Archive for the 'Wine' Category



Wine Tasting Weekend – Two

Trentadue Winery Gondola for Wine Tasters

I really do not go wine tasting very often – but two weeks in a row were available and so off I went.  This was a very special opportunity as my friend, Gail – yes, Gail who was the instigator of the previous weekend’s outing to Coppola – had purchased a private vineyard tasting at a charity auction for Trentadue Winery.  Eight of us gathered at 2 with no real idea of what was in store for us.

Instruction on Popping the Cork

The beginning experience was the opening of champagne with the Sonoma County substitute for a saber – a large kitchen knife!  The demonstration was performed by Randy, our host for the day, and was a teaching lesson for Katy.  Or was it an excuse for him to put his arms around a babe? Whatever the case, we loaded into the gondola with champagne in our glasses and smiles on our faces.

The tour provided tastes of the various wines while amongst the vineyard where the grapes were harvested.  A clever idea and the perfect day for the occasion.  A wedding was happening on the grounds so we didn’t wander far from the tasting room when we returned.

Gnarly Old Vine

The wines were terrific.  We tasted Merlot with a great peppery taste.  The Sengiovese was over the top.  Old Patch Red is a blend of mostly zinfandel but is from “an old patch” of vines.

Inside we found a full array of college insignia etched bottles.  I had to pick up one with Fresno State Bulldogs for my sister and her husband who still attend the games after 40 years.  Two fun ports – one white – one red – were shared.  A great day with great friends – old and new.

Happy Tasters

Wine Tasting Weekend One

Entrance to Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Just two weeks ago it was rainy and cold.  The day after the Giants game, Gail and I took off for Geyserville to go to the Francis Ford Coppola Wine Club Pick Up Party.  Yes, that is when members pick up their shipments and do a little partying.  If you have not visited this winery since it was remodeled by Coppola, you have to return.  The outside sports a beautiful pool, cabanas and refreshment kiosks – not that we visited anything out of doors as we dashed from the car to the building.

Barbara Ellis at the Breakfast Bar

Inside is a museum to the Hollywood works of Coppola including his five Oscars and the desk used by The Godfather.  The event started at 9 or so in the morning so the bar was covered with breakfast sweets and mimosas.  The sparkling wine was Sofia – named after Coppola’s daughter.  Sofia comes in a large glass bottle or a four pack of single serving flip top cans with straws.  Cute and reasonably priced.  Yes, a bought some and the bubbly is good even at home!

We did a bit of tasting and ended up with needing help to get it out in the car.  The day was great fun and we will remember it as a wonderful rainy day.

Gail Winmill-Lee at the Tasting Bar

Joe Jaqua – Artist Profile

Joe Jagua

Joe Jaqua loves to watch people and transfer their lives to canvas.   Evidence is his large collection of urban, rural and interior paintings with people as accessories to everyday scenes of modern civilization.  The backdrops span European cities, the Eastern Seaboard of our United States to the bucolic hills of Sonoma County.  These images bring back memories of past travels, evoke plans for future excursions and raise fantasies of what could have been – or maybe could be in the future.  Joe’s paintings have a universal appeal.

I wanted to know what path led to all of the places in the paintings and ended in Santa Rosa.  Surrounded by paintings of scenes from around the world and in our own backyard, the story unfolded.  Joe was raised in Southern California but realized as a teenager that San Francisco was the place to be.  He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in English and soon came to the decision that painting was his primary driver.  His first entrée into the painting profession was art fairs in Sausalito, Mill Valley, Beverly Hills, Palm Springs and La Quinta.  He challenged himself to present differing styles and genres for the reactions – both good and bad.   During this period he developed a style that was both pleasing to buyers and himself through observing which paintings were ignored and which were studied as onlookers strolled through his booth.

Joe was fascinated by art as a young student and was first drawn to the Impressionists.  Then he moved on to the Old Masters. Next was the German Expressionists with the bold art of Kandinsky.  Following was the detailed and realistic paintings of the Pre Raphealite Brotherhood.   The influence of Matisse and Picasso developed into a style of William Wiley.  Most recently the bold lines and colors of  Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the social documentary of Edgar Degas are evident as strong inspirations to Joe’s creations.  Joe traveled to New York, Rome, Paris and took in the day-to-day life, the contrasts in style and popular art trends.  Experiencing different cultures and societies translated into an ongoing evolution in his painting.  During these episodes of expressing his creativity through different styles and approaching different venues for sales, Joe recognized that his figure work depicting society and the result of inquisitive people observation is his favorite genre and, also, the most difficult to sell.  After much travels, Joe settled in Marin County for seven years and eventually moved to Santa Rosa.  Proximity to family and San Francisco led him to Sonoma County.  He now has learned the many benefits of living in an art active community.  This year he participated in Art Trails for the 8th year and looks forward to many more.

Joe draws on his academic training to substitute teach in Santa Rosa schools.  He teaches mainly English but fills in wherever he is needed.  The interaction with students keeps him on his toes and provides a wonderful conduit to the positive energy of education.  He believes that he learns much more than he teaches in these sessions.  One never knows, he may inspire another young person to open their hearts to a gift they possess.

Enjoying the Food, Wine and Company at The Wine Emporium

Art Trails is past but there are still many opportunities to meet Joe Jaqua and enjoy his art.  You can see Joe’s work at The Wine Emporium at 125 North Main Street, Sebastopol until January 1, 2011.  The Wine Emporium is open Wed – Sun from 12 until 6.  Also, check out Joe’s website at:  www.joejaqua.com.

Weekend in West Sonoma County

The summer has definitely begun.  First – and most appreciated – the weather is warm and there are no signs of rain.  Second, there are so many things going on that decisions must be made for the weekend.  Many years ago I met a young couple at the Forestville Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast.  They described to me their weekly quest for Sunday breakfast at the bargain price of $5 each. From Memorial Day to Labor Day they can find a Sunday pancake breakfast within Sonoma County.  I have since learned that there are breakfasts, lunches and events each weekend to keep any local or tourist fed and entertained.

This weekend is no different.  Tonight (Friday) began the weekend with an Art Opening at Wine Emporium on Main Street in Sebastopol.  The featured artist is Charles Beck (his Artist Profile from July 2006 follows) and events at Wine Emporium sport great food and wonderful wines.  You can see the Wine Emporium Newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/2b3fvw6Wine Emporium is just one of the many gems found in West Sonoma County.  Wine Emporium has a wide variety of local and international wines covering the whole price spectrum.  I discovered Chono Reserva Syrah from the Elqui Valley of Chile – a wonderfully drinkable and tasty wine for a mere $15.

Interior of Wine Emporium

 

The art was spectacular and Tara Linda, a wonderful singer and musician serenaded us throughout the evening.  I had arranged to meet a friend there who had two tickets to Resorts in Bloom for this weekend.  Resorts in Bloom is a charitable fund-raiser for West Sonoma County Heath Services, River to Coast Children’s Services and West County Community Services.  You can learn more about the event at www.resortsinbloom.com.  Tomorrow I will be off visiting the wonderful gardens of Russian River Resorts.  And, again, I will remind everyone that you still have time to visit artist studios this weekend with Art@theSource.   Summer is truly here. 

Here is the article on Charles Beck from 2006.  I cannot believe that it has been that long since we sat on his deck taking in the splendor of Joy Road. 

Salmon Creek by Charles Beck

 

Artist Profile – Charles Beck 

All artists are independent thinkers, of sorts.  Some are just a bit more independent in the “doing”.  Charles Beck is definitely an independent doer.  A man of few words and quiet demeanor, Charles has taken the less traveled path to pursue his interests in nature, art and life.  

Charles has good roots for independent doing.  His grandmother was a trail blazer when she purchased property for her summer home at Salmon Creek in the 1920’s.  Boulder, Colorado had a mystical draw for the California youth in the 1960’s but when it came to settling down, there was no place like home.  After attending school at University of Colorado and Sacramento Junior College, Charles finished his formal education at Sonoma State majoring in Art.  After spending summers in this pastoral environment, the selection of Sonoma County as home was natural.   No other landscape could pull him away – except for the Pacific Ocean. 

Charles recalls an art appreciation class in Sacramento as a turning point in his interests.  The proximity of The Crocker Museum and the celebration of the Bay Area Figurative movement had a profound effect on his desire to paint.  Richard Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff and David Park were in nearby Berkeley and taking the American art world by storm.  Their strong technique and raw subject material moved many into action.  

As many artists are aware, art is not the easy way to earn a living.  When putting food on the table for his young family became a necessity, Charles put down his paint brushes and became a commercial fisherman.  Well, he put down his paintbrushes while he was a sea but savored the blocks of time that the profession gave him to paint.  It is not surprising that another favorite artist is Winslow Homer who is renowned for his depiction of fishermen and the untamed sea. 

The fishing days are now behind Charles and his inspirational activity is bicycling.  By his own admission, Charles is a “passionate bike rider.”  He rides the roads of Sonoma County and takes in the countryside – the hillsides, the vineyards, the orchards, streams, the clouds, the shoreline.  Sometimes he will snap a digital picture.  Sometimes he will go back and recreate a scene at the easel.  Most likely he will imprint a shape or a ray of sun into his memory for future use.  His desire is to draw from his collective experience and produce a work that has a reality at the core.  His current paintings fall into the category of landscape but to call them “landscapes” does not capture the essence of them.  The painting captures an experience that goes beyond the superficial subject matter. 

Charles is currently re-incorporating the figure into his work.  The emphasis on water and land has given way to still lives of apples from the orchard at his home.  The inclusion of people in his paintings brings him full circle to the movement that inspired him in his youth.  To own a Charles Beck painting, one must deal with Charles Beck.  That independent “doing” shuns all but the most special outlets.  So, yes, you can see a few small pieces at Quicksilver Mining Company in Forestville, but otherwise, you need to contact Charles.  Charles participates in the two local open studios each year, Art @ the Source in June and Art Trails in October.  Paintings are displayed across the Beck property on Joy Road.  You can contact Charles at chasbeck@sonic.net or take a peek at his work at http://www.chasbeck.members.sonic.net.

The 2009 Crush Has Begun

Vitex agnus-castus or Chaste Tree -  The tree has wonderful purple spiked flower clusters and grow on new wood.  This one needs to be pruned back some more but my green bin was full and it is too woody to break down in my home compost piles.  In a few weeks, I will trim back the spent flowers and prepare it for winter and a wonderful 2010 summer bloom.

Vitex agnus-castus or Chaste Tree - The tree has wonderful purple spiked flower clusters that grow on new wood. This one needs to be pruned back some more but my green bin was full and it is too woody to break down in my home compost piles. The books state that vitex should be treated like a buddleia or crape myrtle to get maximum bloom. I think it needs a lot more cutting back than either of those species. In a few weeks, I will trim back the spent flowers and prepare it for winter and a wonderful 2010 summer bloom.

While I was chopping back an out-of-control vitex and playing with my compost pile yesterday, Tom and his Pool Ridge Winery gang were starting the 2009 crush.  It is amazing that we are already at that time of year.  Everywhere I turn, I see clusters of grapes waiting to be plucked from their vines and hauled to a winery.  People who are often traveling around the globe can be found at home in Sonoma County from late August to mid-October because they have to be here for harvest and the subsequent crush.  In fact, that was about all that was talked about at the birthday party we attended yesterday afternoon at the edge of a young chardonnay vineyard.  Well, all except the baby pictures that I had to take along.

Tom and his friends were making wine with sauvignon blanc grapes that come in earlier than most of the other varieties of the area.   The winegrowers at the party were discussing Brix of 19 to 22 with hopes that the weather remains mild and that we do not see rain or high temperatures for the next month.  What is a Brix?  Brix is a measure of the sugar in the grapes.  Sugar content translates to alcohol in the wine.  If the grape has a Brix of 20 at crush, the wine will have an 11% alcohol when ready to drink.  There has been a trend over the last decade to harvest reds at Brix of 25 to 27.5.  That means that they stay on the vine longer and are exposed to the whims of Mother Nature at this often unstable time of the year.  That puts every grower at risk which is not ever a positive prospect.

Picking at Tzabaco Rancho Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley

Picking at Tzabaco Rancho Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley

The wine grape market was another topic.  Tom is always looking for great grapes to make his wines.  Yesterday he was up at Dry Creek Valley at Tzabaco Rancho Vineyards.  In past years, he has had a difficult time finding grapes of the quality he wants because they are all sold to commercial wineries who buy large quantities.  While there are a few grape growers who hold back part of their crop to sell to the Tom Shulas of the world, most do not have the luxury to support the amateur winemaker.  This year is very different.  The economy has impacted the sale of high end wines and wineries are cutting back on grape purchases.   Some are asking to delay payment and others are just not taking grapes that they would have in the past.

Every day I read something that says this economy is turning around.  I experience the surge of activity in the real estate market.  I remain positive about the future.  All that said, until farmers can sell their crops and workers have jobs, the recession goes on.  With the abundance of grapes available for Pool Ridge Winery, I can just say “Let them drink wine!”

A week in Sonoma County

This last week has been really full of Sonoma County fun.  It started on Monday with a party at the home of some friends outside of Forestville whose daughter is leaving for Madrid to get her MBA.  Katherine is a beautiful, vivacious young woman who seems to know everyone in West County.  It is not often that we find ourselves in a crowd of 20-somethings.  Great food (there were a good number of local chefs in attendance), a tango demonstration and beautiful scenery.  Why is she going to Madrid?  Wednesday I was sitting at my desk and my phone started beeping – I had forgotten that it was Wednesday!   Wednesday is my afternoon to play golf with EWGA.  That stands for Executive Women Golf Association.  We meet up around 4:30 at Oakmont East golf course and play 9 homes.  Oakmont EastOakmont is a planned community with two golf courses.  Oakmont West is an 18-hole regulation golf course.  Lots of views and some challenging holes.  Oakmont East is a par 63 executive course.  It is a lot of fun because none of us take ourselves too seriously and we just play to have a good time.  After our nine holes, we meet up at the clubhouse and have a glass of wine and a few nibbles before we all go home for dinner.  I cannot believe that I got so involved in work that I almost missed it!   Thursday is our day to have dinner with my friend, Phyllis, who I know through the rose society.  This Thursday was so busy that we decided to meet at a local diner on Fulton Road in Santa Rosa, Louie’s.  We were pretty quiet but had great down home food – Tom had liver and onions, Phyllis had the cheese omelet and I had a chicken taco salad.  Friday was a long work day for me.  After visiting a couple of past clients with magnificently remodeled homes, I headed for San Jose to show property.  I got home around 11.  Saturday was six hours of work and then another party.  This party was  outside of Guerneville on a hill that has views forever.

Looking over the pool at Pool Ridge

Looking over the pool at Pool Ridge

  It was the 70th birthday of our host and was quite an event.  Not many 20-somethings but there were about 12 kids under age 8.  We headed out to the river early and just hung out in Monte Rio and Guerneville before we went up to the party.  Interesting people and more great food.  I was the designated driver so I skipped the array of wines but one really doesn’t always need wine!   Sunday was the Redwood Empire Rose Society annual picnic.  This year we had our luncheon at Western Hills Nursery and Garden outside of Occidental.  It is an exceptional botanical garden with some exotic plants that you will not find in other gardens.  We wandered the garden and enjoyed the company.  It was a spectacular day.  To top the whole week off, my compost pile was around 125 degrees F.  Not bad for a hand turned compost pile.  Now it is another Monday.  No great party tonight but after last week, I need a quiet night at home.

Food at Preston of Dry Creek Farm Day

Entertainment was lively and local

Entertainment was lively and local

I tried to come up with a catchy title for this post but it really all boils down to the food.  It was fantastic.  The beginning was a savory peach focaccia that compelled me to eat a whole slice.  After the walk there was a great display of cheese, crackers and Preston cured olives.  Of course, the wine was being served.  Vin Gris was a real hit with the refreshing fruit flavors.  Preston of Dry Creek wines are primarily Rhone-style and fit well with the farming emphasis.

Robert is a great asset to the Preston tasting bar!

Robert is a great asset to the Preston tasting bar!

The meal was prepared by Dino Bugico, chef of Diavola Pizzeria in nearby Geyserville.  The centerpiece of the menu was the boned and rolled pork from the farm.   A lamb was, also, prepared in the wood burning oven.  The complementing side dishes were fresh vegetables prepared in a variety of ways.   Everyone had plenty to eat and drink. 

Entertainment was a bluegrass band that kept the afternoon hopping.

This is an event that is open to Wine Club members of Preston of Dry Creek.  Most wineries have wine club parties but none are as informative and relaxed as Farm Day.

Lou Preston and Chef Dino preparing the pork

Lou Preston and Chef Dino preparing the pork

What a spread!  Lunch was enjoyed by all.

What a spread! Lunch was enjoyed by all.

Farm Day at Preston of Dry Creek

For the last several years Preston of Dry Creek has hosted Farm Day for their wine club members.  We went last year with friends and had a fantastic time.  The day provided interesting activities that included a walk around the property with stops at the compost pile, the wheat field and the hedgerows designed to host beneficial insects.  The day was an inspiration for me to get composting and to modify some of my plantings to use less water and encourage the “good” insects to stick around.

Today was the 2009 Farm Day.  The day began with the most fantastic breakfast bread made with peaches and herbs.  Lou Preston, the force behind Preston of Dry Creek, is an accomplished baker who makes bread that is sold only at the winery.  At about 10:30, we gathered to hear what was on the agenda for the day – breakfast, some activities, wine, food, blue grass music and a lot of fun.  We were ready.

Lou Preston opening Farm Day 2009

Lou Preston opening Farm Day 2009

Standing in front of a compost pile about 20 times the size of mine, Lou discussed the week-long program at Rudolf Steiner College where he learned the biodynamic practices that were first introduced in 1924 in a series of lectures by Rudolf Steiner.  He shared some of the additives that they now add to their compost pile at Preston to introduce microbes into the soil.   The temperature of their pile was 175 degrees F at the time I visited last year.  I was so impressed.  I am still impressed as I have yet to get over 120 degrees.  Of course, my pile is a tiny fraction of the Preston pile. 

Wow! 144 degrees!

Wow! 144 degrees!

The compost piles from a distance

The compost piles from a distance

After the compost was supplemented with Valerian tea and chamomile, oak bark, dandelion flowers, yarrow and other things that I do not remember which were aged in parts of an animal, the guests went to pursue a variety of activities offered.  Some went to blend Zinfandel, others to plant a vegetable garden, a small group went to thrash wheat (not sure if there was anyone who knew what they were doing who would volunteer to do this) and the majority of us went on the farm walk.  There was a group who just went back to the picnic tables and started tasting wine and ate some more bread.  They missed out on a great walk.  The stragglers, transported by golf carts and an overflowing pickup,  joined up with us on the walk. 
Solar panels in the fields

Solar panels in the fields

Faithful Sheepdog and Goats

Faithful Sheepdog and Goats

The first stop of the walk was the goat pen with a ever observant Maremma Sheepdog.  The movable pen is around a couple of acres of olive trees.  Olive trees are sprinkled across the property and provide the oil for Preston of Dry Creek Olive Oil.  Again, this product is available at the winery and one of my favorites.  The goat pen can be moved from place to place through out the year to keep the weeds down.  During the winter months, the goats take care of the undergrowth in the vineyards.  They don’t eat the vines but do like to rub up against them which is one drawback of using livestock for keeping the weeds down.  We walked along the field that was once a vineyard but when the vines needed to be replaced, the land has returned to a field of clover with the help of goat droppings and irrigation.  Being along Dry Creek and over a large aquifer, water is abundant on this property.  The pump that feeds the irrigation is powered by the solar panels that are a dominate feature in the landscape.  So with all of the “old fashioned” techniques for gardening, there in the middle of it is two huge solar banks. 

Rye in the field

Rye in the field

On we went to the wheat fields.  The bread making (which is completed in a wood-fired brick oven)  gave the desire to plant a variety of wheats.  Rye is doing the best of all but for the time being there is still a lot of flour being purchased at Preston. 
A small portion of the vegetable garden

A small portion of the vegetable garden

The vegetable garden is rows of squash, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes and rows and rows of tomatoes.  Lou can’t seem to say no to the wide variety of seeds that he can order from seed exchanges.  He is talking about a “pick your own tomatoes” program as there ar so many.  Vegetables are regularly displayed on the porch of the tasting room for purchase at a modest price in comparison to the farmer’s markets.  
Apples in the Orchard

Apples in the Orchard

Heirloom apple trees shade the chickens who are enclosed by another transportable fence.  A new apple orchard is next to this established one.  Lou is predicting that these saplings will be mature apple trees in his lifetime.  That should be a pretty good bet as this is apple country.   The chickens are accompanied by two happy piglets – These are small pigs and have a long way to go before they become the main course for a wine club event. 

The rooster a'struttin'

The rooster a'struttin'

Where are the vineyards?  While vineyards are evident on the landscape, there are few vineyards near the buildings.  This is a farm but the number one product is wine.  Preston of Dry Creek has plenty of vineyards that provide the fruit for their wonderful varietal and blended wines. 
After a brisk walk through the Farm, we headed towards the picnic area.  Check out the meal in my next post.  This is a great spread.
Preston of Dry Creek

Preston of Dry Creek

Wine Tasting in Dry Creek Valley

Tasting at Sunce Winery

Tasting at Sunce Winery

Fran at Porter Creek

Fran at Porter Creek

Today was a fun day of taking friends from Hawaii, Texas and Louisiana around our favorite wineries.  We covered the Russian River and Dry Creek appellations which are only minutes from our home in Forestville.  We focused on small, local wineries that give fabulous personal attention to tasters.  The day started with a visit to Sunce Winery.  The staff is fabulous in the tasting room and once they discovered that we had serious wine groupies in our group they took us into their barrel room.  The tasting continued with full explanations until I pointed out that there were other places to go and we had spent over an hour at our first winery.  The second stop was Porter Creek Winery which gives a new definition to “small”.  The tasting room is a very small, old barn behind the vintage family home.  The next venue was Armida Winery with fabulous views and great wines.  There is a wonderful deck shaded by oak trees where we had a picnic lunch. 

After lunch we stopped in at one of the great winery experiences ever – Preston Winery.  Preston is known for their organic vegetables, bread oven and olives as well as Rhone style wines.  It is always a favorite.  From casual farmstyle to Italian elegance we traveled to Ferrari-Carano Winery.  Meticulously groomed gardens and bronze statuary lead to one of  the best wine gift shops in Dry Creek.  Our final stop was at Moshin Winery with the welcoming hummingbird.  Moshin is known for pinot noir and they have a few other great offerings.

We finished the day with dinner at Zazu on Guerneville Road and Willowside Road west of Santa Rosa.  A fabulous time was had by all.

Composting for a Sustainable Garden

One of my favorite pastimes is to garden and this last year I became totally inspired by the composting that is done at Preston Winery.  Each Spring I mulch my flowerbeds prior to the weeds getting a good start and I was always bringing more and more mulch into the yard.  It was starting to pile up and roses where looking like they were planted in holes – which is not a good thing.  Preston Winery has a FARM DAY each July and I somewhat begrudgingly attended.  My thought was “I do not need a day of sitting around eating and drinking when I am trying to live a healthy life!”  Was I in for a surprise.  The FARM DAY was terrific.  We had a tour of the new creek bed plantings that were designed to establish a healthy ecosystem.  New hedgerows were planted to provide habitat for the beneficial insects and bugs.  Various crop rotations were being tested to support the grain being raised for making the breads available at the winery.  I had a fabulous time and will not complain again about going to any event there.  The best part of it was seeing their composting operation. 

Compost Bins at Preston Winery

Compost Bins at Preston Winery

After seeing this simple (but large) compost bin, I decided to learn more.  I attended a class by a local Master Gardener, George, who lives right in Forestville and learned quite a bit about the correct materials to compost and how to build a garden compost bin.  It was wonderful to learn that I did not need to buy anything.  The material most needed were loading pallets which can be picked up along the side of the road for free.  It was only a day or two before I saw pallets at Harmony Farm Supply on my way home for work.  My neighbor was out working in his front yard and I asked if he was going to be going to Sebastopol in his pickup soon.  He was planning on leaving in a few minutes for Harmony Farm Supply so he just picked me up 5 pallets.  I immediately built myself 2 bins and began composting.

George was not sure about my rose clippings because he does not have so many roses as I do.   I was not discouraged and I began composting rose clippings and oak leaves – two things that I have in abundance.  It was only a few weeks and I had rich, dark, wormy compost.  I needed more bins.  My son and his wife came to visit and they picked up four more pallets in the back of their pickup.  I now have four bins and am busy keeping them going.  My husband, Tom, makes cheeses at our home so I have a ready supply of whey which helps the composting process.  Here is my compost operation.

Compost Bin at the Shula's
Compost Bin at the Shula’s
Two Compost Thermometers
Two Compost Thermometers

                             Friends think that I am nuts but I asked for a compost thermometer for my birthday last year.  I got two.   I have them in the same bin for purposes of demonstration.   It is hard to see in this picture but it is about 90 degrees F which is a reasonable temperature for just having turned the pile a day or two ago.

As you can probably tell, I am very excited about my compost.  It is saving me money and hauling mulch from the driveway.                                     


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