Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bicycle Camping 1 - O'Neill Park & La Pata Extension

Deep behind the "Orange Curtain", (and I mean really deep, deeper than Irvine), there exists a region that is of utmost niceness.  However one wishes to describe it, it is distinctly separated from the rest of the surrounding area by a canyon which is  passable only by one of four bridges (which probably didn't even exist 30 years ago), a toll road, or a 2 lane undivided highway.  This is the area encompassing the communities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto De Caza, Ladera Ranch, etc.  I have come to refer to it as the "Holy Land" of Orange County, not only because of the seemingly high concentration of churches or the naming of Santa Margarita, but because of the symbolic crossing over Trabuco Canyon required to enter.  You see, Trabuco Canyon was named so because of some Spanish explorer who had lost his gun (trabuco) in the canyon.  Thus making it a land devoid of violence... or at least that's how my imagination puts it together....  I know that many famous people live in the area especially since Coto De Caza is an entirely walled city, (meaning only the people that live there and their gardeners are allowed in). Last time I checked, 2 members of Linkin Park, and Warren G were among its residents (which also means he must not have been very far from home when I saw him perform at How The West Was Won in Irvine).
The "Holy Land"

5 Vegetables to grow during Extreme Summer Heat


If you live in an area that regularly experiences high temperatures exceeding 95°F, you may have difficulty growing certain plants. Fortunately, there are many varieties of vegetables (including greens) that can withstand the heat. Here's a list of 5 of my favorite varieties for the summer.

1) Basil

Basil loves sunshine and hot weather, and it pairs well with many plants in the garden. As it is able to be quickly and easily propagated from seeds or cuttings, it's hard for it to not thrive in the garden. And for those who do not have land, it is a great container plant.

Featured Variety: Genovese

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bright Lights Swiss Chard

Much like the other Swiss Chard I've grown, Bright Lights is a winner. It's especially fancy because it grows in many different colors, namely yellow and pink.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Annexing and Irrigating more Garden Areas


I had a lot of tomato plants extra in my nursery, but the main garden was full. I especially did not have enough containers or extra soil to plant them all in. So what did I do? I figure I can make the most of some more space in the backyard and create a satellite garden plot.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

CC Pale Ale -- Brew Day + Recipe

*The Cs stand for Coffee and Cascade.


A cool day appeared on the horizon. I took inventory and realized I needed to make some more beer. The next recipe I had in mind involved combining beer with some home roasted coffee... so I decided to make a coffee pale ale.

Friday, June 9, 2017

San Marzano Tomato

San Marzano is a classic Italian paste tomato. As I intend to make a lot of salsa and sauces, I chose this tomato as it is an indeterminant variety, as compared to a tomato like Roma. This one should be fun to cross with some of the other tomatoes I've planted this year.

Red Russian Kale


Red Russian Kale is unique variety of kale, in that it can be grown to full size, or enjoyed as a small leaf plant. It can be harvested multiple times in a year before going to seed.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Displeasures of Machining Fiberglass

For part of the <secret project> mentioned in the previous video on wood turning, I needed an insulating material for an electrical connection.  I had found this mystery piece of plastic on the side of the street and figured I'd try using it.  When I first picked it up I actually thought it was aluminum because of the weight and stiffness, but after scraping it on the ground, I started thinking it was chalk or something. I tried parting it off in the lathe, and it appeared to machine pretty decently and left a nice finish, clearly some type of resin or something.
Then I tried turning the outer diameter.... Aww SH*T! It's fiberglass!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Counting the wine bottles before the grapes ripen

Now with the new grapevines established, let's see what I can expect this year in terms of a harvest and 2017 Estate Blend.