Archive for the ‘Jonesboro Garden’ Category

>Friday Five

April 17, 2009

>1) At the Pensacola Teabagging Party at least one person told the truth. Watch.

“back in 2000, there was a budget surplus in the country [lukewarm cheers], and then the next eight years, it was destroyed by the profligate spending of the Bush administration.”

“Your taxes are going to be cut under the current budget—congratulations!”

“So let’s remember that if you’re going to argue about lower taxes and less spending to place the blame where the blame belongs—and that’s squarely in the hands of the Republican Congress and the Bush administration.”

Did the guy make it out alive? (Thanks Kathy )

2) See whats developing at the Jonesboro Community Garden and view pictures. Bessemer Science and Nature .


3) What a surprise. The day that I promote my friend Malcolm Marler’s web site, he comes out!
Malcolm’s Coming Out. I kind of suspected.

4) Be safe this weekend. Be aware of your surroundings. If anything seems unusual, be suspicious.

5) Be sure to read what I had to say about Legion Field in The Western Tribune. It follows this post.

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>Gardens and Farms

March 30, 2009

>Be sure to check Bessemer Science and Nature where yesterday I began to document the saga of a family of Robins, and today we travel to Mars.

There is a new sign in the Jonesboro Community Garden.

In case the photo is difficult to read, the Garden is giving thanks to Vulcan Materials, Bessemer City Schools, Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association, Bessemer Rotary Club, Trey Tarrant and the Horticulture Students of Lawson State Community College, Building Science Department of Lawson State Community College, New Light Baptist Church, American Community Garden Association, and Alabama Cooperative Extension.

All of these groups have contributed in various ways to the Garden. The Garden is there for you to enjoy. If you want to bring a lawnmower…

There are also new directional signs as you approach on Owen Avenue.

Near Bessemer near McCalla is Fig Leaf Farm.


At Fig Leaf Farm, Joe and Sara use sustainable methods to grow fresh produce and flowers, some of which will be sold this year at Pepper Place Market .

Here they are preparing the soil for planting.

Click on the “Methods” tab in the site and see how they improve the soil, what amendments they use and how they manage insects and pests. There are many things those of us with gardens can do to improve our yields without harming the earth. Here’s a quote from their site, “We firmly believe in the message behind the oft-quoted command Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt.”

One neat thing is a link to this Web Soil survey where you can learn what type of soil you have using the USDA’s Geospatial Data. For instance, Fig Leaf Farm’s upland is primarily Tupelo silt loam and the bottoms are Sullivan-Ketona complex, a “loamy alluvium derived from sedimentary rock.”

We are fortunate to have growers nearby who care about the land and are willing to share and promote sustainable use of the land.

>Spring Time in Bessemer

March 23, 2009

>The dwarf double flowering almond is one of the first things to bloom in our yard each spring, and it never disappoints. Except the flowers don’t last long enough. But isn’t that true of most flowers (and most other good things)?


In our little Zen Garden the maple tree is putting out blooms and leaves at the same time. People often comment that the leaves of these ornamental maples look like marijuana leaves. Speaking of (medical) marijuana, Loretta Nall had a great letter printed in the Montgomery Advertiser (although I can’t link to it) about HB434, the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act. Here is a link to the letter at her site.


I’m hoping my cousin or someone else can tell me what’s going on with this leaf. I found it a couple of week’s ago in the back yard while preparing to plant a grape vine. I searched around and did not see any others that looked the same. Plant virus? I don’t know.

The first Jonesboro Community Garden workday of 2009 was held Saturday, and several members of the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association showed up to dig and plant and gossip about those who were not there. Not really, you know we wouldn’t gossip.

We planted a dogwood tree, a magnolia, four fruit trees and several vines and other plants. But gardening is not just planting. Here the old growth is being trimmed from some ornamental grasses, and crepe myrtles were trimmed as well.

Five camellias were planted. Notice a couple of things about this picture. Near the center, behind the camellias, is a redbud tree. There are several redbuds and pecan trees and nandinas along the fence that we are going to save to be part of the garden. But the fence will be cleaned up as well, and this has begun to the left. The old chain link fence is there because this was a school yard and it kept the kids in. Or the creeps out. We still want to keep the creeps out.


The Bessemer School Board will meet Tuesday, September 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM in the board room at their office at 1621 5th Ave N. The fate of Arlington School is on the agenda. Let’s hope they save it, and let’s be there in support. If they choose to destroy it, in a few decades will progressive neighbors be working to create a garden on the site, like in Jonesboro? We have enough vacant lots crying out to be tended as it is, and we think we can have both significant historic buildings and beautiful gardens.

>Redbuds and Scott Avett

March 18, 2009

>

Redbud trees are blooming. I know I probably say this every year, but they were a favorite of my mother. To her, they were a signal that spring was, indeed, here.

Look at the flowers closely. Often we just see a splash of pink along the roadside or at the edge of the yard, but never take time to notice the intricate details of the things that we appreciate.

There will be a workday at the Jonesboro Community Garden on Saturday, March 21 beginning at 9:00 am. We will be planting some new things, trimming some old things, and just getting the garden ready for Spring. come and join us. Look for an announcement soon of an Earth Day event at the Garden (maybe).

I keep hearing this song by the Avett Brothers, so I guess its time to post the video.

Singer Scott Avett is also an artist. Here’s a link to his work. Scott was born in Wyoming but raised in the Piedmont of North Carolina.

Scott has been described as an “Artist Hobo, for his methods of collecting subject matter, inspiration, and time to work, expresses his ideas through multiple artistic mediums. These mediums include illustration, printmaking, painting, sculpture, songwriting, recording, and performing.”

“Conceptually, Avett’s work involves self critical analysis and awareness of one’s mental strengths and weaknesses such as phobia’s and talents, fears and courage.”

Speaking of art, I just got permission to use an author’s photos of petroglyphs from Nevada in a project I am working on with UAB. This is gonna be fun.

Bessemer This, Bessemer That and Raven!

February 20, 2008

On Monday February 25 at 7:00 the Bessemer Neighborhood Association will hold a meeting for city residents who are interested in the Bessemer Water Service, GUSC and the future of our water supply. The meeting is at Food World on 9th Avenue in their community room and all are encouraged to come. Care about your water rates?

On Saturday February 23 from 10 to 2 there will be a work day at Jonesboro Community Garden. This day is being sponsored by the Bessemer Rotary Club and the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association. There will be planting of trees and shrubs and spreading of gravel in the parking area.

February 23 of each year commemorates the anniversary of Rotary International as Rotary World Understanding Day. 2008 marks the 103rd birthday of Rotary. Contributing to the Jonesboro Community Garden contributes to an outstanding effort in the Jonesboro community that includes residents, churches and the Jonesboro Elementary School. Thank you Rotary for your interest and contribution to this project.

The Garden is located at the corner of Owen Avenue and Wellington Street.

Many of you know Raven, the Goddess of Entertainment, who is well known in Atlanta but also performs frequently here in Birmingham. She graced Jonathon and Kyle’s “Christmas at the Castle” party in Bessemer this year, with this performance. Who says we don’t know how to party and have fun in Bessemer. Thanks for this video, Alex and thanks Jonathon and Kyle for bringing both style and entertainment to new heights in our community.

No doubt this is Bessemer: you can hear the train in the background during the performance.

>Bessemer This, Bessemer That and Raven!

February 20, 2008

>On Monday February 25 at 7:00 the Bessemer Neighborhood Association will hold a meeting for city residents who are interested in the Bessemer Water Service, GUSC and the future of our water supply. The meeting is at Food World on 9th Avenue in their community room and all are encouraged to come. Care about your water rates?

On Saturday February 23 from 10 to 2 there will be a work day at Jonesboro Community Garden. This day is being sponsored by the Bessemer Rotary Club and the Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association. There will be planting of trees and shrubs and spreading of gravel in the parking area.

February 23 of each year commemorates the anniversary of Rotary International as Rotary World Understanding Day. 2008 marks the 103rd birthday of Rotary. Contributing to the Jonesboro Community Garden contributes to an outstanding effort in the Jonesboro community that includes residents, churches and the Jonesboro Elementary School. Thank you Rotary for your interest and contribution to this project.

The Garden is located at the corner of Owen Avenue and Wellington Street.

Many of you know Raven, the Goddess of Entertainment, who is well known in Atlanta but also performs frequently here in Birmingham. She graced Jonathon and Kyle’s “Christmas at the Castle” party in Bessemer this year, with this performance. Who says we don’t know how to party and have fun in Bessemer. Thanks for this video, Alex and thanks Jonathon and Kyle for bringing both style and entertainment to new heights in our community.

No doubt this is Bessemer: you can hear the train in the background during the performance.

Weekend pictures

March 30, 2007

Today I am not thinking so I won’t write creatively. I will just post some pictures.

Yesterday I was watering the plants in Jonesboro, when I noticed a lot of robins and a dove enjoying the birdbath I had just cleaned and refilled with water. Here is the dove. At least the birds are coming to see the developing garden.

This is a weeping willow that we have planted. It’s hard to take a picture of a scrawny tree with little leaves against a green background…nothing showed up, so I got low to use the sky. I just wanted to show this tree because there is some trepidation by some people about us planting it. Seems the legend is that when it gets tall enough to shadow your grave you die. Well, from this picture, you can be sure that it is already tall enough to shade a grave, so hopefully we have bypassed the weeping willow death knell.

This flame azalea is great. It is supposed to be native, but I have not seen them in the woods in this area. I have seen them in the mountains of Tennessee. Come over soon if you want to see it in person.

This is columbine. These just sprout up in various places, and over the years I have herded most of them up to surround these stone foundations. They are one of my favorites, they move so freely in the wind. There are orange ones also, but their pictures were not in focus, so maybe next time. I like these muted more natural colors much better than the bright columbines you see at the nurseries nowadays. That’s just me.

>Weekend pictures

March 30, 2007

> Today I am not thinking so I won’t write creatively. I will just post some pictures.

Yesterday I was watering the plants in Jonesboro, when I noticed a lot of robins and a dove enjoying the birdbath I had just cleaned and refilled with water. Here is the dove. At least the birds are coming to see the developing garden.

This is a weeping willow that we have planted. It’s hard to take a picture of a scrawny tree with little leaves against a green background…nothing showed up, so I got low to use the sky. I just wanted to show this tree because there is some trepidation by some people about us planting it. Seems the legend is that when it gets tall enough to shadow your grave you die. Well, from this picture, you can be sure that it is already tall enough to shade a grave, so hopefully we have bypassed the weeping willow death knell.

This flame azalea is great. It is supposed to be native, but I have not seen them in the woods in this area. I have seen them in the mountains of Tennessee. Come over soon if you want to see it in person.

This is columbine. These just sprout up in various places, and over the years I have herded most of them up to surround these stone foundations. They are one of my favorites, they move so freely in the wind. There are orange ones also, but their pictures were not in focus, so maybe next time. I like these muted more natural colors much better than the bright columbines you see at the nurseries nowadays. That’s just me.

The Alabama Capitol and Free Rosetta Stone

March 26, 2007

Saturday we had a good day at Jonesboro, and established the initial planting of the Jonesboro Community Garden. It’s a little odd to see shrubs and young trees scattered across the vacant lot, but soon the areas will be mulched and a walking path established, trellises will be built, and during the summer a gazebo is going to be built by the Lawson State folks. Our city council person Earl Cochran joined in, along with neighbors and Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association members. Here Earl and Adam are digging holes.

Now we need some rain. Linda, I know you do a snow dance…can you do a rain dance?

Looks like my relatives are good supervisors. Actually, everyone did their share.

Free Garden Tour. Speaking of gardens, Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley has worked on beautifying the grounds of the state capitol in Montgomery. The building was restored 10 years ago, but nothing much has been to the grounds until she undertook the project, planting (or having it done) hundreds of bulbs, azaleas and roses.

Free tours of the grounds and the 1853 building will be next Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. Experts will be available on the Monroe Street side at 2 pm each day to give special presentations on the landscaping. Tours will begin every half hour at the Union Street entrance. These tours are replacing the annual Governors Mansion Spring Garden Tour because now the mansion is undergoing renovation.

For more information see www.800Alabama.com, or call 800 252-2262.

For those of you who can not make the tour, but would like to see what the capitol looks like, here is a pictorial tour by the Alabama Historical Commission:
http://www.preserveala.org/capitoltour.htm

You will notice that the virtual tour says “from 1846”. The first building in Montgomery burned, and this one was built in 1853.

We cleaned our fountain yesterday…the water had gotten kind of icky, and I have never seen so many happy robins. There were at least 4 that kept flying to the edge to drink, and would try to figure out a way to bathe. One (maybe more, I couldn’t really tell them apart) finally perched on the edge of the top tier, and realized she could jump in the shallow water and bathe without getting splashed like happened below. They had not been bathing in the yucky water. Here’s a shot of the fountain at night.


Some of you were here in December and saw the fountain in its frozen state.

Free Language Instruction

The Jefferson County Library System is offering the Rosetta Stone foreign language program for FREE online. Bessemer is one of the 9 (out of 18) funding libraries for this, but the program is available to anyone who has a Jefferson County Library Card. Twenty nine languages are available, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili and Vietnamese. For the complete list, and to sign up, visit www.jclc.org. There is a Rosetta Stone button on their home page. The program is only funded for a year, so get started. And encourage the libraries to continue the free service. Voy a volver a aprender mi español de la High School secundaria.

Speaking of birds, here’s an interesting story, a little something to put things in perspective. An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God’s wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage.One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesque on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4)

>The Alabama Capitol and Free Rosetta Stone

March 26, 2007

> Saturday we had a good day at Jonesboro, and established the initial planting of the Jonesboro Community Garden. It’s a little odd to see shrubs and young trees scattered across the vacant lot, but soon the areas will be mulched and a walking path established, trellises will be built, and during the summer a gazebo is going to be built by the Lawson State folks. Our city council person Earl Cochran joined in, along with neighbors and Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association members. Here Earl and Adam are digging holes.

Now we need some rain. Linda, I know you do a snow dance…can you do a rain dance?

Looks like my relatives are good supervisors. Actually, everyone did their share.

Free Garden Tour. Speaking of gardens, Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley has worked on beautifying the grounds of the state capitol in Montgomery. The building was restored 10 years ago, but nothing much has been to the grounds until she undertook the project, planting (or having it done) hundreds of bulbs, azaleas and roses.

Free tours of the grounds and the 1853 building will be next Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. Experts will be available on the Monroe Street side at 2 pm each day to give special presentations on the landscaping. Tours will begin every half hour at the Union Street entrance. These tours are replacing the annual Governors Mansion Spring Garden Tour because now the mansion is undergoing renovation.

For more information see www.800Alabama.com, or call 800 252-2262.

For those of you who can not make the tour, but would like to see what the capitol looks like, here is a pictorial tour by the Alabama Historical Commission:
http://www.preserveala.org/capitoltour.htm

You will notice that the virtual tour says “from 1846”. The first building in Montgomery burned, and this one was built in 1853.

We cleaned our fountain yesterday…the water had gotten kind of icky, and I have never seen so many happy robins. There were at least 4 that kept flying to the edge to drink, and would try to figure out a way to bathe. One (maybe more, I couldn’t really tell them apart) finally perched on the edge of the top tier, and realized she could jump in the shallow water and bathe without getting splashed like happened below. They had not been bathing in the yucky water. Here’s a shot of the fountain at night.


Some of you were here in December and saw the fountain in its frozen state.

Free Language Instruction

The Jefferson County Library System is offering the Rosetta Stone foreign language program for FREE online. Bessemer is one of the 9 (out of 18) funding libraries for this, but the program is available to anyone who has a Jefferson County Library Card. Twenty nine languages are available, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili and Vietnamese. For the complete list, and to sign up, visit www.jclc.org. There is a Rosetta Stone button on their home page. The program is only funded for a year, so get started. And encourage the libraries to continue the free service. Voy a volver a aprender mi español de la High School secundaria.

Speaking of birds, here’s an interesting story, a little something to put things in perspective. An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God’s wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage.One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesque on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4)