Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lured to Lake Superior

After six years of noTTafarming, we finally bit the bullet and planned an actual vacation - one where we spent more than one night away from home, traveled out of state, and tried not to worry about the kitties or the yardwork awaiting our return. It was wonderful to escape to the shore of Lake Superior for four mid-September days.
We last took a trip north of the Twin Cities in 2009 so it was really fun to see the changes in Duluth, Minnesota. We stayed at brand new hotel ( right on the water. Though the trees hadn't quite started changing, there was a hint of fall in the cool air.
Duluth's waterfront has been developed into a wonderful event space. There were a lot of people enjoying the area, even during the work week when we visited.
We stayed in Duluth but traveled north along the scenic highway to Grand Marais the first day. We stopped at Gooseberry Falls State Park and enjoyed a hike.
Next stop:  Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.  
The activity Scott looked forward to the most was picking up rocks on the lakeshore. He made it home with a couple of handfuls which he now has displayed on his desk.
In Grand Marais, the skies turned darker as the afternoon wore on, casting an ominous shadow over the lake.
On the second day, we drove east to Bayfield, Wisconsin, home of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It's a beautiful, quaint little town with lots of cute shops and incredible scenery. The following day, we stopped in Minneapolis on the way home for lunch downtown and a short shopping spree then hopped in the car for an uneventful trip home. The kitties were expertly cared for by Gramma and Grampa Camp so they were unfazed by our absence (but I sure was happy to see them.)

We enjoyed our time away but are happily back in the swing of things here at noTTafarm.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Rocks, Rocks, Everywhere

When someone asks, "Hey, Scott. Do you want all the river rock we're taking off this giant building's roof?" you know the answer is going to be, "Sure!" After all, why would anyone turn down three dump truck loads of FREE river rock? The rock was delivered to us on Monday, Sept. 19.
The rocks were placed in a very neat pile on the south side of the barn.
So Pretty!
We're not exactly sure what we're going to do with all of the rock but we know we can use it. One possibility is the creation of a retaining wall for the cottonwood flower bed using Gabion Walls.
Scott is researching this option; we're not sure that the small size of the rocks in our stockpile will work with commercially-available gabion baskets. Raise your hand if you have learned a new word today:  gabion!

According to Wikipedia:
A gabion (from Italian gabbione meaning "big cage"; from Italian gabbia and Latin cavea meaning "cage") is a cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications and landscaping.  

Whatever we decide to do, we'll probably need to rent a Bobcat - so at least I'll have something to blog about! 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Peppers for Everyone!

The funny thing about planting six pepper plants (five surviving) is that you actually get a ton of peppers to harvest. Sadly, only 50% of noTTafarmers actually enjoy eating peppers. Luckily, the Internet told me that peppers can easily be frozen.
Scott selected Yellow Blush and Orange Blaze bell peppers and Carmen (a small sweet red peppers.)
Scott and I washed the peppers and cut them into skinny strips before popping them into freezer bags. The yield of six bags, each about 8 oz., will need to be eaten in the next six months...(not to mention the next batch waiting for harvest in the garden.) Hopefully, the Internet will also help me find pepper-rich recipes to try for Scott.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Garden Update!