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Archive for October 21st, 2008

Photo Catch Up: A City Garden

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

citygardena.jpgNear Rae’s yarn shop, there is a wonderful nook which has been made into a small city Eden. The man who lives above a storefront has maximized his farming ability with almost no soil at all. It is inspiring.

In fact, I saw this garden about 4 years ago and saw the beautiful red tomatoes, shining colorful globes decorating the cityscape. I decided then that I would also try tomato gardening in containers at my house. I don’t really like fresh tomatoes, although I love them cooked. I didn’t care, the look of the plants was all it took to convince me. I have really enjoyed my tomato plants over these last years!

One day I was going to Rae’s on a Sunday and got to talking with the gentleman who has created this lush space. I was with Melinda, and he gave her a few peaches (yes really) he had just picked, and gave me a generous handful of grapes.

Igrapes.jpg boiled the grapes in water (they are small green ones that smell like concord, but with big seeds so they are not pick-and-eat grapes). I then crushed the grapes, strained out the fiber, and made a sort of gelatin dessert with it. It was light and refreshing.

The grapes grow up the handrail on the second floor; the peach tree looks like half a tree, squooshed up against the wall of the next building next to another fruit tree. At the point I took these photos, all the tomatoes for this year were already gone and things were starting to slow down or wilt.

I think it’s an amazing artform, this niche in the middle of a parking lot, which is now a lush Eden for one man and lucky acquaintances passing by. Isn’t it wonderful?


Just for reference, here is my own back step garden. The three pots at right are tomatoes. To their left is a sage plant that was given to me but which never was very happy there. At the very left in the colorful pot, tomatoesseptember.jpgwas a cilantro from seed that only grew about an inch before being drowned in rainwater. I also have a small plot next to the garage which does well with parsley and nearly nothing else, though I tried basil again this year.

And there is always the rhubarb! Plants with ancestors on the Minnesota farm where Mom grew up always do well, the others struggle and never quite die but never become strong enough to pick for pie.

I have a lot more soil than this man, but I can’t compare. He just has the touch.

A Birthday Concert

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008


Friend Sam Herman had his 21st birthday in style last Thursday. He gave a concert for himself, in so many words. He knows a lot of folks in overlapping creative communities. I see Sam a few times a week these days. This party/concert was crowded, and many of my most prized friends were there.


It started as a solo banjo concert. Then Sam played a few numbers on a ukulele. Then friends joined him.

lynnwithannasm.jpgHe did duo numbers with Carrie Potter, Doug Berch (see photo above), Brian Bishop and Hanno Meingast.

Whew! Serious talent. And then? Well, there was a short break for birthday cake followed by ensemble numbers. There was a group of old time fiddle/contra dance musicians.

There was a lot of knitting going on, as well. Everyone in Sam’s family knits at least a bit, and then many of us in the crowd also knit. Young, old, male, female… all knitting. Yeah!

And the rae12.jpgfinale? Eight musicians, seven banjos of different sorts, and a bodhran drum (basically a banjo without a neck and strings). There was a ukulele banjo, a guitar banjo, a mandolin banjo, a Heftone Bass banjo, and three five-stringed banjos if I accounted properly. And the bodhran. It was much fun. We played Oh, Susanna! Yup, a lot of fun.

The finale photo here was taken by A., my young knitter who happens to be related to Sam. In Lansing, every creative person is connected in multiple threads to every other creative person. Or so it seems.

As my Brian would say: “Banjo Mayhem!”