Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Don’t let me down.

Image uploaded by JustaCoolCat
I don’t know about you, but for me icicles have been a life long fascination. As a kid they made great play swords, spears, hanging pillars of fascination, and in a pinch you could eat one to quench your thirst.

I remember being young and fascinated by the walls of ice that would form down the sides of the Duluth hills. Some people would use glacier gear and climb them while others would add different colored dyes to create stunning visuals.

As an adult their myriad of shapes that twist and turn towards the ground are always aesthetically pleasing.

With all the warm weather streaks followed by deep freezes we have the perfect weather for monster icicles in Minnesota.

Have you seen any cool icicles this winter?


Speaking of aesthetics if you’re looking for something to do tonight check out MIA’s Third Thursday Event. I can’t make it to this month’s event, but we are planning on going for Feb.


Image uploaded on December 28, 2009
by the queen of subtle and she writes

countdown to white-out conditions: 3… 2… 1…

i think this is the only snowplow in the state.

Then I write . . .
I don’t know about your neighborhood, but our street is down to one land as the city plows left a 3 foot ice wall in the intersection. It’s actually quite menacing, I hope no one runs into it at 30mph.

Do you have any storm stories? Or more importantly, do you have an post storm bitch-fest you’d like to share about your city streets, sidewalks, neighbors, or that creepy person that watches you in the gym locker room?

Do tell.


Ho Ho Ho

This will likely be my last post till after Christmas, so have a merry one and remember Santa loves you.

How much?

So very much.

Well . . . the weather outside is frightful .. .
but Santa’s luvin’ is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Ho Ho HO
Ho Ho Ho

Come on baby light my fire.

Image Uploaded on December 11, 2009 by urban@

It’s a good weekend to have a fire. Don’t you just love the smell of a wood fire?

Stay warm. Avoid malls. Eat the rich.

Happy Holidays!


Talking Minnesotan – 12/18/2009

It was eerily quite in Minnesota this week. No major media brawls, no yelling at kids to get off the snowbank, no polite discussion about the weather, it was strange. All told there were maybe three words uttered in the entire 7 days, but my team of fact checkers were unable to verify they actually happened.

I suppose this is part of an inevitible shift towards texting and twittering all communications.

Though, Minnesotan Al Franken has had a few things to say in D.C. and my homies at In The Loop made this video in his honor.
Night Before Christmas (Joe Lieberman -style)

Finally, someone is speaking again. Now maybe now we can get back to the accustomed “Cold enough for ya?” and “LEARN TO DRIVE YOU MOTHERF*&$#NG SON OF A WH@RE” that usually permeates the air this time of year.

Speaking of air, The Uptake has real time Climate Conference video and check out their tweet bar for some sweet data. mmmmmm data.

Need some food-N-Booze? SOTC has Holiday Cocktails and Beyond

Have you heard that They think they found Dark Matter at the bottome of a Minnesota mine? I’m sure it’s either that or a hockey puck.

Marrina ponders beauty MeiselPic: What Your Facebook Friends Might Look Like If They Were Super-Hot Models

Want to hear something cool? Cathy Wurzer of Minnesota Public Radio brings us the Minnesota Beatle Project

a new CD that features 16 Minnesota-based artists interpreting Beatles songs. One of the more intriguing tracks in the collection is a version of “Norwegian Wood” by Jeremy Messersmith and Zach Coulter.

Sadly, I wasn’t invited to sing; even though it’s widely known no one in Minnesota can cover McCartney like I. JET! Whooooo ooooooo JET!
Though I’m not bitter,but there will be blood. Fake blood made of pistachio pudding and and boiled okra.
Using fake blood clots to train real nurses

Blood not your thing? Fair enough, not really mine either so let’s calm down Minnesota style with some Owl City.

This is how cold it is in Minnesota

(Image of Saint Paul “Trophy” Originally Uploaded on September 9, 2009
by kodiax2)

It’s so cold in Minnesota it’ll twist your vision. At the time of this posting said it was -2 f, feels like -18.

Maybe it’s time for some really bad cold jokes?
No, too soon?

Fine, bad polar bear jokes it is…
Q: What do you get when you cross a polar bear with a seal?
A: A polar bear

Duluth Minnesota

Duluth - Sat - 12-05-09 071
Oh shit, I’m in Duluth. My theory is Duluth birds actually poop more than any other birds in the world. Draw your own conclusions.

I’m busy trying to stay alive and keep from getting too creeped out.

Duluth - Sat - 12-05-09 063

I didn’t post my cleche’ shot of the lift bridge or hillside yet, but rest assured they are on the way.

Go D-Town!


Evening on the Mississippi

Image uploaded on November 28, 2009
by draftpodium

We’ve had some great sunsets this week. Since it’s the Internet and I can choose my superpowers I am going to choose the powers of a weather forecaster and say there won’t be snow during the next three days during dusk and every sunset until Thursday will be awesome. I’m not kidding, check them out.

If I am wrong and it does snow, feel free to write an angry letter to Minnpost care of Paul Douglas whom I’m sure will be happy to answer all your complaints about me and my inaccurate weather forecasting ways.

Once again, Snow = Blame Paul Douglas.

No snow = It’s going to be a serene couple of evenings on the mighty Mississippi, enjoy it while it lasts.

And if you do end up on the banks of this beautiful river during a serene sunset, take a moment to think of your Internet superpowers.


How Green Was My Garden: Mr. Freeze

Mr. Freeze 2

Mr. Freeze is upon us. Yes, the Twin Cities has already endured the first official hard freeze meaning the growing season has officially ceased.  I had to scramble home to dig up what was left of the carrots, parsnips, turnips, leeks, beets and onions to put up in the root cellar (well the one I set up in the basement) for the winter and try to see if any of the cabbage or cauliflower had anything to harvest when the temps plummeted in late October.  I had plucked most of the green tomatoes at the first frost warning but was disappointed not to have just a few more weeks, especially now we are having this last gasp Indian Summer. 

My second harvest of peas never quite made to blossom thanks to the lack of rain unfortunately, and a bad case of fungus on a nearby squash wouldn’t have helped their quality anyway. 

It was a challenging year for gardening this season. With the very cool temperatures and drought conditions there were many challenges. I had my worst year for squash borer ever, killing most of my winter squash plants. I also battled late onset of white mildew on my zucchini and yellow squash due to all the late watering I had to do, and then very wet fall, so a very disappointing year for squash.

What I lacked in squash I more than made up for in cucumber however.  I tried a new variety alongside my traditional Organic Sweet Marketmore, a Thompson & Morgan Picolino F1 Hybrid Organic, which was a tremendous hit. Incredible producer and wonderful flavour, no bitterness, thin skin.

My peppers did yield but very little thanks to the cool temps and late start to the summer and the fact that I planted too close to tomatoes that grew out of control so they likely didn’t get quite enough light.  I got enough Jalepeno to make salsa, and red peppers to make stir fries so that is good.

My tomatoes were out of control this year.  All of my plants were from seed this year except two, the Amish Paste & Sweet 100 that I picked up at Mother Earth Gardens.  Unfortunately My experiment of trying to get the rainbow cherry tomatoes didn’t work as well as hoped and I ended up with hundreds of red cherry tomatoes. A good thing if you have people to donate them to, but after a while you do run out of things to do with cherry tomatoes. I was disappointed I did not end up with the purple, yellow and orange varieties from the seeds but the plants did thrive well and the Sweet 100 was insane with production.

The Roma, Black Plum, San Marzano, Amish Paste & Roprecco Paste Tomatoes were fantastic though as mentioned before they were delayed, once they finally started to ripen I had a wonderful crop and made wonderful sauces & salsas all summer long and have been canning all fall.

One of the nicest surprises was a new tomato variety I tried, the Matina, another organic Thompson & Morgan seed. Despite the black walnut mystery that baffled me for a while, these were a wonderful early and constant producer throughout the summer and fall.  A great salad & slicing tomato also good for sauces and cooking and even have held up to canning.

This was a first year for garlic for me and was very pleased with the result and am excited to plant again this week! Small bulbs but who can complain when you get both scapes and a fresh bulb from a tiny clove fresh from your own ground?

Onions I did not have as good a result thanks to trampling super-raccoons. They used the place where my onions were planted as their path to my yard and kept breaking the stalks, stunting the growth of the bulbs so I ended up with very small yield for my onions this year.  But have some nice shallots and a few nice ones for cooking.  Will have to address that next season.

Despite a mowing down by baby rabbits (chicken wire fence didn’t keep them out) early in the season my carrot crop is tremendous!  Am going to be making stews and soups all winter long!  There are some spotty nematode affected areas, but have found an organic early treatment product that can be applied to prevent the space alien-type distortion that the harmful nematodes create.

Parsnips and turnips did well too, despite the drought, though the turnips did also have some pest issues. Because it is an organic garden there is little that can be done other than try to introduce some more beneficial insect population.

The rainbow beets have been enjoyed all summer in salads and a second yield will be pickled and canned.  The organic compost mix and tilling I did to the corner plot seemed to be a boon for my beets though the lack of water was a challenge at times.

Being the fine Welsh lass that I am, I am probably most proud of my perfectly straight row of thick pale leeks.  I am looking forward to making a lovely bowl of Cawl with the Yukon Gold potatoes I grew in the bag this year.  The red new potatoes were lovely too, and the bag method was fantastic, such an easy harvest.

The cabbage & cauliflower & broccoli plants did extremely well but did not produce until just now so they are tiny.  I believe it is because there was a big branch of my maple tree that decided to grow over the raised bed this season that seemed to shade that area during part of the day.  It received a great deal of sun but perhaps not for long enough of the day and that may have stunted the growth, or perhaps the growing season was just not long enough this year with the cool weather having grown the plants from seed.  Either way, the plants were disappointing with only a few small cabbage heads and some plants with no cauliflower heads or tiny ones.  Will have to examine what to do with tree or bed next season.

The bush beans and broad beans were perfect for us this season, but did not yield enough to preserve as the drought took its toll on the plants late in the season. Hopefully next year is better.

Japanese Eggplant was stupendous, despite the cool weather, much better than the traditional one, which only yielded one big fruit due to lack of heat.  Will add a Thai eggplant next year I think.

With my added space from the raised beds I’ve found I need to devote more time to preserving.  We are going to invest in a new freezer for next season, though I quite enjoyed canning  it is much greater time investment, so I will split my harvest next year between the freezer and pantry, or find some sous chefs to help in the canning process in exchange for a few take-home gifts of tomato sauce or tomatoes. And I will be buying more Green Bags to keep the fresh items like cucumber and lettuce in the refrigerator longer.

It was a challenging season but the end of the year was wonderful and I am still enjoying my bounty but now it is time to cover up the beds with mulch, put away the tools and start pouring over the seed catalogs to plan for next season.

Lets see, seed starting begins in February, so that gives me three months for planning!

How Green Was My Garden: Goodnight Garden


Tucked in for the Winter (Pamz2)

Tucked in for the Winter (Pamz2)

Putting your garden to bed is never a fun garden chore.  I am in the process of doing mine and I speak from experience. But it is a necessary one and there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure a happier spring. Peat Wilcutt, famous is conducting a seminar on proper techniques for putting your garden to bed for the winter as well as planing garlic and other fall crops.   Details of the seminar below:


Famous Chickens in the City Instructor, Peat Wilcutt, will provide you with the tools to have a proactive approach to perennial and vegetable winter gardening

Date:      Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Time:      6:30pm
Where:      Urban Earth Cooperative
Topics included:
Winter gardening
setting up a cold frame
planting fall crops such as garlic
cover crops

Space is limited so reserve now for Peats class tonight, October 20th!
To pre-register call Urban Earth at 612-824-0066
$10 for members
$15 for nonmembers
Each student will receive a free heirloom garlic bulb for planting.
Urban Earth Cooperative
910 W. 36th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408

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