My Google Fu returns many results on why you might want to move a retail location, but the why, the where, and several other issues have been decided... I just want to make sure all the nuts and bolts are in place and properly tightened to tie down all those ducks in a row and other assorted metaphors, mixed and otherwise.
This morning, I was able to set up NetworkedBlogs, syndicate the GME blog so it can be added to Facebook walls, get it to post to the GME Facebook page, and add widgets to the blog enabling you to like the GME page or subscribe to the blog.
We should be good to go.
With only one follower (me), the syndication will happen very slowly... maybe once a day? That more than matches the speed I post to the blog, though, so it's not a huge deal... except in this first case, where I want to find out if it all worked! =)
I want to get the Green Man Enviroscaping blog set up so I can get the GME facebook page to crosspost them.
I can share the posts individually (and so can anyone who looks at them), but those would post to my facebook wall and not to the company's. In LiveJournal, this is easy enough to set up, but I couldn't find an equivalent feature in Blogger's tools.
Any ideas? (short of migrating the blog entirely, which I'd prefer not to do!)
This morning Stacy's getting some work done for a 3pm deadline, while I'm waiting for the boys to wake up so we can see about taking down a bit more of the tree. This afternoon, we'll all head over to see Stacy's Aunt Nancy for a bit of dinner and socializing... and to take a look at some more possible tree work.
Unless the work on Nancy's trees proves to be very minor, we will likely be doing some work next weekend as well. With that in mind, over the course of the next week, I'll need to make sure I get the large chain for the Husqvarna sharpened. The smaller chain probably needs it as well. I'll need that saw on hand if we're going to work on any reasonable sized trees.
The truck will also be back down here for a workshop at the Lancaster Farm & Home Center on the 29th. Stacy and Jen will be at the workshop, for both the learning experience we'll all get and to help provide a larger presence for Green Man Enviroscaping LLC. As we're coming into it late, our part may be to simply help out with the registration, but we will also be on hand as an example of a contractor that can help homeowners achieve the purpose of the workshop: The Woods In Your Backyard ~ Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home. The workshop will be presented in part by Julianne Schieffer, who did the wild edibles talk I opened up at The Edge of the Woods Nursery last year. The truck, of course, will do its part of introducing us to the region by sitting out front and acting as a rolling billboard of sorts.
I'd equate an hour of tree work with 2-3 hours of time in a gym, with most of it focused on an upper body workout. Of course, the tree work jobs I've done so far have been in the 6-80 hour range...
The light snow ~ less than half an inch ~ is what's keeping us in today. Maybe tomorrow?
This afternoon, there will be a company meeting of sorts, going over some details with our future sales rep.
Tonight? Possibly karaoke, although that depends on how the cold bug behaves.
If I hadn't been talking with Stacy for the first part of the walk, I wouldn't have thought of it at all. At some point very early on, I realized I wanted her to see the ice on the rocks and the waterfalls and all and I wondered why I have yet to bring the camera on the hike. At some point shortly past that, I remembered the phone had a camera, so while Stacy focused on work, I focused on some shots along the canal path.
Still, it's a camera phone, so some day, I will still have to bring a camera along with me. Ideally, I'll bring Stacy along, too!
We ate lunch together, a hundred miles apart, thanks to the wonders of cellular phones and web cams. After the meal, I was treated to a Food Network style show, wherein I watched as she started the soup for tonight's dinner.
The entire time, I teased her about seeing her in a few hours, and that she should bring up some of the soup when she comes to visit.
And then, after ending the call with her so she can get back to work, I find out that I have some work: a bit of tree work! Justin's going to help me check out the saws (it doesn't sound that involved, so it should be okay that the chains were dulled by that concrete-filled tree last year...) and get the truck ready, and then I'm on my way!
Green Man Enviroscaping LLC will be volunteering some time & expertise to assist the D&L Trail Tenders at the Lock 13 in Parryville.
The work will be scheduled for May 22, and will start at 9:30am.
If you're interested in volunteering for this or other D&L Trail Tenders events in the areas covered by any of the four chapters (Easton, Lehigh Valley, Northern Lehigh and Carbon/Lehigh Gorge), visit the D&L site for contact information.
We hope to see you there!
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Mulch Matters ~ article on how to use mulch
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Boosting the signal for Edge of the Woods... here are some of their coming events... be sure to visit the nursery website for more information on these events, as well as sign-ups or tickets as mentioned in these blurbs:
Things are Blooming Away here at Edge of the Woods!
A few of the plants in their glory right now are Fringetree (it's fragrant, too!), Catawba Rhododendron (lavender and white), Amsonia (great for butterflies) and American Wisteria (not nearly as aggressive as it's Asian counterpart). Stop in Today to see these great native plants and learn how to use them in your garden.
Make a rain barrel May 22
Sponsored by the Saucon Creek Watershed Association.
The fee is $35 for each rain barrel, and participants will be provided with the materials and instruction needed to make and take home a finished rain barrel. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Download a registration form and mail it in today!
Learn all about Rain Gardens May 22
Adrianne Blank, Registered Landscape Architect.
Adrianne will give presentations at 10, 12 and 2 on May 22. Rain gardens collect storm water runoff from roofs, driveways, or other impervious surfaces. With a rain garden, you can grow beautiful plants, reduce polluted runoff and re-charge groundwater supplies. The presentation is free of charge, so don't miss it!
Gardening for the Future June 12 10 AM
A 'Must Hear' presentation With Dale Hendricks
Tickets on Sale Now!
Why bother gardening with natives? Plant grower and lover Dale Hendricks will answer with good information about the many positive impacts our seemingly small acts can have. Can gardening be good for the climate? For wildlife? For us? Does this have to be complicated? What plants are the easiest for beginners? He will then present, in his down to earth way, the joys and lore of several easy to grow, durable and beautiful native perennials and grasses.
Yeah, I updated greenmanenvy.com... if you've been reading along (and have access to secured posts!), you've seen most of the photos used in the update, if not all of them.
At long last, I updated the gallery with two more projects ~ the deer exclosures from this Spring and the more recent work in Weissport. I had been delaying on the latter to let the Borough do a reveal on it first, but I wanted to get that stonework on there.
As soon as it rains enough to wash the last of the work on the Stone Stream clean, I'll take pictures of that project and add it to the page.
On June 20th, we set up a table at the Edge of the Woods summer festival and hoped to talk to a few people who braved the rainy weather about the services we offer.
When one of the speakers that morning experienced weather-related delays, I filled in, and discussed some edible woodland plants and answered questions until Julianne arrived and set up her presentation. The event was covered in the Times-News here.
As indicated in the article, I tend not to rely on my identification skills when it comes to wild mushrooms ~ the tendency to misidentify is too high and the possibility that the misidentification involves something poisonous is just enough to keep me from making that call.
If you're interested in the sassafras-leaved dish ~ a variant on the quesadilla ~ you can find the recipe for Frasadillas on my personal blog.
To clarify on the sweet birch/wintergreen, they are two separate plants: the sweet birch, or black birch, is a dark-barked tree that contains a sap that is used to provide the wintergreen flavoring; the wintergreen plant (which has berries with a taste and texture much like a Certs candy) is not used to create the flavoring that is named after.
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This past weekend, Green Man Enviroscaping LLC employees volunteered their time for a trail cleanup session at the Weissport trail head of the Delaware & Lehigh Trail. We were able to clear a lot of crown vetch and some tree-of-heaven growing between the canal and the trail itself, and we helped plant some donated flowers around the memorial for Wilbur “Cap” Bauchspies.
There's a work day on the D&L at Parryville.
We're going to be convincing some Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-
The newish green that forms a semi-circle around me, balanced by the faux-stone wall of the house a foot to my right, seems to play with you: is it really hazy, or do the leaves just smear the colors like an oil painting?
Speaking of magical woodland type stuff, you know, in the movie Legend, during the opening credits, there's all that fluff and stuff floating around, giving the forest that enchanted feeling?
Those were our working conditions earlier this week. I'm not sure what the tree was ~ I didn't ID it, although with the proliferation of seeds, I wouldn't it be surprised if it was the evil Tree-O-
Today will be Rachel's last day of school. We're going on a field trip to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center for a talk by Pat Sutton on Backyard Habitat For Birds and Butterflies (For those in the area who might be able to join us it's at 1:00 p.m.-- Special program by naturalist Pat Sutton from Cape May, New Jersey; with lots of tips on how to attract birds and butterflies to your garden).
* Estimated. I lost count at 25 different types of calls. Sounds kind of like I'm in an aviary, which is good.
Not only can you get the Green Man Enviroscaping LLC logo on t-shirts for men, women, children, and babies, but there's a whole bunch of other ways to display the logo.
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In other, completely unrelated news, yesterday we saw a scarlet tanager nab a butterfly, scarf it down, and then land on a branch a few feet from where we were unloading the truck. He looked at us for a minute or so, as if to verify the sighting, and then flew off to go look us up in a guide book and identify us.
Immediately after that, we watched deer exclosure #4 get tested by four deer. They bolted up the hill, across the LNE trail, up a near-90 degree slope, and then encountered the fence. After a moment of confusion, three ran around the exclosure in one direction, and one went around in the other. So nice to see our work being put to use! =)
Later, we saw three birds with lots of yellow, but I'm not even going to hazard a guess at what they were until I get chance to look them up.
Also, we had another flyby from a large raptor.
A while back, I had a request for the shirt off my back.
While my son and I were volunteering to help get the deer exclosures we built at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center planted, I was asked if we had shirts for sale.
This past week, I've been working on getting some new shirts ~ the old ones are looking slightly less glow-in-the-dark ~ and in the process, I revised the logo a bit (partially to simplify the colors for silk screening the t-shirts and embroidering the polo shirts; partially to get some additional text on there as well).
Earlier tonight, I had the brilliant idea of using Zazzle.com ~ where I already offer various products based on my photography for sale in the The Elysian Fields Gallery ~ to offer this new logo on a variety of items and make it available to others.
This logo differs a little from what we wear ~ ours are four-color renderings, this is the full color logo designed by Tooth & Nale Graphics for us, along with the text of our new shirts.
The logo is available on a number of products, including t-shirts (in sustainable styles for men, women, children, and babies!), stickers, magnets, buttons, mugs, keychains, and mousepads. Click on the images below to see more information on each product:
( The rest under the cut... )
(Cross-posted to Dreamwidth & LiveJournal from the company blog)
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We discussed the Boxer as an alternative to a larger skid steer. I had looked at these a while ago ~ they're significantly less expensive than a compact track loader ($25,000-$30,000 vs. $60,000-160,000), and meet the weight requirement nicely. I was worried that they wouldn't be enough to help with our needs, though. Based on Matt's feedback regarding his familiarity with the machines and their attachments, they will be a perfect fit. I will see what kind of financing I can get for the trailer ~ which we'll need first, to pick one up ~ and then I'll see if I can get the financing for the Boxer itself. I know that Boxer offers several financing plans, but I don't think the same thing exists for the trailers. Also, I don't know what the 10k trailer runs. I know the top o' the line 14.4k ran about $60,000, so it's still likely to be more than the Boxer itself.
For attachments, we would need the plate compactor, auger drive and some auger bits, the landscape power rake, and, most likely some form of bucket. Having them in-house would definitely make the 4 projects we have out to bid right now possible. Without that, we'll have to rent pretty much the same equipment, except it's likely to be the larger flavor, which means we'll have to work with someone out of Bethlehem and pay an arm and a leg for delivery to and from the job sites. If we can get financing, this will prove more cost effective.
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The best news came just before Matt was about to head home ~ it was the truck driver, and the rest of our fencing was on its way. Matt hung around for a half hour, and then all three of us could unload the parts for exclosure #s 5 & 6. All parts are now in house, all we need are some rainless days ~ well, one half day of rain is okay; that will give us time to assemble the three gates. =)
You'll be working on the only superfund site approved for recreational use. Over a thousand plants will be going in to six plots ~ three within deer exclosures and three outside of the fences.
Nine different species of wildflowers will be planted in each plot, and will be monitored and measured over the next few years. They will be looking at which species grow best on the soil overloaded with zinc and other heavy metals, and, more importantly, which species do not take the metals up out of the soil and back into the food chain. They will also be studying which species are impacted by deer pressure.
We did a quick test the other day, and four of us were able to get over thirty plugs planted in less than an hour, in the rockiest corner of the rockiest exclosure, so the good news is the work will be easier than expected (and easier than getting the fences up in the first place! =)
Please RSVP as noted below to make sure you get some lunch!
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April 25, 26 -- Experimental plantings in grassland restoration area
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. -- Native forbs (wildflowers will be planted in the grassland restoration area of the nature cetner.
Lunch will be provided for volunteers.
Contact lgnc AT ptd DOT net to register so we can have lunch for you.
On April 18th, join us at the Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery for an Earth Day celebration!
We'll be there for the whole day, from 9am to 4pm, and will be happy to talk shop ~ that is woods, meadows, and other landscaping for home or business ~ with you.
Sustainability will be the focus of the day, and there will be vendors and speakers in attendance. More information about Edge of the Woods, including directions to the nursery, can be found on their web site.
We hope to see you there!
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I had been concerned ~ well, suspicious really ~ that it would snow while I was up at the conference and I'd miss it, but I made it back in plenty of time.
Saturday, after the conference, I headed over to Worcester to visit some family, and hear a bit more about the Asian longhorned beetle and all the trees that were cut down to try to keep the pest from spreading. As mentioned in yesterday's semi-conscious post, I had dinner with my mom and her two sisters and with my grandfather's sister as well. All four of them were flirting with the waiter to one degree or another, so I spent much of the time shaking my head or saying "oy" or something like that. Despite all that ~ or, in all truth, because of it ~ the waiter took two "buy one get one free" coupons when it clearly stated one per table. So he made up the extra in his tip.
After getting more stuff from my great aunt to bring back for the kids, we went back to my Aunt Susan's and talked, looked at some pictures I had on the computer, and watched Blazing Saddles.
The conference went great, I learned a lot of useful bits of information, had a lot more bits that confirmed I was on the right track, and found a whole bunch of vendors that I'd like to work with. I went from having a couple of tentative contacts with possibilities to discussing things (one of whom has never gotten back to me) to a number of companies that offer viable solutions to all of the needs I had and then some. I've gotten challenged ~ both from the vendors and the sessions ~ to bring the skills I have up a notch or fifty, and that will benefit my customers greatly.
The section of the books I am currently studying ~ Edible Forest Gardens (hands down, the best books I've seen on permaculture) ~ is going in-depth into the structures of the soil and the soil food web, and that was a recurring theme in the conference. Although I had some soil-testing gear on my wish-list for the company, I'm now convinced that I need to up that in priority. I, at least, need to pick up one or two things and then expect to use a lab for the tests themselves. At some point, it will be important enough for me to make sure I can do the tests myself.
Because the general purpose solution worked in my yard, I was attempting to bring that to others (at least until that solution proved to be ten times as expensive as other commercial offerings) and I realize that, to be able to charge people, I need to be able to offer better service than a one-size-fits-some-and-hopefully-you solution, and actually be able to fine tune it to the specific needs of the site and desires of the landowners.
I did talk to some other vendors about permeable pavers, rain collection systems, and a few other things I had looked into and hope to be able to offer at some time in the future. I also made contact with a lot of great people in some aspect of this industry ~ the vendors, growers, landscape architects, some folks who were just interested parties, as well as fellow design-build-maintain contractors like myself.
Also, if you ever get a chance to listen to the Forest Service's Kevin T. Smith talk about anything ~ even if he's just reading off the ingredients list on a cereal box ~ go and see him. He is a great speaker, combining a depth of knowledge with an entertaining delivery.
Also also, one of the speakers from NH used "wicked" at least three to seven times in her portion of the talk, and that made me smile and think of the homeland.
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I had mentioned, the other day, how I had dinner with firesign10 and family, and I have to go into a bit more detail. First off, I think Mr. Bear tried to adopt me. He showed me his Fantastic Four action figures, set up a game for me on his Leapster, and offered me the best bits of whatever food was on his plate. He also thought I should go home with them, and when he found out I wasn't coming over, he asked if we could set up a playdate. He's about a year and a half older than Mr. B, and if we could ever get those two together, they'd have a blast.
Conversation covered everything from work to commuting to bass playing ~ which reminds me, I should have mentioned this: firesign10, you folks should come to the Musical Day cookout on the 25th of May! (okay, really I should just announce that to everyone, but, in particular, you guys should bring down the basses and guitars and so on! =) (I should also verify if it's going to be on the 25th or another day that weekend, or, even, the next!)
Great people, and it was great to meet them!
And I wanted to take a nap when I got home because I am exhausted, but I failed to be able to nap.
More details and so forth after I catch up on some sleep. Hopefully. I don't know if I have enough energy to chase after it for very long! =)
I thought about writing them all out and spreading them across a few or a dozen days, but hey, maybe I'll just flood the market.
Food will, of course, take up most of them. Some measure of all, really. Even the two posts on architecture and home design (from the How to Tell if ... are from Another Planet series... see the other episodes here and here) will be related to food preparation. There will also be six recipes: three main dishes, one sauce, one component, and one overall Plan for the entire meal.
I've mentioned before that I get into things in waves. I can be really intensely focused for a while, and then I'll move on to other things. Obviously, the food wave is cresting now. Thursday had the recipe for sweet lemon cod and winey 'zo 'n 'zo. Saturday had the Valentine's Feast that will generate all the food posts mentioned above, and was previewed here and had results depicted here. Yesterday, there were egg rolls which also works fairly well as a stir fry recipe ~ thought I had posted a stir fry one before, but if I did, I failed to tag it with either food or recipes.
There's likely to be more food recipes ahead in the near future. Maybe. I have some hamburger, and I'm likely to try something different for making burgers, so maybe something on that at the end of the week. Everything else for the next week or so will involve less of the recipe and more of the open-package-and-heat variety, unfortunately. Although I've seen some newspaper articles claim that healthy, fresh foods are cheaper than the pre-processed crap out there, Deb goes into conniptions when I get into a cooking phase because I like to work with ingredients instead of heat-n-serve stuff, and, apparently, her issue with this doesn't involve taste or health, rather money, of which we have, well, none.
In other news, aequitaslevitas drove to college today. All by his own self. Next step will be him getting a job ~ beyond the part time work with me* ~ so he can pay for gas.
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* He's very restricted on what times he can work; even if he doesn't have high school classes or college classes, his working permit is based on the school district we live in, not that he attends... so no work while they are in school, even if he is not. Which pretty much limits any landscaping help to the summer vacation ~ can't exactly do that sort of thing in the night time, or, even, schedule it to start late enough in the day to take him along. I suppose now that he's driving, he'll be able to come out in the afternoon for a few hours a day... hadn't thought of that until typing it... but that may work, although it means two vehicles going to the site... =)