Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January Fog

And the top of the calendar begins.....a lonely, cold existence from now until April....and "April Comes She Will"......

Weather patterns change in the struggle between warmth and forgiveness.

A warm fire and a warmer bed...underneath the blankets of a generation left behind....but not forgotten.

We hear and feel your pain, from the generations who left have left us behind.....

A Generation who lost it all......we welcome you because we, too, have lost it all!

I see no Social Security surviving, 401Ks are not surviving....and pension plans? Those things disappeared in the 70s!

I think it's time to grow a garden of the necessities.......and pray!

I just hope my iPod survives this mess! Without music, I have no hope!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

A New Day Dawning

For almost 51 years I have waited for the day for America to mature. This day comes on January 20, 2009 and I am thankful to still be around to see this!

Mr. Obama, I wish you the best. You carry a great weight into office, most of which is leftover baggage from the worst President the US has elected. I can thankfully report that I never voted for Mr. Bush. So I have every right to be angry at the mess he has left you.

Think wisely, move cautiously....but move forward! The backwardness of the last 8 years will take time to correct. But I feel we have elected the right man to make the changes we all need and want.

Peace, my friend.

David Gilbert
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Single Digits to the Departure of President Bush!

Judging from my Bush Administration Countdown Calendar, we only have 9 days of the guy from Texas. And probably the worst 8 years in this country's history!

Farewell, Mr. Bush. Enjoy your retirement in Texas....or Saudia Arabia! We've had enough of your 8 years of ruining the country!

Welcome Aboard, Mr. Obama!


On Growing Coffee-Juan Gilbert

Being the plant loving soul that I am, I have decided to branch out a bit.

I've decided to attempt to grow coffee.....in East Tennessee!

The following is one of the best descriptions of a coffee plant's (tree's) needs to grow to the sun!

The coffee 'tree' is actually a variety of tropical evergreen shrub. The coffee tree does not begin to produce its full yield until its sixth year and will continue prime production for about ten years; however Coffee plants may live on for 60 years. The tree, if left alone will grow to a height of between 16 and 40 feet. In most coffee plantations the trees are kept at a manageable six feet to get the best yield and to make it easier to harvest.

The best growing conditions are in a temperature range of 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall should be plentiful and the weather should switch between heavy rainfall and sunshine to bring the berries to full maturity. The type of soil is not too important but good drainage is a must.

Coffee plants are fairly easy to grow in the home as a potted specimen, which should be moved outdoors for the summer if possible.

They do best in filtered sunlight, with night temperatures in the lower to mid 60s and day temperatures of 70F or higher. Plant them in any good commercial, fast draining potting soil. The soil should be kept on the moist side, but never soggy.

Coffee plants will produce fruit without any fertilizing whatsoever, but for best results and maximum yield, they should be fed every 2 weeks from March to October, and then monthly from November through February. Use a soluble, all purpose (10-10-10) fertilizer.

Coffea Arabica are easily propagated from seeds.

The plants will grow to about 10 feet if given ample root room, but can be pruned if this is too big for the allotted space. Pruning may involve simple pinching to produce a bushier plant, or you may go as far as cutting it way back.... Right down to where only two branches near the bottom are left on it.

The fruit are red when they ripen in the fall, with a sweet pulp surrounding the bean. Each coffee berry has two beans. The coffee tree's fruit does not all ripen at one time. In fact it will have blossoms and berries in various stages of ripening. Only the ripe berries can be picked. The berries cannot be picked when green since they will not ripen once picked.

Once you have harvested sufficient beans to brew your first pot of 'home grown' coffee, you will have to roast them. There are many 'home type' roasters available on the market, which do an excellent job of evenly roasting your beans. Whether you are willing to go to the expense of purchasing one of these is up to you.

It is possible to roast your own beans in the oven. This method will tend to smoke up the house a bit, and the smell of the burned off chaff will tend to linger in the house for quite some time. The amount and size of beans, as well as your altitude will make a difference in the roasting process, so this is a 'live and learn process.
The beans should be placed in some form of perforated container, such as a steel strainer or vegetable steamer. Place them in a pre-heated, 250 degree F. oven for about seven minutes. Then increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. In about ten minutes the beans should begin to crackle. (This timing will depend on the temperature, heat capacity of the oven, and the beans; so keep an eye on them.) When the beans start crackling, mix them up, to promote an even roast. Check their color every two minutes until they have achieved a color slightly lighter than the end color which you desire. (As the beans cool, they will continue roasting). When they have completely cooled, store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator...... or grind em, brew em and drink it up!

The description above was taken from http://www.thegardenhelper.com/coffee.html

May the force (and aroma) be with me!