This week it feels as if the day after Sunday is Thursday….the week's almost over and I am just getting to a post about last weekend's activities in the neighborhood. Yesterday morning I ran into Peter Franzen, the dapper Director of Development for the Children's Educational Alliance located at 4742A McPherson. When I mentioned I hadn't posted for a few days he surmised that there wasn't much to say. Would that I could use that as an excuse. Before this coming weekend becomes a distant memory too, here is a rundown on last's.
On what turned out to be a very busy Saturday I was invited by my friend Mary Morgan to have lunch with the latest, and likely the youngest, gardening, cooking, and entertaining author to hit the scene, James Farmer, above, who was in the CWE to sign copies of his book "A Time to Plant" at Left Bank Books. The author's charming sister Maggie Yelton, who was the photographer for his gorgeous book, was also in town to accompany him on a couple of St. Louis appearances. The luncheon at Pi was arranged by St. Louis philanthropist Susan Sherman, who is serving as James's P.R. person for his 20-city book tour.
Over President Obama's favorite pizzas (Southside & Western), James talked about growing up in Elizabeth, Georgia, and learning to cook from his grandmother, Mimi, and the family maid, Mary. It was from Mary that James learned to make delicious cornbread, biscuits, and quick breads using unwritten recipes handed down generation to generation. Only seasonal ingredients were used in the Farmer household, which is much easier to do in Middle Georgia.
Farmer is a landscape and interior designer by trade. His first book, "A Time to Plant," published by Gibb Smith Publishing, launched on September 1. A prolific author, his next books— "A Time to Cook," "A Time to Celebrate," "Sip & Savor" and the "Front Porch"—will follow in quick succession starting next Spring. Autographed copies of "A Time to Plant," $40, are available at Left Bank Books.
James is also a contributor to Southern Living and somehow finds time to keep up with his blog featuring stunning photos, recipes, and entertaining tips. After lunch and before the book signing James and Maggie, aka "Magnolia," had only a half-hour to explore Euclid and McPherson. They loved what they saw and said they hope to be back soon.
While they toured I hustled over to Bowood Farms for a demonstration on cold frame construction. On the way I passed by The Vino Gallery and was pleased to see that owners Rachael and Alex are planning a couple of very interesting events during the month of September, see chalkboard above. Check them out on The Vino Gallery website or on facebook.
It was surprising to see these charming little gourds growing haphazardly alongside Bowood Farms' garden fence on Walton Row at Olive.
Jenny Murphy, above, a creative reuse specialist who graduated from the Sam Fox School of Design at WU, was the guest speaker at Bowood Farms Saturday afternoon demonstrating how to make a cold frame. For her frames Jenny uses recycled materials she "sources" in alleys and dumpsters around town. She had pre-cut the wood pieces used for the demonstration, so with the plans provided in hand the project looked somewhat easy to copy. Her organization is called Perennial and on her blog I found instructions for building cold frames (see here). A list of suitable vegetables to plant in the cold frames is available at Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive.
To extend the length of the gardening season even if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony, Jenny suggested turning an old suitcase into a coldframe, right. On Monday this "diy" expert will teach a workshop at Bowood Farms from 3 to 5 p.m. on "Upcycled Planters", using glass lighting fixtures as hanging planters, $35. Call Bowood Farms (314) 454-6868 to register.
Late in the day, as I walked down Euclid for the umpteenth time, I began to wonder how in the world one could possibly be bored living here. Proprietors Dawna Sturdivant of Borough Vintage, and Kelly Reding of Dauphine, hosted a festive "Fall Faire" that evening at 447 N. Euclid, above. There are a lot of stylish women in St. Louis and many of them found their way to this party. See Dawna's blog for more photos.
Sunday evening we returned to Art Hill (see earlier post here) to experience the 9/11 Memorial, "America's Heartland Remembers," at night. We parked near the Grand Basin and were intrigued to find a group of young musicians, flame throwers, and jugglers entertaining onlookers on the broad steps of the Basin, above and below.
The schedule for this weekend is just as busy with art openings and the Balloon Glow on Friday night, and the Balloon Race on Saturday afternoon. "America's Heartland Remembers" closes on Sunday. Have a great weekend!