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New Faves Added – Gardens and Arts

Hi all, please check out the “blogs I like” list below.  I added Jason Akers, the Self Sufficient Gardener, whose philosophy and approach to gardening is harmonious with mine (although his experience far exceeds my own).  If you have particular gardening questions, I recommend checking out the site.  His approach tends to be low-maintenance, non-fussy gardening.  Please check out his site, and help support his efforts.  He has done a lot to get others comfortable with gardening, from participating in community events in Kentucky (and beyond) to preach the pesticide-free approach to providing a forum for fellow gardeners everywhere to get specific questions answered.  He also welcomes called in questions to feature on his pod cast — give him a call, and you might hear yourself on his show.

Also added to the RSS feed is a site featuring the work of my favorite contemporary (and rural) artist, Dave Lundahl.  He has been doing cutting-edge art-ography (check out the site, and you’ll “see” what I mean) for many years.  Enjoy his work, and check out more about Dave’s innovative and inspiring work at The Art of the Rural (a blog on rural arts and culture in America), Sugar Magnolia (a blog on photography, mommying, cooking, and living), the New Light Studios site  (this is the artist’s website, maintained by friends and fans, since Dave, himself, is even more of a Luddite than me – although I have been changing my ways of late), and the Facebook page.  Dave, too, is a revel gardener, and has provided many gifts from his art and garden.  They have always been welcome visitors on my return trip to NY from WI, except for a time several years ago when one of his gifts almost got me detained by airport security.  After clearing the metal detector, I watched with curiosity, wondering who around me had such interesting wares that TSA officers were huddled around the screen, whispering to each other.  To my surprise, I got pulled aside and interrogated about what was in my bag.  I had no idea there would be anything of interest, and it crossed my mind that someone had slipped something surreptitiously into my suitcase.  Finally, a gloved officer very carefully dragged my bag out, whisking it away to a secure area and, with nearly comic caution, pulled out an enormous cucumber, plucked fresh that morning from Dave’s garden.  It was a nice, big, plump one.  It may have been around the time they started limiting liquids, and this one exceeded the limit.  Either way, the takeaway: careful what fruit you fly with.  Cucimus sativus is not an easy travel companion.

The link to Dave Lundahl’s art here seems particularly fitting because the sun is crucial for his creations.  While items grown in the garden might not all be masterpieces (check out my recent sunflower failure, in the comments section to Patience is an Amalgam), a lesson we can take away is that art is process, and process is art.  And every garden is a process.  To this revel gardener’s eye, the garden, too, is often art.  (Check out my recent post on the NY Botanical Garden’s exhibit inspired by Monet’s garden at Giverny).

QUESTION: what are some of your favorite blogs, gardeners, artists?  Check out these sites, and let me know what you think.  What’s your strangest travel story?  Have you ever been stopped for flying with juicy fruit?  Live plants?  Stowaway garden goodies?  Go ahead … gimme the dirt!

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2 responses to “New Faves Added – Gardens and Arts

  1. Ralph ⋅

    Aside from Revel Gardener I don’t really follow many blogs or post much on them. There are times where something of particular interest may prompt me to visit The Survival Podcast forum to follow a particular topic, or post certain questions, but overall there just isn’t enough time to visit all the online resources I would like to. Recently I’ve been selecting ‘computer free’ days or weekends to divert some of that time to other things. I do spend a fair amount of time listening to podcasts. They make time in the car, especially in traffic productive. The podcasts I listen to cover a wide range of subjects from gardening and current events to astronomy.

    Especially lately I try to avoid any air travel. I am just annoyed that we are now poked and prodded by TSA whether it be manually or by having my DNA scrambled to have it done electronically. Statistics from Scientific American and other sources prove it far more dangerous by far to drive to the airport than to be injured by a terrorist on a plane. Stories like the TSA employee working under the name of a dead person does not improve my outlook of that agency or their screening procedures.

    One time I was coming back from Honduras. I bought a wooden ‘puzzle box’, a replica Mayan statue, and some coffee to bring home. When asked, I mentioned I had a statue at which point the agent seemed to come to life. Apparently he could see his picture on the cover of TSA Monthly magazine. He waited in anticipation as I slid the panels of the puzzle box this way and that to open it. I handed the box over so the agent would have to remove the used socks I had it wrapped in. Inspecting the statue from every which angle he finally figured out it was a replica and I wasn’t trying to smuggle some priceless Mayan artifact.

    Another trip, also coming back from Honduras was a bit different. As with the other trip this was pre-911 so things were not the same as now. Before coming home a friend took me to a hardware store where I bought a machete for a whopping $1.50 US. I put it in my large suitcase right on top of my clothes. Something happened in the airport, and by the time I had my luggage to leave there was nobody at the check station. I hesitated to just walk past and I guess someone spotted me there. They asked if I had anything to declare, and not even thinking about my purchase I said no. I was let through without x-ray or checking. Later on when I was home and unpacking I realized I had forgotten the machete I had right under the luggage cover. For official reference, although that machete has brought an untimely death to countless weeds, vines, and small branches, it has yet to have any blood on it- surprising since I usually manage to eventually cut myself on knives. As for the coffee, it garnered interest until discovered that it was roasted, ground, and commercially packaged.

    I never had fruit or plants on a plane, but I was wondering what the regulations were about bringing bamboo into the US. I should check it out because if allowed I may have an opportunity to bring some later this year.

  2. Ralph ⋅

    How are the banana plants doing? It must be their time of year to multiply. I have 3 new plants starting to bud off the base of the big plant. The small plant I unsuccessfully split now has 2 new plants starting. One is still a round stem, but the other is already growing leaves. If you haven’t already, check near the base of the plant for little green buds and for stems growing out of the soil. With a little luck you can start your own plantation pretty soon. The third generation of mine are growing from a fairly small plant so I guess they don’t have to be too large to multiply. It will be a while before I even think of splitting any again. Now if only ‘big ba-mama’ would grow some fruit! It’s too big to get through the door without damage, but it’s doing just fine inside where it is. The small one also stays inside except for once in a while when I put it out in the rain. They seem to be sensitive when moving from being inside a lot to outside- or more specifically from indirect sun to full sun. The leaves seem to droop, yellow, then die- but the new grown leaves seem to adapt. For me, I just keep them inside and rotate the pots to get light to the whole plant. I’ve had banana plants for a few years and am still learning from them. I guess the same is true for gardening as a whole.

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