Via NASA, a heart-stopping 13-second animation that shows how temperatures have warmed up since 1950. More here.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Cleared out a pile of half finished projects and put a nice ping pong table out in the shop. Just enough room to have a decent game.
We bought a floor model from Mr. Ping Pong, who is about 1/2 mile away on Chicago Ave. Out of the same building he runs Mr. Flower and a U-haul franchise in addition to a ping pong school. When I walked in a girl was doing hitting drills with a pro in an otherwise empty room of tables. Cool place.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Our seeds from Bountiful Gardens were strong and sure and the plants themselves have withstood weeks of blistering heat on our roof (and I do mean blistering--up to 120 degrees F some days).
Monday, July 22, 2013
...in order to compensate for the continued loss of habitat we need to plant LOTS AND LOTS of milkweed. To assure a future for monarchs, conservation and restoration of milkweeds needs to become a national priority.factors involved in the declining numbers are worth a quick read.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Is everything perfect? No, the skins on some of the tomatoes are tough owing to weird weather swings. That yellow-orange Dr Wyche in the middle is looking particularly haggard.
And some of the tomato plants--victims of Chicago's week-long 95-degree F temps (10 to 20 degrees hotter on the roof) and some sort of wilty looking disease--seem like they might give up the ghost after a single flush of fruit.
It's easy to get caught up in growing projects that haven't worked (I should have tagged them). I often remind myself the only reason we moved to the roof was because our garden beds got too shaded by trees to support growing produce.
Six pounds picked today
More than enough for lunch: last of the greens, luscious Provider beans, a few tomatoes (chicken shown but not grown).
- Greens (we've been eating them since April, four months ago)
- Peppers hot and sweet
- Certain tomato varieties
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
We ate all five of the early tomatoes we picked yesterday, warm-to-nearly hot from the roof. I picked this one, a Matina, this morning along with three more.
“A cooked tomato is like a cooked oyster: ruined.”
Andre Simon (1877-1970)
Andre Simon (1877-1970)
A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Seed from Hudson Valley Seed Library, much of it saved from previous years. At left are HVSL's braising greens, a nice mix.
Monday, July 8, 2013
After the rainiest spring on record and with some wild temperature swings, we had enough sun and heat to set up and ripen our favorite early tomato varieties.
We planted out these seedlings on a warm May 6 day, several weeks before tomatoes have historically been safe from frost to plant in Chicago. And then, bizarrely, on May 20 it was 90 degrees F. People, this is not Chicago weather.
We've found these relatively smaller, earlier varieties most able to withstand weather extremes. Larger tomatoes don't do as well on our roof these days.
These ripening fruits need a blast of heat to boost flavor, and it looks like they'll get in over the next couple weeks.