evening with friends, couldn't ask for anything more!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fruit on the Homestead

For a biologist, I have always had a pretty brown thumb. I do have a houseplant that is 12 years old and finally looking like it's not going to die, but for the most part I am a plant killer. As I've grown more concerned with where my food comes from, I decided to try my hand at gardening. Last year I began my gardening venture with a container garden full of vegetables, herbs, and even fruits. I succeeded! My hubby does not share my desires for a farm, but he does allow for some fairly extravagant urban gardening.

Last year I started my fruit collection with 2 blueberry bushes and a strawberry plant. The glorious thing about most fruit plants is that they are perennial, meaning they return year after year. This year, I have tripled the fruit plants and we should be eating fine here in a few years (the downside being that it takes several years to produce fruit). 

Since we are currently renting, all of my gardening efforts are in containers. Our fruit from last year has returned already and is in full bloom!

 The 2 blueberry bushes are loving life in their 5-gallon pickle buckets. We didn't get any berries last year, and I honestly don't expect any until at least next year. We'll see!

The everbearing strawberry plant came back in full force so I repotted a few of the 'babies' into a new pot. Already seeing some tiny berries on there.

I bought a thornless blackberry bush locally and it's doing great. I would love to buy several more of these, but we only have so much room on our tiny deck and blackberries are not our favorite berry.

I placed an online order (first time ordering plants) and was surprised at what I received as a 'raspberry plant'. Clearly we will not have raspberries any time soon! I plan to buy a bushier, green one locally before too long.

I got really brave with my order and decided to get some fruit trees. These will live indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer, if they live....

Dwarf Meyer Lemon is growing well

This Dwarf Banana Plant is awesome! About once a week it puts out another GIANT leaf. It's very drippy and the leaves are always full of water droplets. I have yet to research why, but it seems very happy in our upstairs window. Can't wait to see it in action outside.

Dwarf Everbearing Fig Tree. I don't expect to see figs for a decade, but at least I got it started!

Today I went to a local store to buy another raspberry bush and came home with 3 trees! We knew we would put fruit trees in our yard when we bought a house, but why wait? It takes so long to bear fruit, that I will let them go in containers until the time comes. 

Dwarf Yellow Delicious Apple

And since apple trees require a pollinator, a dwarf red delicious

And Scarlett's pick: A Dwarf Elberta Peach

The possibilities are endless, and so is my madness! Eventually, I'd love to add pear trees, cherry trees, grapevines, an arctic kiwi, and anything else I may find interesting. I also just started 4 different types of melon seeds today, so we'll see if that produces anything. I had no luck with the melons last year but it was good practice. Can you tell I love fruit?!

Honey B

In 2011, I lost my cat, Samantha, and my dog, Diogi. After losing Diogi in September, life was not the same. Being an animal person, it was heartbreaking to be in an animal-free home. We adopted a puppy in October that was mean and I thought we were done. We kept her for 6 weeks and returned her to the rescue agency because we couldn't raise a mean dog with a toddler. The heartache returned.

In January 2012, I decided that it was time to try again. I went to the local shelter to 'look'. Growing up, I had a boxer name Harlee that was an amazing dog and I've always had a strong love for the breed. There in the stall stood this sad, tiny little boxer. Knowing their strength, I wasn't sure if I was even going to get her out for a meet-and-greet in case she wasn't nice. Typical boxers will wiggle and jump and display over-excitement. She did not. After several demands from the 3-year old that we 'meet the brown one!', I asked to get her out. We went in a room and she immediately licked me and leaned on me. I was in love and that was it. $20 later, I was headed home with a dog that my husband had not even met! He walked through the door and they bonded immediately. Whew!

We tried putting her in a crate at night but that didn't go over well. We tried crating her when we left but that didn't go over well. We ended up letting her roam free and she was perfect. Fully house trained, non-chewer, non-barker, just very chilled out. We really lucked out. She is the sweetest, most loving animal I have ever met. Aside from her insecurities (she follows me into the bathroom!) she is perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better companion for our child as she tolerates just about anything, and I know the kid gets on her nerves.

Needless to say, we are in love and there will likely be plenty of posts about our sweet love, Honey B.

Another Attempt at Returning

After much contemplation, I'm going to give blogging another go. It appears that I had this same feeling last year at this time (I totally forgot!) which was extremely short lived. I'm not going to bother with the 'catch-up' since most people who will read this already know my entire life story from Facebook. Trying to back away from the social media where every person I have ever known gets to read/see every detail of my life. So here I am...