This weekend, October 1 & 2, finds me at PodCamp Philly. What is PodCamp? It is a barcamp-style unconference focusing on blogging, video casting and social media. Excellent lectures today filled with information that I plan to integrate into the blog. Some material presented today can also be cross-walked into my professional career. This was a day well spent in the pursuit of knowledge.
Check back here for write-ups of the lectures and, of course, more photographs.
I’m two for two with gardening and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) city-wide garden contest. I was pleasantly surprised to receive notice of my garden placing third in mid-sized individual vegetable garden category.
This award is a great achievement after all the frustrating challenges, seedling disasters, landscaping nightmare and bone breaking that went on this growing season. In the end, the lessons learned this year far outweighed all the obstacles. I am looking forward to the next season in the garden.
Below are a few photos taken at the 2011 PHS Fall Harvest Festival and City Garden Contest Winner reception:
Harvested the first pumpkin of the season and have visions of pumpkin pie swimming around in my head.
Via Williams Sonoma:
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
Prebaked and cooled deep-dish piecrust (see
related recipe at left)
Preheat an oven to 375ºF.
In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cream and milk and whisk to combine.
Pour the filling into the prebaked piecrust and bake until the center is set, 60 to 65 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with aluminum foil after 30 minutes if they brown too quickly.
Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Serves 10.
Back in the day, say a week or two ago, my Tomato patch looked nice and tidy:
My little munch kins have rapidly grown to nearly taller than my good self. I’m 5’6 and I can see eye to ‘eye’ with my tomato plants. Is this normal? Have I created a monster? I posed for a picture next to the plants so you can see the height of these plants. FYI: Please disregard the hair as the photo was taken shortly after a four mile run.
Challenging situations and disasters have been the running theme with the garden this year. It makes the memories of the garden last year seem idyllic; every plant grew according to plan and every seed sprouted within minutes of planting. It seemed I had the greenest of green thumbs for gardening. Then reality struck.
So far in 2011 the garden has weathered record-breaking snow storms, landscaping projects that took weeks to complete and clean up, a total collapse of the mini greenhouse destroying seedlings in the process, birds uprooting growing corn and spectacular seed failures.
Despite the near disasters mentioned above the garden trundled on. The challenges and problems I’ve faced this spring and early summer have been terrific teachable moments about gardening and perseverance. That what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and I have a kick butt garden to show for it!
I give up! It seems Flickr doesn’t want to play nice with WordPress and I am unable to display the slide show on this blog.
All Flickr will allow is to click on the link below and enjoy the pretty 🙂
Finally, the seedlings arrived! Last fall I ordered these babies for shipment in April. I can’t wait to see what develops, I’m hoping for lots of pink, organic tomatoes. I’m all about color in the garden this year, as hinted at by the many photos of colorful tulips now blooming in the garden.
The seedlings arrived in a molded plastic container and seemed a tad bit wilted from their travels.
A bit of water and a sunny spot on the windowsill has perked them up considerably.
Speaking of tomatoes, I came across a small choice of heirloom tomatoes at a local Acme market. I’m guessing it is a Costoluto, although no name was given and they sold for $1.99/pound. Genuardi’s also sells heirloom tomatoes for $6.99/pound. In this single example, you can easily see how growing your own can help save a bit on the food bill.
In case you are wondering, heirloom tomatoes absolutely taste better than the average red tomato on sale in markets across the nation.