Category: fun

Swarm Two 2015

We caught our second swarm today! This one was resting on a potted plant at a house boat. Here’s what it looked like when we arrived. (That’s water behind the plant.) Btw, just click on the photos to see them larger.

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Here’s a video of the first handful going into the box.

When we had most of the bees in the box, these few that were left lined right up and marched in to join their friends.

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Here we are with messed up hair (well, mine) and happy bee-shiny faces!

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We got home just as the sun was setting and got the bees safely into their new hive.

Oregon Orchid Show and Sale 2015

I went by the 26th annual Oregon Orchid Show and Sale yesterday. So many gorgeous flowers! I’m posting about it today because you still have time to see the show for yourself. If you go — make sure to use this coupon for $3 off admission. (I just showed it on my phone.)

I bought two orchids at the sale, both of which are now hanging over one of my aquariums.

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Here are some of the gorgeous blooms I snapped. Truly worth seeing!

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Beijing Hot Pot

2768 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR (when you get to this location, please be aware that the building is set back from 82nd, behind a building and past a parking lot.)

Beijing Hot Pot is a great place to go for an amazing eating experience. You order a type of broth and then different ingredients to add to it. Sounds simple enough, but the result is incredibly delicious and hilarious (when you don’t have much skill with the process.)

I recommend the spicy vegetarian broth. There are also neutral veggie and spicy/neutral meat broths available.

Some of my favorite ingredients are the needle mushrooms, bean curd strips, spinach, and homemade noodles. There’s a secret ingredient that is yummy as well: rice cakes. (Not the dry things you buy at the store, but small chewy coins.) We ordered them last night and the woman replied, “ah! you have been here before!” Sometimes they also have veggies that are not listed on the menu; last night we scored baby bok choy.

If you are a meat eater you might enjoy the huge piles of raw meat available… you cook them in the broth yourself.

As a last thought, I would recommend going with people you feel comfortable with. The broth is heated to boiling, but it does take family style sharing to a new level.

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grow your own shiitake mushrooms!

Hey guys. I want to share how easy it is to grow your own delicious shiitake mushrooms at home. I bought a loaf-like mound from a local shop called the Urban Farm Store, which is in SE Portland on Powell.

The kind I got there is grown on a mound of sawdust. It comes with instructions, but basically you soak it (in non-chlorinated water) and then mist it twice a day. You put a plastic bag over it (held up by chopsticks) to keep the air around it humid. Then, one day (a few weeks for me)… voila!

The following images show how big they are when they are full-grown. They are so fresh, delicious, and have many health benefits. Plus, organic shiitake’s sell for around $11.99 a pound! (I think the mound was around $25, so it hasn’t paid for itself yet… but I think it will and then some.)

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A more aesthetically pleasing way to go about it is to buy a mushroom infused log. I bought this as well, but just started it so we haven’t seen any mushrooms yet. Here’s a local source. It’s pricier at $50 per log, but they say it will continue to produce for five years.

 

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

When I really want to give visitors a taste of that special Portland weirdness, I take them over to Rimsky’s for dessert and/or coffee. It’s not just a coffeehouse, it’s an experience not to be missed. Speaking of experiences, make sure to sneak upstairs to use the restroom at some point in your time there — it’s worth it!

Situated in an old Portland home, it feels like you’re sitting in the living room of a very extravagant neighbor. The interior is decorated with hanging photos, collages under glass tabletops, and very loud wallpaper.

Important to note is that it is a cash only establishment. The service can sometimes be a bit off, but sometimes it’s been great. There is often live-music performances, which are compensated solely by tip, so bring a little extra.

Also, most importantly — I should mention — the dessert is fantastic!

Here’s some historical information about it on Wikipedia.

Address:
707 Southeast 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Check out some photos…

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Tree School

Do you want to learn more about harvesting truffles? What about beekeeping? Or managing forestland? If so, it’s time to register for OSU’s extension program called Tree School. This is a great opportunity to learn about all kinds of fascinating topics that relate to owning land in Oregon. You also get to meet and network with other like-minded people. It’s $60 for an entire day of classes. Register here.

My favorite class title?  Operating Chainsaws safely for women. Full class list here.

I’ve already sent mine in — hope to see you there!

beekeeping in Portland

There are quite a number of Portland resources if you are interested in beekeeping. This is an overview, in other posts I may dive in deeper to particular aspects.

Portland Urban Beekeepers is a group that meets monthly on the first Wednesday of every month (logo above.) They are a great source and wonderful place to start. They also have a Facebook group.

Here is a link to the City of Portland rules and regulations to obtain a permit for keeping bees in the city. This is important to consider. In our urban areas you must get all neighbors within 150 feet of your property line to sign a petition, plus take into account some other considerations for their setup.

Great article by Neighborhood Notes on beekeeping in Portland.

The people at Bridgetown Bees are working on a noble project to breed queens that can overwinter better in Portland.

Bee Thinking makes gorgeous cedar hives. They ship worldwide and happen to be headquartered in Portland.

Ruhl Bee Supply. I haven’t personally been to this store, but it seems cool from the site.

Queen of the Sun is an awesome documentary on the plight of bees in today’s world. One of the directors, Jon Betz, lives in Portland. There’s also a short segment in the film that takes place here. Watch the trailer below.

This last link is not Portland specific, but it is interesting information on apicentric beekeeping. Basically, the idea with this is a hive that is best for bees, not centered around honey production for humans.

I have a hive and lots of supplies, but no bees yet. I’m hoping to start beekeeping in the Spring of 2015. In the meantime, I am learning everything I can!

Oaks Park rollerskating rink

Want to visit the 1970’s? What about 1905? That is when Oaks Park was first built! The roller skating rink has been in place (and little changed) since the 1920’s. My partner’s grandmother remembers skating there. It still has a functional pipe organ that is displayed in the center of the ceiling and every Sunday night they have live organ music that you can skate to. Don’t miss the skate shop. It is one of the best sources in Portland for roller skates, rollerblades, laces, socks, and all the paraphernalia you need for derby, rollerdancing, or jamming. Here’s the skating schedule.

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