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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 9/25/11 - 10/2/11

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Florida Discoveries 19: You Can't Grow Hops in Florida!!

Many of my more loyal readers know that in Nebraska Dave and I were able to grow hops in our backyard.  We had a cool landlord/homeowner who gave Dave permission to dig up part of our backyard and string up trellises to grow hops (among other fruits and veggies).

In summer 2009 and 2010, we had this EPIC WIN of hops harvests!  The vines climbed up so high, and it was a lot of fun to learn about how hops grow.  We left Nebraska last fall with about 3 ounces of vacuum-sealed dried hops ready for the next time Dave decides to brew...probably once the weather cools down.

Here is how awesome the hops got in summer 2009:

The top ropes on this trellis are 8 feet tall!  These were awesome!
These flowers were ready to harvest in late July 2009.


But here in Florida, the goal is survival!  I gave away several of our hops rhizomes and tossed a few in a lightweight pot when we moved from Nebraska to Florida.  This spring the rhizomes sprouted but without the appropriate humidity and sunlight (the sunlight requirements for ideal growing conditions are at 35-55 degrees latitude), we didn't get much at all.  This morning I took some pictures of the plant at the most growth it had this year.  Here in Florida, all I can hope is that we keep these alive until we get back that far north again.  So far, so good.

You can't make this stuff up!  About 2 feet long, compared to the 10-12' vines from Nebraska just one year prior!

All I can do is hope that the plant remains alive while we're living here....

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wild Sunflowers Revisited (from September 2008)

When I was in Nebraska earlier this month, I was immediately greeted by the wild sunflowers that I loved all over the edges of the highways and empty fields. I had planned to take some pictures but forgot. Oh well. At least I have this blog post from September 2008 to remind me of how pretty they are. Enjoy this "Rewind":

This type of sunflower is a Helianthus annuus.  The wild ones have smaller flowers (~5") than the ones you plant for seeds, such as those in western Kansas and Nebraska.

Wild sunflowers are in bloom in E. Nebraska and W. Iowa. They just popped up all over the place, like how Queen Anne's Lace pops up in PA and WV, and how wild thistle grows on the sides of the highways in NC.

So I pulled a Maryann and pulled over on the side of this country road while driving back from Toys R Us in Iowa and took some pictures.

This is what a single plant looks like...

And here's a group of them.

There's a HUGE field near Timmy's preschool, I should get over there and take some pics soon before they're over with.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I got home from Air Force Reserve duty Nebraska last Wednesday night.  It was my birthday, and the boys picked me up at the airport and we went out for Korean food at our new favorite Korean restaurant, called Okie Dokie in Fort Walton Beach.  It was a good week in Nebraska but it was nice to be home.  I missed my boys!

I can't believe I took this picture with my very own camera!  My iPhone camera, at that!  Sunset from Navarre Beach, Florida last Friday night.  This is what was awaiting me after 10 days in Nebraska!
It's been very busy since I've been home.  Lots to do in the community: from helping out with the base spouses' club, to writing for GeekMom, to supporting Dave's squadron, to helping with the book fair at Timmy's school, to helping in a new endeavor:

Yep.  That's me in Boy Scout getup.  The pack needed leaders and since the rest of my family was involved, and I tag along on all the events anyway, it really wasn't much more work.  So I'm Timmy's Tiger Cub Den Leader and so far, so good!  The kids and the families are great!
The dynamic duo selling popcorn at our local Walmart last Saturday.  Timmy is destined to be a salesman when he grows up!  Jacob has become more shy in his old age.
I'm due back in Nebraska in about 3 weeks, but there will be plenty to keep me busy between now and then.

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