Monday, June 27, 2011

End of June Garden Update

Things in the garden are going well, like the lettuce. Things in the garden aren't going so well, like the tomatoes. This will end up being a really light year for tomatoes. Between the plants getting sick and the squirrels eating the green tomatoes we might not get any.

I was planning on harvesting the garlic on 4th of July but they were looking brown and the peppers needed more sun. 45 heads of garlic later we are in business. I roasted all of them on Sunday. Some got used in soup and the rest frozen for later. I went through and thinned a couple carrots. I only planted atomic red, and boy are they red.

The peppers are doing well. They are happy to have the garlic out and now can get full sun.

Once again the cucumbers are doing great. Both kinds have reached the gutter. There are lots of little babies on the eating cucumbers and probably a 1000 on the mexican sour gherkins. I hope those are good.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Great Weekend in San Francisco Day 3: Redwoods and Beer

Redwoods and Beer, Redwoods and Beer, Redwoods and Beer

Redwoods in the lightning, redwoods in the lightning, redwoods in the rain

Ok, moving on. Our third day was just as much fun as the first two. We rented a car and headed north. It was still foggy and pretty quiet as we headed towards the Muir Woods.

The Muir Woods are supposed to be crazy this time of year so we got on the road early. At 10am all of the parking was full but we did find a spot on the road.
The redwoods are like no other place we have been. The trees are huge and all of the other plants are ancient underneath. All of the light green in the pictures is new growth, clearly they were happy trees.

There are lots of good hiding spots.

We parked right next to the Dipsea trail, on the morning of the Dipsea trail race. We even saw some runners on the trail. The Dipsea is the oldest trail race in the country and one of the hardest to get into.

I was there too. We did run 30 feet on the trail and now can say we ran the Dipsea.

And from the Muir Woods we headed to the Lagunitas brewery in Petaluma. Lagunitas is an especially magical beer that we have recently started enjoying in Kansas City. Since we were close there was no better time to visit. When I contact them about a tour the answer was "sure stop by when you are in town, we will be drinking on the patio." Hmmm, maybe our kind of place.

Their clubhouse overlooking the loading floor looks like every college basement.

Let's get this started.

I have been on a few brewery tours and this one was the most "behind the scenes." Lagunitas is getting ready for a couple week shutdown for and expansion. So they are running full time trying to build up a back supply and it was a little crazy for a Sunday afternoon. Yeah, that is a red homemade dress on backwards. Just say the people there were very interesting.

Brewing a batch of IPA.

This is a brewery that has grown in popularity very quickly. They have equipment everywhere.

Next to the brewery is the taproom and small restaurant. We got a few samplers and ended up tasting everything.

Mmmm beer chili nachos.

The locals come out on Sunday afternoons to hang out on the patio and drink beer, my kind of town.

Because, Sunday afternoons they have live music. This was a great end to the trip sitting in the California sun drinking beer and listening to music.

In Sonoma county even the view from the parking lot is great.

Last but not least, our friend Jenn flew in from Hawaii. We stopped by her parent's house on the way back to the city. Jenn and her husband Ian left Kansas City about a year ago. It was great to catch up.

Three great days in California. It has taken much longer recover and finally get the pictures posted.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Great Weekend in San Francisco Day 2

Last Saturday was a fantastic and busy day in the bay. The day began early with some sightseeing and ended up with Dispatch at the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley.

It was pretty foggy most of the time with patches of sun.
We toured the Japanese garden at Golden Gate Park. It is the largest Japanese garden outside of Japan and worth seeing.

It was originally well planned and has ended up with lots of other Asian influences over the years. Here is a zen garden.

The pagoda is leftover from the Asian exposition.

We stopped by the Ferry terminal building to grab some breakfast. It is full of all kinds of local foods. Saturday morning has one of the best farmer's markets ever. We grabbed an egg sandwich at the cowgirl creamery.

MMMMM so good.

Great farmer's market.

We watched some traffic on Lombard.

Still sunny.

Then we swung by pier 39 to watch the sea lions.

And onto UC Berkeley. It's funny because the campus looks a lot like Iowa State's since they were designed by the same person.

And the reason we were in San Francisco. Dispatch hasn't gone on tour in 11 years and hasn't really played together since the last dispatch in 2004. When they announced the tour we tried to get tickets as they opened across the country. Everything sold out before I could get tickets until California. The Greek Theater at Berkeley is a great venue.

I set up to take the best picture ever, and it was spoiled by some bystander.

We got great seats.

We brought the good camera and the big lens took some great pictures in the dark.

They played the encore from the lawn in the back, we were very close.

Best concert ever.

The setlist was amazing, they played 21 songs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Great Weekend in San Francisco Day 1

This past weekend we took a long weekend in San Francisco to see Dispatch at the Greek theater at UC Berkeley. It was a great weekend filled with hills, sightseeing, beer, and good food. It may take a couple posts to show everything properly.

We arrived on Friday and spent the day walking around town. We managed to cover pretty much all downtown San Francisco. Chinatown is like no other place, we stayed just up the road.

We ate lunch at the 21st Amendment brewery. Sam had some great fish tacos and I had a spectacular meatloaf sandwich with plenty of bacon. They had an excellent black IPA. If you are in town I would highly recommend it.
Of course we had to stop by Lombard St. the crooked street.

San Francisco is known for sourdough bread and Boudin is one of the best known bakeries. We stopped by for happy hour and had some great food and local beers.

The weather was in the 60s and a nice change from the 90s we have been having in Kansas City.

Day 1 ended with a hike up and over Knob Hill and some fun with the TransAmerica building.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And we were off to such a great start

Well, as soon as the tiki party was over things started falling apart, at least in the yard. Our brand new grass has gotten mold. It is pretty splotchy and some has turned brown and died. I sprayed it down with anti-mold/fungus product and hopefully that will help get ahead of things.

But, the garden is doing so well. I had been watching some of our tomatoes grow funky. They finally got big enough that I could diagnose the problem. Unfortunately the problem is mosaic virus and the solution is getting rid of those plants. So by the light of the moon I was ripping out all of our heirloom tomatoes. Good bye
- moneymaker
- Cherokee purple (2)
- striped German (2)
- Mr stripey

So we are left with two sungold cherry tomatoes in pots along with a way too early. In the ground are three San Marzanos, one sungold cherry, and one way too early.

Between the chipmunks which we are slowly relocating and the various plant distresses, I am getting real tired of trouble-shooting. I am half expecting everything in the yard to be gone when we get back from our trip this next weekend.

Monday, June 6, 2011

2nd Annual Tiki Party

This last Saturday was out 2nd Annual Tiki Party and it was another hot one. After going to an outdoor concert Friday night, we spent all day cleaning, cooking, and general party prepping.

We had another good turn out - John counted 40 people on the patio at one point, we'll say an even 50 over the course of the night. John smoked 5 pork butts on the Green Egg. I made potato salad, Hawaiian coleslaw, pineapple salsa, and chocolate-almond macaroons.

A good time was had by all!

Gary brought a Gin and Tonic "aid station" in true trail-runner style. It was a big hit!

Flamingos with leis had taken over the berm.

Brett once again brought his strings and serenaded us as the sun went down and long after. It doesn't get much better than food, beer, and tunes on a hot summer night.

Cheers! Until next year!