Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Sling A Pumpkin

This year my rogue pumpkins (all volunteers) even started climbing my fences. This one started setting a fruit while twining up my flimsy fence. I knew it would break off from the vine as soon as it started to get heavy, so I put on my thinking cap for a minute mesh shopping bag to the rescue! Now I have a pumpkin sling, and these mesh bags are great because they expand so much, this pumpkin could get quite large before it tested the capacity of this bag. As you can see, the pumpkin is starting to ripen up nicely, and I think it will survive to maturity in it's happy little sling.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Than One Out of Ten

I'm happy to say that I'm one of the 11% of Eugeneans that commute by bike. Our town now has the highest bike commute rate in the nation for a city of its size or larger, according to the U.S. Census. Do you remember about a year ago when I wrote that I thought that the number of cyclists I was seeing on my commute was going dramatically up?  As it turns out, that was accurate. Our bike commuting has increased by about a third in the last two years. So it's not just anecdotal, there really are lots more bikes on the road (and the bike racks are full when I try to lock my bike up somewhere).

I also just recently participated in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan process, and am excited that our city is on the path of adding even more improvements to our bicycling and pedestrian access and safety. Just this summer, in addition to the ubiquitous road improvements, I have noticed some ped-and-bike-friendly improvements just in my neighborhood. A local street was revamped and sidewalks added. This means we can now walk our dogs to the dog park safely instead of having to drive them there. The bike path near the school was widened and re-paved, taking out the unsafe bike-tire-eating cracks and making it wide enough to pass pedestrians safely. I already blogged about the new bike bridge and the intersection redesign which made my commute safer and gave my kids the ability to bike to the pool and park. We also have revamped and repainted a bike box downtown (though cycling advocates had hoped for the bold green bike box paint that Portland is now sporting for better visibility). Since I go through this intersection frequently though, it's nice to at least have it clearly marked as a bike box (it used to be ambiguous).

All in all, although there are many areas where my city could definitely improve (one street in particular), I am happy to see them continue to move in a direction that encourages non-motorized transport.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Happy Spa Chicken and Harvest Time

I'm happy to report that the chicken spa treatments did the job. Voodoo's foot is back to normal and apparently we didn't have to face the dreaded bumblefoot. Now it's just harvest time in the garden, a race to get all the produce in and dealt with, as well as mulching and taking care of our late fall/winter crops. I had hoped to have a space to move my cold frames to, but it was overtaken by rogue pumpkin vines that have set fruit. Since we all love pumpkin here, I'm loathe to move the pumpkins until we've harvested them, which means the cold frames may have to wait.

Every year at this time, this blog takes a significant lull as I try to keep on top of everything going on outside in the few weeks of good weather we have remaining. Happy gardening to all!