Still no camera, but I’m getting closer to making a selection. My friend Rachel in Chicago (whose tutorial on reverse-painting garments with bleach is a lifesaver for those of us who’ve ruined a shirt with bleach spots) is also a kickass photographer. She pointed me to Snapsort which is a delightfully user-friendly camera comparison site.
After spending the morning drinking coffee, reviewing lists like Best Entry-Level DLSRs, and playing around with my own selection criteria, I’m close to picking the Panasonic Lumix LX5.
I know that there are people (Rachel?) who might think I’m crazy for paying this much for a digicam when I could almost get a DLSR for the same amount. The top DSLR for the same price is the Nikon D3000, and it doesn’t have any video capability, image stabilization, or live image view. We’ll see. I like to sleep on these decisions…
Snapsort is super awesome though. Bookmark it. Before you forget.
Here are some grainy photos of what the balcony garden is doing, courtesy of my little macbook’s photobooth. The neighbors must wonder what I’m doing out on my balcony all the time…if it isn’t holding a laptop up to a tomato plant, it’s taking a bunch of self-portraits while wearing a sweater.
In this next photo some whisps of hair snuck into the shot:
The peas are heartily and happily growing. The strawberries are multiplying and thinking about ripening. The African basil is the saddest – I may try repotting it in different soil and see if that helps. I picked four black milk crates out of a curbside junk pile this afternoon, because the higher the plants are the more sun they’re able to catch throughout the day.
The real winner has been the potatoes. Here’s a reminder of where the potato box started:
And here’s where it is today. In one month the plants have rocketed out of the box. I’ve added several bucketfuls of dirt already and soon I’ll need more wood to increase the height of the box.
While the potato box has been (so far) a successful experiment, I’ve unfortunately not been as enthused with the incredibly-promising pallet-turned-planter. When the pallet is stood on end against a wall it’s tricky to water. Do I just water through the top and let it work its way down? Watering from the front causes too much erosion. The message boards on the tutorial site suggest automated watering, but there’s no water spigot near my balcony so I have to cart it in by hand.
Since the soil isn’t very deep it dries out quickly and I worry that the plant roots don’t have enough room. Perhaps it was my mistake to try and use the method for primarily vegetables. Decorative flowers and succulents, as shown in the tutorial, are probably a better fit.