Friday, January 16, 2009

Empty balconies

Since I started this blog I've been seeking out other bloggers who also have balcony gardens. I had no idea it was so common! On the plains of Iowa space is so taken for granted that hardly anyone actually uses their apartment balconies. If they want a yard - they rent or buy a house. And since I'm in a college town there are tons of student's who don't have the time or healthy eating habits to warrant a garden.

I'm posting some pictures to give the idea of how under-used balconies are here. Most don't even have a chair for people to sit out and enjoy the outdoors. I think grills are the most common accessory. Sometime accompanied by a lonely tomato plant. But other than that I think they're just used by smokers in non-smoking buildings.

It's too cold (and my torn hamstring makes me too gimpy) to want to go take pictures. So I found some.

There is so much new construction.
I think the 3 main construction companies are just trying to out-do each other.

Holy shit! I think there might be a few potted plants on that deck. I don't have any pics of my deck posted yet, but this one is exactly like it in style and size.
Probably built by the same company.

Empty...but at least they have pretty trees.

Oh yeah, and of course a deck serves as the perfect storage solution. Not.
Especially for bikes. This isn't uncommon - especially since many apartment complexes don't include bike racks. Mine included.


  1. Hi Erin,

    Firstly, thanks for opting in as a follower of my blog. I also find yours to be well worthy of returning for extended readings.

    Your post on Stevia got my attention. This was a major project for me the last two years.

    Everyone I seeked out for advice warned me that stevia was hard to grow...that it would not do well from seed, and that Tennessee wasn't a good growing state for it.

    So...all that just fueled my desire to prove the information wrong...which I have.

    I did however grow the first year from a cutting...simply because I couldn't find seed locally. The plants went mad with abundance and from those I saved seed and also allowed some to fall back into the same test for self-seeding. Last year I had double the plants of the year before, all from self seeding.
    However, it will not tolerate the harshness of winter, the first hard frost got it both years. But, it will come back.

    I have been using it for drinks..1/4 tsp per half gallon of tea...for about 5 years.

    The stevioside content will dictate the level of sweetness you will get from any form.
    It should always be at least 95%.

    Actually the price versus the price of other sweeteners and compared to the lasting timeframe...stevia will prove to be much cheaper than any other thing for the purpose of sweetening.

    A wonderful cookbook I would suggest you find if you are interested in cooking with stevia, it's also a history and great guide of all info pertaining to the subject. copy is 2002.
    The most indepth book I have found for a full coverage of the topic.

    I'll be back...

    Happy gardening~

    Bea Kunz
    Sage Hill Farms

  2. Thanks, Bea! I tried it in my tea and it's wonderful! It does give it's own flavor, but it's a nice flavor.

  3. Erin, this something I love and you really must be very careful with the amount.

    But just a smidge of cayenne pepper to a cup of tea with Stevia is so refreshing.

    And...cayenne is so warming and good for us.

    Let me know what you think..

    Bea Kunz

  4. I love adding cayenne to tea! Especially when it's flavored with lemon. Though I did figure out that you shouldn't add it when making a big batch and drinking it a little at a time - the cayenne just gets hotter and hotter! So now I add it to each individual cup of tea.

    I love cayenne - it's great for everything from digestion to clearing sinuses!