When my girlfriend was ready to plant her vegetable garden this year, I donated my green thumb to help get it in perfect shape. I built the two raised beds for her a couple of years ago. They are 8’x4’ cedar. For more of the creative details, give it a read!
When in Charleston, SC…
You owe it to yourself to check out the Hominy Grill. This place is a true taste of the low county, with an atmosphere to match. The food is out of this world, fresh and loaded with flavor. The cocktails can be described much the same way. No pre-packaged mixers here. It was quick to see that the food and drink were true handcrafted masterpieces. My suggestion is to order up a plate of the shrimp and grits (the best I’ve ever had) and wash it down with an ice cold dark & stormy!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association Trade Show & Education Conference. I received the invite from my good friend John Schichtel and his family that owns owns and operates a large tree business in both Oregon and Western NY. It was a day very well spent. The professional development agenda included fifteen various presentations and talks on a variety of topics. For those in the related professional fields, it gave them the opportunity to gain their continuing ed credits for CNLP’s and LA’s.
Here is the run down of what I attended.
1) I listened to Joe Han speak on talking design work to the next level.
- Working with various stakeholders involved in projects.
- Managing relationships.
- Communication with customers.
2) The second presentation was by LA Joy Kuebler on Sustainable Sites Initiative.
- Addressed many issues relating to LEED construction.
- Sustainability in education ( Learning Gardens).
- How sustainable designs are working with existing infrastructure, and ideas.
3) I wrapped up the day with a wonderful talk by Sally Cunningham on hardworking shrubs for WNY Landscapes.
- Alternatives to the plants everyone in your neighborhood already has.
- Native species (importance, species, plantings, eco benefits).
Unfortunately there were many more that I would have loved to attend but they were scheduled at the same time. The other topics covered areas such as wetland conservation, environmental friendly lawn care, organic yards, etc. This proved to be an incredible learning experience, and enabled me to take away a great deal of information related to the larger field of sustainability.
I recently stumbled across this article and thought that it was worth sharing with the readers of this blog. The WSJ reported on a new law that has been passed in several states. This law will allow businesses to incorporate as “benefit corporations”. A charter of this nature will essentially allow a board to account for social and environmental goals, as well as profits and shareholder value. Are you wondering why shareholders should care about this? Consider this: Outdoor-apparel company, and environmental activists Patagonia posted roughly $500 million dollars in revenue last year. Pretty amazing when you consider that they really buck the trend of traditional corporate cultures. You can read the entire article below: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203735304577168591470161630.html
One of most interesting aspects of this, is the potential impact it will have on the Nexus of Contracts. If you are unfamiliar with this term, Let me direct you to a little knowledge I picked up when I got my MBA.
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I ordered this book from Barnes & Noble (kudos on the minimal packaging) and think this will prove to be a nice addition to some of my faster ipad renderings. Having the ability to transfer your vision to others is crucial. By building off my previous studio art skills, this will help refine my hand drawings. Even with all of the technology available today, hand drawings still have their place. It would be great for small school and community garden plans. The book has great material on symbols, markings, and terminology. Great if you are looking to brush up on reading property surveys (and communicating with professionals you may be working with). Back to the drawing board!
To celebrate The Year of The Dragon, I wanted to share some pictures from my recent China travels this past summer. China has an incredible culture, and to be fully immersed in the local and business life for fourteen days was the best way to learn and take it all in. The only downside was the pollution and smog that we lived in for nearly the entire trip. This was to be expected in the major cities of Shanghai and Beijing, but not necessarily in the countryside west of the coastline. The picture of The Great Wall captures this well. You can’t tell, but the day we climbed to the top was forecasted as a bright and sunny day. Yikes! It appears that they are now really working to address their environmental issues. Chances are, if they put the same (mind-blowing) effort and energy to address this as they have with their economy, they will be successful. Too little, too late? Maybe. But I sure hope not, it is a beautiful place!
So the reusable water bottle craze is nothing new. I am willing to guess that if you are taking the time to read this (thank you), there is a good chance you own a reusable as well. If you don’t, this may be of some help to you. There are many good reasons to own one. They range from environmental concerns such as pollution, economical reasons, to health benefits. All three were important considerations for me. I am also fiercely brand loyal as well. You may now be wondering how brand loyal I am for owning three different brands of bottles. Here is why…
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For those who know me, you are likely aware that I read a good number of books per year with the great majority of them dealing with topics in business, economics, sustainability, and outdoor adventure. There is just something about a physical book that is hard to replace. It is tactile, requires no batteries, and can withstand all the sand a beach can toss at it. As I sit here typing this on my laptop, a quick glance at the smartphone and tablet next to me is all I need to remind me just how connected we truly are. Reading is my way of literally unplugging.
The concept of transitioning from all the newest technology to an old fashioned book (and vise-vera) is an interesting analogy to Punching Out One Year in a Closing Auto Plant by Paul Clemens. It certainly is a reflection of the speed in which change is occurring in the modern world. Every so often, I read a book that really stands out from the others. This is one of those books. Punching Out is an excellent example of the sentiment that many Americans are feeling lately.
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Forget New Years resolutions that are a mile long and usually fall by the wayside two weeks later. Rather than spend time procrastinating; I jumped in the car with my girlfriend and headed up towards Ithaca, N.Y. Most outdoor pursuits this time of year are accompanied by snowshoes and warm hats. The lack of snow and warm temperatures took that out of the equation. Instead we laced up our boots and hiked Taughannock Falls. Although the workout and fresh air were appreciated; it was great to see so many families and kids enjoying the outdoors. As has often been the case with me, time spent outdoors have shaped some of my fondest memories growing up. It appears not much has changed.