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Electrical Audio Urban Beautification Project

Waste management tips, fly-on-the-wall tatics, etc.

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Postby Intern_8033 on Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:35 am

This is a great opportunity for one of you losers to try out the new photoshop perspective tool, by the way.

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Postby Bradley R. Weissenberger on Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:10 pm

Is there a garden update?
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Postby Edward on Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:31 pm

How long have those condos to the right been there in that first picture? I've only been to Electrical once, about five years ago, and I don't seem to recall them. I don't really remember what was there but I'm pretty sure it wasn't those things.
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Postby MTAR on Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:58 pm

Edward wrote:How long have those condos to the right been there in that first picture? I've only been to Electrical once, about five years ago, and I don't seem to recall them. I don't really remember what was there but I'm pretty sure it wasn't those things.


Wierd isn't it? I hadn't been there for a year, and when I came back I actually drove by the place entirely cause it didn't make sense. And then they tore down the building on the other side of it, so I passed up a year later again. wtf?!
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Postby rob v. on Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:06 pm

Image

electrical is the building directly below the 've' of the belmont ave. text on that map. its the rectangular building with the black top. the picture is a few years old. on this picture, to our west (or left on this map) there is a vacant lot. there are now condos built on that land. the building just to our east (right on the map) has now been torn down and is a vacant lot awaiting condos to be built. anyway, i think thats where we are.
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Postby matthew on Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:46 pm

If it's within budget, you all ought to beautify the exterior of Electrical Audio. Paint it, perhaps? And what's been done with that dank lot next door? I was in Chicago last year and I happened to drive past EA and noticed the lot. Anyone own that patch of land?
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Postby kerble on Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:30 pm

matthew wrote:If it's within budget, you all ought to beautify the exterior of Electrical Audio. Paint it, perhaps? And what's been done with that dank lot next door? I was in Chicago last year and I happened to drive past EA and noticed the lot. Anyone own that patch of land?


http://www.electricalaudio.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2071
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Postby matthew on Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:54 pm

kerble wrote:
matthew wrote:If it's within budget, you all ought to beautify the exterior of Electrical Audio. Paint it, perhaps? And what's been done with that dank lot next door? I was in Chicago last year and I happened to drive past EA and noticed the lot. Anyone own that patch of land?


http://www.electricalaudio.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2071


Ah more condos huh?
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Postby spacebar on Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:42 pm

Revived! Now under new management (me), I've been calling it the "Electrical Agricultural Project".

Last year I started growing some Cinnamon Basil in a small pot by the window. Since it sprouted and lasted until winter, I decided to plant again this year, along with catnip, parsley and bell peppers.

Also taking another stab at the lot out back. The plan is to keep it mainly a spice garden for the time being. If things turn out well, there's room to expand next year.

First off, I yanked out the huge, tree-like weeds, and most of the medium-sized ones. Here's what was left:


Image

Pulled the rest of the weeds, pulled out the last few years' worth of broken glass, telephone wire, nails, broken glass, rocks, metal chunks, cigarette butts, broken glass, a guitar pick, and some chunks of coax cable.

Took one of those 3-pronged thingies (treble fork? I can never remember what they're called), turned up a few inches of soil, and picked out more rocks, concrete, broken glass weeds and a busted crackpipe. Then I hand-sifted the soil and yanked out more rocks and broken glass. The soil is not pure by any means, but it's in much better shape than it's been in a few years.

Here's a nice view of some stuff I picked out of there:



Image

Planted seeds for the following: jalapenos, cinnamon basil, parsley, spearmint, and the left over bell pepper seeds from earlier. Everything is planted in rows. Will probably formulate a plan to keep squirrels, rabbits, etc. out of the garden eventually (I've been reading previous suggestions). For now, I just want everything to sprout.

Finally, not having a green thumb in the slightest, I called my dad for planting advice. He suggested peat moss. What I didn't catch, apparently, was that he suggested mixing the peat moss with topsoil. Instead, I sprinkled it on top of the existing soil. Apparently, my way was better than no peat moss at all, so we'll roll with it. You can see the patch in the middle where I planted everything:


Image

There's still room for more stuff to plant/transplant later. I didn't want to get too crazy with it until I know something will grow there.

To get this thing up-to-date, here's today:

Image

Nothing too exciting. A few weeds and cigarette butts have sprouted. But then again, the potted plants I have just sprouted a little yesterday (I'll add pics later), so I'm just going to play the waiting game for a while.

PS - I have no idea why these pictures are sideways and upside down. I've used 3 different editors and they still show up wrong. Oh well.
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Postby DregsInTheCrowd on Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:57 pm

Jon, this is fantastic. I wish only the best for your spices and veggies. In fact, come August when I move to Logan Square, I insist that you allow me to consume them. This may not be what is best for your vegetation, but it is what is best for feeding my face.

Are they running out of things for you to do there? If you need a constant gardener, I'm a phone call away. I can be your constant gardener.
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Postby spacebar on Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:37 pm

Easy there, Mike... they have to sprout first.

And thank you for your offer of relief, but you know I'm quite excited about taking on this project, so kindly find your own dirt to play with (but if the stuff grows I'll throw a spice party or have an open house out back something - the possibilities are endless!).

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Postby r0ck1r0ck2 on Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:23 pm

have you considered climbing vines up the front side of the building?

morning glories for example.


p.s. thanks for reviving this thread.
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Postby otisroom on Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:21 pm

Don't get that dirt on my Mercedes!
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Postby ginandtacos.com on Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:20 pm

I thought that the glory hole through the back wall was 'beautification' enough.
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Postby Bramble on Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:30 pm

Dude, you should to start the seeds in small peat moss cups on a window sill. Let them get strong first, then put them in the ground. Seeds planted directly into the ground could get eaten by birds before they get a chance to sprout. Start more seeds then you will end up planting and choose the heartiest, least "leggy" of the sprouts.

A chicken wire fence will keep out bunnies if you sink it 1 ft underground and 4 ft above..

Also are you fertilizing? From the pictures your soil looks a little sandy. You need some compost or manure to do it up right. *former Berkley hippie*
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Postby spacebar on Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:10 pm

Sorry no update last week. I was out of town.

That's a good call, Bramble. I am growing one of most everything in along the window sill as well. They're doing alright. Might have to transplant them later. The original goal was to start these as seeds (I'm sure it doesn't matter, but I thought buying pre-grown spices and transplanting them would be cheating). Transplanting the window plants may be a must-do option if I don't see much progress soon outside.

No fertilizer outside. Miracle-gro inside. Will most likely add miracle-gro tomorrow.

"leggy"? Does that mean more stem than anything else? [/novice]

Chicken fence is out because the west side of the garden is the neighbors' driveway.

What sucks right now is that I can't tell what are weeds and what are the actual plants (yes, I've looked at pictures, just not sure about some of these that look similar). I will persevere and have a green thumb before this is all over, just you wait!

r0ck1r0ck2, that sounds like a good idea, but I'm not sure that "management" would like me growing stuff up the walls. Plus I just want to concentrate on the garden (for now).

Pictures tomorrow.
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Postby kerble on Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:14 pm

spacebar wrote:Chicken fence is out because the west side of the garden is the neighbors' driveway.


you can get around the fencing by sprinkling chili powder on the dirt. keeps the sniffy rodents away. got to remember to reapply after rainfall.


this book was awesome in helping us make our city garden:
Image

we went organic and had maybe 23 or so different vegetables. my god that was delicious. Have you tried baking the soil? that's when you make a layer of mushroom compost/manure/regular compost/ and repeat. cover it with a black tarp and let it cook for a few weeks under the sun. you'll get some awesome, rich black soil, to go with your not awesome, rich white neighbors.

I've done quite a bit of this stuff before, so if you need any advice, I'd be happy to help.



Also, Wasn't Iron Maiden awesome the other night?



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Re: Electrical Audio Urban Beautification Project

Postby spacebar on Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:14 pm

Well here we are in beautiful, cold, February...

First off, a post wrapping up last summer (why didn't you post anything last summer, spacebar? WTF?). I know, I know! I'm sorry. Basically, I discovered that throwing seeds at a plot of dirt on Memorial Day is no way to start a garden. I got more weeds than anything else, and basically felt like a dick.

Anyway, a quick collection of photos that I took of the things that grew in the garden last summer... First, the weeds/non-edibles:

I don't know what these were, but they were obnoxious and plentiful (BELOW):
Image


Image
(ABOVE) There were so many of these that I thought "Oh, come on, these have to be good for SOMETHING". Seriously, I left the garden alone for like two weeks one time and there was a whole rainforest of these plants back there. Unbelieveable how easily they grow. I spent a lot of time pulling these out of the ground and cursing them.

Image
(ABOVE) I assumed since I didn't plant this that I shouldn't eat it.

Here's what I believe to be a Maple... I don't know why it's in the garden, but I left it alone and watched its progress throughout the summer (BELOW)...
Image


I think this was a green pepper plant... it was doing pretty well until early September. Then it just died. I don't know why (BELOW):
Image

Image
(ABOVE) Jalapeños in August. These kept on growing and yielding LOTS of peppers all the way until early November. I'll be planting more of these for sure.

Image
(ABOVE) Spearmint, I think. We didn't really do much with these. We just smelled them. I was happy they at least grew.

Image
(ABOVE) Here's the Basil plant I started last spring - I just took this picture today. Steve cooked with this basil from time to time, so success there. All the outdoor basil died.

Image
(ABOVE) The Green Pepper plant I kept indoors. It yielded teeny tiny peppers this November. The goal is to keep it happy, then transplant it outdoors once it gets warmer. It was a trooper all winter, though!

FINALLY:

Image
(ABOVE) The last harvest of Jalapeños that I picked in November. I gave some to Dregsinthecrowd and some to Grégoire. (I tried to put that pic right-side-up. Could not do. It's got to be the camera in my phone that does that. WTF?)

A note about growing your own peppers, and about Dregsinthecrowd: I tried one of those peppers. It was extra fresh and extra hot. Crazy hot. I could not finish half-of-one it was so hot. I saw Dregsinthecrowd eat those things raw and wash them down with hot sauce. Don't fuck with him.

Next post will begin THIS year's growing season. I'm a little wiser this year, and I feel like I'll be doing a smarter job of this gardening business. We shall see. More soon...
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Re: Electrical Audio Urban Beautification Project

Postby spacebar on Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:10 pm

Thinking about what do do differently this year, I have decided to grow as many seedlings as possible while it's still cold and there is still frost overnight and transplant them when it gets warmer. Also, I'm going to stagger everything out - grow in batches every few weeks instead of all-at-once. I feel like they'll have a better chance, and either I'll have enough chances to learn this summer or get more plants/herbs/veggies to grow overall if they all live.

SO, so far I've spent the winter picking up random seed packets and other planting accessories along the way. Also, the ladyfriend has a book about growing an indoor garden. So I feel like I can at least get more plants to START growing. I still have 3 months to figure out the rest before transplant time.

First, I had an extra pot laying around, so I planted peas - here's the plant at 2 weeks:
Image. (ABOVE) These seem to be growing really fast. I'm excited.

I should have an endorsement deal with JIFFY because I'm using it like it's going out of style. For starters they've got these JIFFY Trays. Little greenhouses basically. I have 2 2x6 trays, meaning I can have 24 seedlings starting up all at once. I bought refills, too, so every few weeks I can start another batch of 24 seedlings. So nice.

I have all of my seeds divided so far based on when they're supposed to be planted (some are late winter, some are early spring, some are late spring).

In the first tray, I have seedlings of Bell Peppers, Rosemary and Onion (the tall, skinny onions). A quick visual of the process here:
Image

and here:

Image

A note about JIFFY trays - they're supposed to be in indirect sunlight. I'm sort of fudging here, because those glass bricks aren't exactly transparent, and because that window sill has a (goddamned) condo blocking most of the light. Hopefully that equals "indirect".


In the next Jiffy tray, we have Radishes, Watermelon (hey, why not?), Peas, and more Onions.

A pre-planting shot:
Image

You can also see (ABOVE) I wrote out a key, so I can remember what I planted where. Very important! I set this one on the window sill also. And I'm already set for expansion, as I have JIFFY refills and JIFFY planters. I will do a better job of tracking progress this year so stay posted.

Also, Kerble... I need to contact you about the lasagna gardening Idea. If I can figure out how to do it outside, I'd like to give it a try.

TTFN
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Re: Electrical Audio Urban Beautification Project

Postby Dominique D'Amico on Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:03 pm

spacebar wrote:Thinking about what do do differently this year


Think about transplanting outside into 10 gallon buckets (pretty cheap at Menard's) with holes drilled in the bottom, instead of directly into the ground. You can better control the quality of the soil and moisture level. You can also use chicken wire and zip ties to make a protective fence using the top of the bucket as a base. That way you don't risk damage to the boss man's car. You only really need to protect the plants the pests like. Let me know if you want any help gardening this year. I have a little experience with this.
Last edited by Dominique D'Amico on Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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