November 2011

From my driveway I can see three forsythia bushes.  They are splits from one that used to be too close that I transplanted when we first moved into this house.  I placed them so when you top the hill driving in a car  and start coming down there are square in the middle of the view.  They are enjoying the mild November weather and have some sporadic blooms on them.

I see an odd dandelion in bloom here and there also.  Just a reminder that the yet unmanifest winter won’t last forever.

I planted a mix of radishes and Austrian winter peas for a ground cover.  Here it is in full glory, edible leaves still vibrant as of today.

I was too lax calibrating the seed when I planted it, just grabbing a few handfuls and tossing them out, and badly overseeded it. Which meant that the radishes crowded out the winter peas. You can see some peas if you look closely but they survived not thrived.

The plus side is the radishes also crowded out the winter weeds so that is a good thing but next year I need to measure the bed, then weigh out the seed so I get closer to the recommended rate.

With rye or oats I just toss them out and do want it a little thick because it is for green manure and not harvest, but those radish seeds are exponentially smaller than the cereal grains so I blew it going the Zen route of grab and go with the flow.

Here is a picture of the same mix planted outside the fence.

It grew pretty well for the first two months it was planted, August and September, but once October arrived I could see the tops grazed off from 18″ (46 cm) high by about a third. In the past two weeks it has been grazed to the ground.

Not only did I lose the surface green biomass (the roots will still provide a lot) but the deer have done a lot of structural damage with their hooves in effect working the clay soil while it is wet.

In net I may have been better off to not plant this mix where the deer can access it. They bother rye but not to this extent.

I have two plots outside the fence I rotate potatoes in. The problem with rye is that it has to be dealt with in the spring before you can plant potatoes. The Groundbreaker mix winter kills and  mulches the winter garden bed but is not in the way for early spring turning under.

When you turn a cover crop under, it ties up all the available soil nitrogen for a couple of weeks in the early stages of decomposition. All that plus becomes available after two weeks, but it isn’t the best to have that delay when you are dodging wet soils and trying to get in an early potato crop.

Next year I will try oats for the potato beds.  They come on in the fall but winter kill so they are out of the way in the spring.


From Asahiart’s Blog

Cruising the net I found this picture of my daughter Manjari. See it in larger size here. Manjari is the one sitting on the ground.

From the site:

“A friend of mine was a Hare Krishna devotee back in the 80′s. I was intrigued with her lifestyle of devotion to Krishna, so when she invited me to spend some time with her at New Vrindaban, a Hare Krishna community and temple in West Virginia, I jumped at the chance.

“This image is one from my time at New Vrindaban. I got to know some of the devotee children, who were a wonderful mix of devotion and joy, as were all the devotees I got to know in the week I spent there.

“On this Fine Arts Friday, I’m dusting off this favorite image. I love the way they are so unaware of my camera. Kids usually ham it up when they see a camera, but these kids just went about their business.”

We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here
          to praise Him.
We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered
          that these beings shall always be living to multiply the earth.
We thank Him for making the earth and giving these beings its products
          to live on.
We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
          for our lands.
We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.
We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have fluids coming
          from them for us all.
We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
          for our shelter.
We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, the thunder
          and lightning that water the earth.
We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
          that works for our good.
We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, and thank
          all its trees.
We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
          of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
          the stars.
We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
          through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of this pleasant
We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit’s music,
          and hope they will be privileged to continue in his faith.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
          on this occasion.

Someone asked me what I was going to make for Thanksgiving.

My reply? “Reservations.”

Well, not exactly but with the kids all gone we don’t bother making much.  We have an invitation to a  friends celebration and our contribution will be a vegan cake and our fake champagne.

Our alcohol free champagne recipe is one 2 liter bottle of ginger ale mixed with a can of frozen white grape juice concentrate.  Throw in some frozen berries for visual appeal and add ice cubes.

Here is a nice page with lots of ideas to pick from if you are still looking.

The Veggie Table
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

“American Thanksgiving dinner, with its traditional turkey as the main course, can be difficult for vegetarians. Here are some ideas to mix and match for your vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, from appetizers to dessert.”

By Michael Gorton, CEO and chairman, Principal Solar

Here’s a breath of fresh air for the future of electric vehicles (EVs): Cities across the country have been given the green light to install more solar-powered charging stations that promise to energize the demand for electric and hybrid vehicles while reducing pollution on the supply side.

Corporate planners and municipalities must play an instrumental role in bringing EV to the mainstream. Otherwise, “range anxiety” will remain the Achilles’ heel of electric cars.

Also read: Solar, storage, and EVs: a powerful trifecta

Hundreds of these solar-powered recharging stations have sprouted up across the nation, giving juice to the “green revolution” and building upon awareness that the sun is a versatile and efficient renewable energy resource — here today, here to stay.

The US federal government has already doled out several hundred million dollars to at least nine cities so that they can install free charging stations designed to keep electric vehicles on the road and influence tepid public purchasing attitudes.

Many of these recharging connections, which look something like streamlined gasoline pumps, have been deployed at highly concentrated areas including shopping malls, motels, and dozens of public places where cars might be parked long enough to get a jolt of needed power.

Private enterprise is also joining forces in collaborative efforts to converge smart technologies with solar energy to put these carports on the map where they might be least expected — from South Bend, IN to Portland, OR.

Automakers couldn’t be any happier. They see solar-powered EV charging stations as an avenue to make owners of conventional automobiles, who may have been reluctant to pay a heftier price for an EV, green with envy now that the potential exists to drive farther without getting stranded and eliminating the cost of gas at the pumps.

By the end of 2012, almost every major automaker, from General Motors to Honda, plans to have a least one electric car on its showroom floor; a far cry from when the highly successful Toyota Prius became the first hybrid — a car that runs on two distinctive sources of power — to penetrate the market in 2006.

As EVs enter the American mainstream in anticipated record numbers, corporate planners and municipalities must play an instrumental role in laying the groundwork to continue the trend toward clean technology within the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Careful consideration and understanding of the deployment and integration of public charging stations should be made with daily commuting and typical driving habits in mind.

Otherwise, “range anxiety” will remain the Achilles’ heel of electric cars. Batteries need to be charged by safe, practical, affordable and easy-to-access renewable energy sources that eliminate concerns related to extended travel.

Americans have further fuel for thought. Natural-gas-powered vehicles are another contender to replace the traditional gasoline-automobile option. Natural gas is an abundant resource that produces significantly lower pollutants than gasoline and it is available virtually everywhere.

Cars powered by natural gas and their electric counterparts both have the advantage of lower air-polluting emissions and reduced operating expenses.

The success of these vehicles comes down to a significant reduction in prices, and an improvement in battery technology for electric vehicles to enter the mainstream.

Viable technologies exist today for alternative-fueled vehicles to become more than a vision, but a reality. What remains to be seen is a conscientious effort on the part of all Americans to educate, legislate, and enthuse one another to energize the transportation infrastructure with clean technologies so that the nation can become independent on foreign oil  — and take a big healthy breath of fresh air.


“Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D., is known internationally as the ‘Kirtan Rabbi.’ He travels everywhere to ever growing audiences presenting a unique, live Kirtan experience in vibrational Hebrew.

“Rabbi Hahn holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from the Jewish Theological Seminary and was ordained at Hebrew Union College – both in New York. He has absorbed music from all streams of Judaism, from his training in Western Classical music, as well as from an avid interest in Indian Classical music. He has explored the healing properties of sound and its application to meditation.

“A martial artist from youth, he is also sometimes called the ‘Tai Ch’i Rabbi.’ Drawing upon these various backgrounds, Rabbi Hahn will lace his kirtans with deep teachings and meditation techniques. He has two musical CDs: The much-beloved, Kirtan Rabbi: Live! (recorded at NY’s fabled B’nai Jeshurun synagogue) and the recently released, Achat Sha’alt (one thing I seek).”

Hear samples or purchase CD  here.

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