Friday, August 06, 2010

Michigan Root Jamboree in Ypsi

I'm off to the 2010 Michigan Roots Jamboree today — a two-days outdoor music and art festival in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti with urban camping, local beers and a HUGE lineup of music. Come on down and check it out — it looks like the weather is going to be gorgeous! Admission is $20 per day, kids under 12 free. More info here. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Maker Faire Detroit 2010

As promised — finally some photos from last weekends Motor City Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. Start looking for details for next year's Faire because it is really a sight to see! You can also check out the Detroit Maker Faire Flickr pool, join the Detroit Maker Faire Facebook page, and a nice roundup at Boing, boing.

The sign pretty much says it all!

Life-sized mouse trap board game. You can support this fantastic attraction (as well as a whole slew of crafty projects) over at Kickstarter.

And last but not least… Chris of Detroit GT shows off his wares from a revamped bread truck!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Hot glass and cold beer — oh my!

The Glass Academy glassblowing and beer tasting eventGlassblowing and beer tasting — together at last! Have you heard about this event on Thursday night in Dearborn?! Wow! Five Michigan breweries paired up with hand-crafted glass tumblers and live glassblowing. How hot and cool is that?! $45 gets you a hand-blown tumbler and two drinks, plus tasty local treats provided by Edible WOW. Unfortunately, you have to purchase tickets in advance, so plan ahead! It's from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Glass Academy and tickets can be purchased here. The breweries participating are: Arbor Brewing Co., Motor City Brewing Works, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Corner Brewery and Rochester Mills Beer Co. I totally want one of those swirly glasses with the amber lager-y looking beer in it!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Balcony garden update 08.02.10

This weekend's Maker Faire at the Henry Ford was phenomenal. I'll have a few pictures and highlights for you tomorrow, but today a little balcony garden update…

Balcony garden annualsFirst off the annuals… we put in a lot more flowers this year than last. We ended up not planting corn this year and doing a lot more herbs in individual pots rather in the long window box style planters hanging on the balcony rail. This left plenty of extra room that has been filled with flowers. I also planted the box that grew spinach in the early season with nasturtium seeds and in no time they were full and blooming. I'm so glad we went this root as it's brought so many more butterflies and bees — happy friends to have in the garden and beautiful to watch.

Balcony garden tomatoesBalcony garden blossom end rot tomatoesA happy new addition this year is tomatoes. We have two huge plants that are loaded down with ripening tomatoes. The first ones started to rot on the bottoms and thanks to the interwebs, I quickly diagnosed that they had the common blossom-end rot. This is usually caused by inconsistent watering causing the fruit to be unable to draw enough calcium in. I smashed up a few of my own calcium vitamin tablets by placing them in a ziploc bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. I then sprinkled this over the soil and gave the plants a thorough watering. I changed up my routine to give the tomatoes less frequent but longer waterings and these steps seemed to have worked. The rot has stopped and the newer fruits show no signs of it.

Balcony garden carrotsBalcony garden basilWe've had a steady stream of tasty petite carrots since mid-July with still more to harvest. And to date we've made three huge batches of pesto. It's best to use smaller basil leaves as they tend to get bitter the larger they grow and it's been difficult to keep up with — a welcome challenge!

Balcony garden lettuce and jalapenoThe lettuce held out for quite some time despite the heat. But I've now let it start going to seed and hope to harvest them for next year's crop. The heat was just too much for the cilantro and dill, too, and they have now gone to seed. The jalapenos have been very slow-going and this is our first and only pepper so far.

It shouldn't be long before I have beautiful sunflower photos to show you. I have to say that at this point in the summer, I don't want to do much more in the garden than harvest tasty veggies and cut flowers for vases, but I have been thinking about a couple of cold crops we could start to sew soon. Stay tuned!