Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In addition to the fire that started several weeks ago, numerous brush fires have sprung up around Central Florida in the past few days.

When our neighbor told us of the brush fire spotted a couple of miles from our house late Sunday afternoon, all I could think of was the classic exercise to help crystalize what's important to you: if your house was on fire, what 10 items would you want to save and take with you?

This is what it looked like on the road that runs parallel to our road on Sunday night:

Malcolm Denemark, Florida Today

This is what the neighborhood looked like on Monday morning:

Michael R. Brown, Florida Today

And, as scary at that looks, it is nothing compared to what the people who live south of us are experiencing.

Michael R. Brown, Florida Today

Over 50 homes have been totally burned or badly damaged. The most sad part about their situation is arson is suspected.

This incident has shown the best and worst sides of people.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Urban Farming

While I love the idea of owning and living on a farm, at this point in my life it isn't possible... at least not in the traditional, idealized way I envision when I think "farm". You know, Old MacDonald and all that E-I, E-I, O-ing stuff.

Since rural land is rapidly disappearing due to urban sprawl, what options are available to wannabe farmers?

It turns out there are multiple options suitable to just about any type of farmer: urban gardens, urban homesteading, and community gardening, just to name a few.

No land? No problem. Try container gardening, mini gardening or hanging baskets. And there's always hydroponic gardening.

If you've always dreamed of having a productive little garden that was all yours, there are numerous non-tradtional options available. Start with a tiny pot of herbs that adds texture, aroma and life to your personal space, and I predict you'll be convinced that "farming" is for everyone!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

May flowers, etc.

The old adage "April showers bring May flowers" is usually true, but we didn't have much rain in April. In fact, it has been rather dry here. There have been several brush fires, none close enough to see, but at least one close enough to smell when the wind blows in the right direction.

I'm thankful that the only fiery looking things in our yard are the cardinals,

this amaryllis,

and the canna lily.

the tomato plants are growing and the first of the tomatoes are appearing --
the Eva Bell
and the Russian Purple

the cuban treefrogs have come back to their condo (also known as my wind chimes!)

and the lizards continue their patrol of the yard.