Hello Nature Lovers, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Oh, October. How we love you so! You, with your hot air balloons, and witch’s brooms. Your fading colors and bursts of green chile. Your morning calm, and afternoon fire.

October in Albuquerque is a magical time.

Today on our Ask the Experts panel, we have an October-themed question for our panelists.

After the panel, we’ll have an answer to last week’s plant puzzler, as well as a new one for you.

Let’s get our Friday Fun started by saying hi to the Experts. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re adorable! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

As promised, here’s our October-themed question:

Q. October tends to rev up a busy fall season. Here in Albuquerque, there’s lots to do, including the International Balloon Fiesta, followed by Halloween and Dias de Los Muertos. Do you have any tips for readers on how to thrive during fall fun times and/or would you like to share with them some of the cool stuff you’re going to do?

We’ll start with Expert Andy, and work our way through the rest of the panel:

A. Ah, the Fall.  It represents great times through falling temperatures here in Phoenix and the hopes of a killer snow season at your favorite mountain(s).  I love the Fall, and always have.  Whether its the leaves you dig or the awesome weather, it is a good time of year, capped off by Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year.  Whatever your addictive Fall poison, I will point you to the riches of the varieties of Fall beer season with pumpkin.  Blue Moon makes a pretty good one by the way, but I often opt for a real hearty German wheat beer of some type in honor of the 2nd greatest party in the world, Oktoberfest in Munich.  If you’ve never been to that, and you like beer, it is clearly a bucket-list event.

So, I guess what I’m saying in summary is: Drink pumpkin flavored wheat beer and make plans to go to Oktoberfest, which is now over as of this weekend.  Even if you missed it the activity is abuzz the last weekend of Sept. and the first weekend of October every single year.  And do it in Munich.  Once you’ve done that, your community involvement will go up making your local Oktoberfest on some lame town square near you more awesome in future years.  Hell, you may even get yourself some lederhosen, which I’ve yet to buy but always threaten to.  One of these days I’m going to not only have lederhosen, but attend as many Oktoberfests as I can in 1 Fall.  That is a goal I can aspire to!

A. First of all, dress in layers. It gets cold quickly in the evenings.

Now that I’m done channeling my mother, I cannot suggest anything more exciting than what Liza has mentioned in her question. The balloons are awesome, and Halloween/Day of the Dead is fun for all ages. I am a boring, boring man: my idea of fun, all year around, is reading, watching TV and drinking Irish whiskey. If those 3 things were ever combined into an Olympic sport, I would be the Michael Phelps of this new triathlon.

A. Between summer’s heat and the winds of winter, we get Albuquerque autumn. Balloons and football. Green chile stew and pumpkin pie. Election ads giving way to Christmas commercials. I’m going to find an aspen and sit under golden leaves.



I went every year I lived there and it was magic time.  Oh the mysterious and awesome experience of rising before light to be a part of the “Dawn Patrol”, viewing all the different shapes of beauty, comedy and “How in the world did they create that and make it fly!”  Love those “Bees”.  One of my great memories is the year I had the privilege of crewing with my friends the Holley’s.  Jim & Nancy were skilled balloonists that had taken part in this special event for many, many years. Their dedicated friends flew in from all over the country each year, just for the opportunity to be a part of their crew.  There is no other location in the world that has the perfect “box” for ballooning.  Do yourself a favor –build a special memory, that will be one of the thrills of your lifetime!!!

A. Harvest some beans, make tomato sauce, dig up some onions and garlic, dry some corn, roast green chile and dry some for my green chile chips, shake out the sunflowers seeds, water the kale, broccoli, cabbage, dig up and compost the remainder of the garden.

Go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, hoot, holler and cheer on the balloons,

Drive up to the high county to uh and aww the beautiful fall colors and breath the pure mountain air

Sit by a campfire on a dark cool fall night, stare at the flames and contemplate a world free of greed, hatred, ignorance and _________, tell each other our dreams, hopes, ideas and then brag, lie about what a great hunter we are, blame the nothing we got hunting, on the gun, scope, dogs, wind, trees, sun, birds, bugs other idiot hunters but not us

Look up at the most excellent beautiful night sky and see to the end and beginning of time and say I’d like to go there

As we rock ourself to sleep sit back count your blessings, your friends your families that love us for without them we would be lost,

Give a Smile to the next person you meet, remember you have more

I loved all those answers! All you Experts know how to rock it out. Thanks so much for being here!

Readers, you heard them, now get out there and enjoy October!

Experts, I’d like show my gratitude for you being here by awarding each of you the following prizes: One Balloon Fiesta, four maple-cream donuts, a bouquet of fall flowers, hot air, 14 bragging rights, two bowls of lopsided pasta, a toast to your awesomeness, six more minutes, beer, an October state of mind, and pumpkin milkshakes.

Congratulations, and thanks for being here!

That does it for our Experts panel. The Experts will return in exactly one week. They hope to see you back here.

Up next, the answer to last week’s puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this Pothos plant was real or fake:

Let’s see how you answered:

Charlie Hebert wrote, “Ha. Got my Mojo back! Thank you for the Pretzels!
Let’s say Real this week, altho that shine tells me otherwise..”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “Funny: I was going to say real because of the shine.”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “My thought, as well. I have yet to find anyone who bothers shining the leaves of a plastic plant.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Real!

Reminds me, I have to grow a couple of those to sell – I hope they turn out as pretty!”

Dave wrote, “Real but with leaf-shine.”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Real. Pothos. Named after a greek demi-god… actually one of Eros’s (aka cupids) brothers. The name traslates as desire, but is more like lust. Don’t know why I know these things… maybe I should up my meds.”

Mary wrote, “Little too much shine on that…..Fake.”

That’s six votes real, one vote fake. So what’s the correct answer?

Let’s take a wider view:

Real! The reason the leaf is so shiny is because it’s a brand new leaf. New leaves are always brilliant and vibrant, unlike the dull colors of a fake plant.

A lot of people recommend leaf shine products for older leaves, but I don’t recommend any shines – I think they are unnecessary. You can shine up older leaves by wiping them with a dry cloth, or a damp cloth for leaves that may have gotten grease on them. Why spend money when you don’t need to?

Good job everyone! Charlie, you were first with the correct answer, so you’re the best answerer. Back on top, indeed! You’ve earned the title of “Charlie Hebert the Swift, Swifter, Swiftest and Prettiest” for the week. Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by four blueberry scones.

I’d like to thank all of you for playing, so I’m awarding each of you the following prizes: An International Fiesta in Your Honor, five pinky fingers, an A+, a tray of fish sticks, a bubbly baby rabbit, two scoops of hot air, one high five, four blessings, a gimme, and one voucher good for 20% off a nap. Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Up next, a new puzzler for you:

???Real or Fake???

Is this flower real or fake?

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, October 11th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.