Urban Exploration on a Horse.

Today the weather was near perfect in Central Kentucky.  The hot-humid temperatures that have been the norm for the last few weeks disappeared over-night after a cold-front from Canada decided to pay a visit.  Thank you Canada!  It was in the mid-70s and breezy with patches of clouds.  Perfect weather for a horseback ride.  My horse doesn’t have 4 legs but rather 2 wheels.
The Big-Old-Mare (aka the B-O-M) is a 2003 Honda XR650L Dual-Sport Motorcycle.  She’s not sexy but she’s perhaps the best vehicle there is for ‘Urban-Exploration.’  Since Louisville is only about 55 miles away from home, and I don’t know the city all that well… I decide to explore it for the afternoon!  At noon I depart Lawrenceburg, heading north on Hwy 127. Traffic is light as most churches are still having services.  After a 20 min ride, I take Hwy 60 west, all the way to Louisville.  The total trip only took about an hour.  I first make my way to the “Weird, Independent and Proud neighborhood of the Highlands…. (see the picture below).
That’s right…. weird is a fair statement!  But it’s a really good kinda weird!  Bardstown Road, running east-west through the Highlands, is perhaps the best place to see the eclectic, weird, nature of the neighborhood… Literally hundreds of restaurants, bars and retail shops of all kinds line both sides the road.  The great weather has brought lots of people outdoors, the street is really busy.  I stop at Heine Bros Coffee Shop for a quick caffein fix by way of a strong cup of Columbian dark roast!  Back on the Old-Mare I head off for a quick loop through Cherokee Park, a roughly 400 acre green space just a few mins from Bardstown Road.  The Park too is full of joggers, walkers and bikers.  The Hogan Fountain Pavilion area has a group of musicians playing Boz Scaggs hits right next to a full-court, pick-up game of basketball.  A passer-by stops to ask me a few questions about the BOM…. he evidently had the same motorcycle years ago…. and really loved it….   I listen to the music for a half hour and then saddle-up again and head for downtown Louisville.  I love to just ride down interesting looking streets and see where they take me… it’s what I call ‘Urban Exploration.’  Today I visit the Louisville waterfront area, the YUM Center, Slugger Field, and even a home that Thomas Edison lived in, in the 1860s…  Market Street is another cool neighborhood, lots of galleries and restaurants / bars await a future visit!  At 6 PM, after an afternoon of great riding and exploring, it’s time to head towards home!
What a WONDERFUL day………….

Above, The Weird, Independent and Proud Neighborhood of the Highlands.

Below, Louisville Slugger Field.

Above the KFC Yum Center in Downtown Louisville.
Below, a few pictures of a small home Thomas Edison lived in while experimenting with light bulbs.

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Victory Garden, First Harvest 2013.

I wanted to post a short update on my “Victory Garden.”  It’s been less than 2 months since everything was planted and I already had a small-harvest today.  I wanted to get some of the vegetables out of the ground before the bugs, namely cabbage worms, and the deer got them.  I now know why the hunter shot “Bambi” at the end of the Disney Classic… It was probably because Bambi was eating all the vegetables from his garden!  I haven’t shot any deer this year but unfortunately they have discovered the garden.  The joke that a deer can smell a “Tic-Tac” in your pocket from a mile away is evidently true!  They didn’t bother the garden until about 2 weeks ago, when the plants were finally worthy of a meal.  I guess they were just window shopping during the early weeks of growth.  I have seen the band of misfits and they consist of 2 small bucks, a few does and a fawn.  Lucky for me I put some fencing around a few of the tomato plants before I went away for the week over the 4th of July.  While I was gone, a good neighbor was looking after the farm and he and his wife noticed the deer were enjoying the unprotected tomatoes and green beans.  They added more fencing and a noise maker.  That seems to have slowed the deer down a bit!  Today I was able to harvest some yellow squash, cabbage, radishes, Jalapeño and Serrano peppers, kale and red chicory.  The deer are not interested in the hot peppers at all.  Probably because they don’t have chips and salsa to go along with them!?  If I see the 2 bucks show up at the garden with a bag of “Dortitos,” I’ll know my hot-peppers are in trouble!

Victory Garden, Lessons Learned so far:

– Deer will eventually find your garden.  Where I live in Kentucky, the only real protection against deer are fencing, a dog or a shot gun.

– The soil around the plants needs to be tilled / raked regularly, if not the sun will bake the exposed soil in between plants and when it does rain the majority of water will not be absorbed into the ground and just wash away.  Additionally the exposed ground in between plans grows grass and weeds quickly.
The exception to this is the “square foot method” of gardening that I have been experimenting with.  I have found that if I plant a lot of one type of plant together in a tight spot, the soil stays softer under the shade of the leaves and requires less tilling / raking.  Also the weeds are chocked-out because of lack of sunlight.

– Growing “Organic Cabbage” requires regular hand-picking of cabbage-worms.  Those little green monsters are a pain in the buttocks!  I love Kimchee and decided it would be worth it to hand pick the worms off the plants to keep some of the cabbage worm and pesticide free!

Below are a few pictures from the Victory Garden, my recent “Harvest,”  and some Mexican-Kimchee!

Above and Below, the Victory Garden has enjoyed all the rain we have had this year in Central Kentucky.

Below, small cabbage, perfect for making Kimchee!

Below, the Carrots in my Square-Foot Gardening method.

Below, a few radishes.

Below, the deer-proof Roma bean planter.

Below, some yellow squash and hot-peppers.
Below, the veggies washed and ready to become Mexican-Kimchee and a garden-salad!
Below, my Mexican-Kimchee.  What is Mexican-Kimchee you ask…?  I don’t know but I think I made some today by adding jalapeño peppers to a traditional receipt of Kimchee!
Below, lunch for today!  A garden salad, veggies picked at 11:00 AM and eaten an hour later!  
Doesn’t get much fresher than that!

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