After roughly 2005 or so the majority of family event pictures were taken by me. A few were still taken by my father. In particular, the first few pictures today are from our 2011 trip to Wisconsin Dells. The canoe was part of our expedition that day (we also rode the river in a pontoon boat). Dad still loved to take pictures, and these are all from that trip, and his garden. Starting in the middle of the back yard, dad had a bamboo garden. It was originally 3 or 5 bamboo plants. It became 100. Without Panda’s nibbling Bamboo grows like a weed. I am pretty sure, although I never really asked that mom would have said no to have in the backyard.
My wife and I both spent many years in Indiana, and during that time we grew to Love Indiana Tomatoes. In particular, we loved my dad’s Tomatoes. Starting in early August, it was the highlight of heading down to Bloomington. We would stock up on awesome tomatoes. I am not sure if it is soil or something in the air, but the Tomatoes in Maryland just aren’t that good overall. It might be a regional taste difference. I don’t know. The soil in Indiana is a lot more clay and calcium based. Indiana’s predominant bedrock is the once upon a time sandy bottom of what the great Nebraska Sea. A sea that 200 million years ago covered the majority of the central US.
It was shallow sea and became Shale and Limestone. That combination is important because the shale isn’t water soluble and the Limestone is. Over time, the shale cap allowed for the formation of caves in the Limestone. It also changed the composition of the soil. Finally 10,000 years ago a giant wall of retreating Ice changed the ecology of Northern Indiana. The best tomatoes come from Northern Indiana (IMHO). The glaciers changed Indiana forever. The joke used to be that you could roll a quarter from Lafayette Indiana to Indianapolis, and it would just keep rolling. South of Martinsville and you couldn’t roll the quarter anywhere.