Sunday, February 28, 2016

Old Tree Out, New Tree In

Back in October, 2015, I ordered a 4" Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry Plant from Hirt's Gardens via I have ordered other plants from them in the past and highly recommend it. If I had the time, I would try to grow everything myself from seeds or cuttings, but time is scarce these days. For nearly five months, I have kept this 4" mulberry plant in my kitchen where I setup a table as an indoor plant area. It really doesn't seem to have grown much at all.

I have been thinking of transplanting it outside now that spring is coming and weather is getting warmer.  I couldn't think of a nice spot for it, and getting rid of the useless tree on the far end of the garden seemed to be a major project until a couple weeks ago.  The useless tree suddenly fell over one night. Although I was a little sad about it, I was also happy at the opportunity to use that area for a more useful tree, a tree that produces food.  After removing the fallen tree last weekend, I spent more time in the garden to transplant the 4" plant into its new  home. So far so good. I just need to make sure the dogs stay away from it, and the soil gets good drainage. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fallen Tree

 Last Tuesday evening was very windy. In the middle of the night, I heard something but didn't think much of it. When I got up on Wednesday morning and looked out of the window, I was surprised to see the tree as shown in the photo above. Initially I was a little sad because it was a big tree, and now it will need to be removed. We had more rain in the past few months than the past several years, and its shallow roots got wet rot. It didn't take much for the tree to fall over.

Rotted roots

During the weekend, I started breaking the small branches apart. For bigger branches, I used my Silky Pocket Boy to saw them apart. My wonderful next door neighbor came over with his electric saw on Sunday afternoon and saw apart the biggest branches. He's saving those pieces as firewood for summer camping. After all the tree parts were removed, he came back with his lawn mower and gave my overgrown backyard a complete makeover!  See how nice it looks now in the photo below.

I ordered a very small dwarf mulberry tree a few months ago. I will work on improving the soil condition and transplant the mulberry to where the tree was before.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Smoke's Poutinerie

Someone told me about Smoke's Poutinerie in Downtown Berkeley a while back. Poutine is a Quebec classic consists of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. At Smoke's, they have over 30 varieties of toppings in addition to the traditional cheese curds. They have grilled chicken, steak, bacon, scrambled eggs, pulled pork, Korean BBQ, with BBQ sauce, cheese sauce, chili, sour cream, Sriracha, etc., etc., the combination could be limitless, and you can even design your own. I love french fries and anything else that can possibly come with them.  Smoke's is right in my old hangout, but sadly it took me over a year to make it there. This is the sad part about growing up and having a job. You just don't have time to explore your own neighborhood anymore.

I made a special trip there today on President's Day since I have the day off from work. I got there 15 minutes before 11 o'clock, when they open. I was lucky to find parking right across the street from it. Since it was my first time there, I wanted to try the traditional poutine, which is called Traditional Veggie Poutine, with fries, rich brown vegetable gravy, and Quebec cheese curds.

While I waited for my poutine, I looked at their wall of poutine news. How exciting!  It reminded me of my trip to Middle Earth, when I took the time to explore each street and local eateries. 

I ordered a snack size poutine, but it is enough as a meal. The cheese and gravy are both great. The gravy has mushroom bits in it. Of course I love the fries. I hope to return and try other combinations.