Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Simply Heritage: The Nashville Parthenon

Parthenon in Nashville, TN
I hope everyone is having a great week. On today's post, we are going to give you a little bit of information about a Tennessee Landmark.  I decided that since we are a blog about Tennessee, we should incorporate different facts from around the state.  The Parthenon is one of the least mentioned landmarks in Tennessee.  It was originally built in 1897, for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.  Nashville is often called the Athens of the South, and it only seemed appropriate to create a full scale replica of the Parthenon in Greece.  The building was not suppose to be permanent and was built with plaster, wood and brick.  After the event, the city decided not to demolish the structure since the local population and visitors from around the country had fallen in love with it. However, the building began to be weathered down over the next 20 years, so beginning in 1920, it was rebuilt as a permanent structure made of concrete. The exterior was completed in 1925 and the interior in 1931.

The Parthenon has been the backdrop to many theatrical events and even movies.  In 1913 and 1914, the Spring Pageants in Nashville held huge plays with up to 500 cast members at the steps of the building.  The productions included large dance numbers, chariot races, thousands of live birds and even sets pieces that shot out flames.  Even today, the local theaters still have production plays at the Parthenon. The structure can been seen in movies and on made for TV series, including Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville, the 2010 film titled Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and the 2010 PBS series Greeks: Crucible of Civilization.

Athena Parthenos inside the Nashville Parthenon

Today, the Parthenon is a functioning art museum that stands at the center of Centennial Park which is just west of downtown Nashville.  In 1990, Alan LeQuire produced a complete recreation of the Athena Parthenos which was the center piece of the original Parthenon in ancient Greece.  The statue was recreated to the careful scholarly standards and towers at 42 feet tall. Actually, the entire building is carefully crafted to be an exact replica of the original temple. So, if you ever visit Nashville, be sure to swing by the Parthenon and enjoy experiencing a replicated piece of ancient Greece right here in Tennessee.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about a piece of Tennessee history.  Enjoy the rest of your week, and we'll see you on Friday with our Recipe of the Week! Till next time.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Get Out & Explore: Events and Festivals for the Week/Weekend of 07/21- 07/27

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! We have compiled a list of festivals and events that are happening around Tennessee for the upcoming week/weekend. You will find that the listings below are divided into three categories based on the areas of the state. I hope you find the list useful. Please feel free to leave a comment if this was beneficial for you. If you have an event you would like for us to post, please let us know! We will see you on Wednesday, when we post about the history of Nashville, Tennessee's very own Greek Parthenon. Have a fun and safe week! :)

West TN
  • July 24,   Milan No-Till Production Field Day
Highway 70/79, Milan, TN

Middle TN
  • July 21-27, 76th Annual Overton County Fair
Overton County Fairgrounds, Livingston, TN
  • July 23,  Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue Dare Me (to Jump) for Charity Event
Opry Mills, Nashville, TN
  • July 24-26, James D. Vaughan Quartet Festival
Crockett Theater, Lawrenceburg, TN
  • July 25-27,  Nashville Flea Market
Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN
  • July 25-26,  160th Annual Irish Picnic
St. Patrick's Church Picnic Grounds, McEwen, TN
  • July 25,  Bluegrass Along the Harpeth Festival
Historic Downtown Franklin, TN
  • July 26,  Lynchburg Art Fair
Wiseman Park, Lynchburg, TN
  • July 26, 100th Anniversary of the Lone Oak Picnic
Central Civitan Club Building, Cunningham, TN
  • July 26, 40th Annual Swiss Festival
Stoker-Stampfli Farm Museum, Gruetli-Laager, TN
  • July 26,  Back to School Bash
New Life COGIC, Columbia, TN
  • July 26, Fifty-Fifth Monteagle Mountain Market for Arts & Crafts
Hannah Picnic Park, Monteagle, TN
  • July 26, Nashville Predators Hot Wing Faceoff
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
  • July 26, Bluegrass Solutions Concert
Rocky River Community Center, Rock Island, TN
  • July 26-27,  Second Annual Vaperoo
Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, Manchester, TN
  • July 26-27,  Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair
McClurg Dining Hall, University of the South, Sewanee, TN

East TN
  • July 25-27, Grainger County Tomato Festival
Rutledge Elementary School, Rutledge, TN
  • July 26, Front Porch Concert Series
Harrow Road Cafe, Rugby, TN

Friday, July 18, 2014

Simply Canning Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes
I know that you probably wouldn't consider this a recipe, however, it's canning time around here!  We have tomatoes coming out of our ears, and we can't eat them all at once.  Well, we could but then we wouldn't have any for later.  Anyhow, you will find that canning tomatoes is probably the easiest food you will ever can. I started off with about 18 small to medium sized tomatoes and made close to 7 pints.  The process is as follows:

In your canner, go ahead and start to sterilize the jars you will be using.  You will also need a deep pan for boiling the tomatoes and a large bowl of ice water to dunk them in afterwards.  Once you have these things in place, you can begin the process.  Bring the deep pan of water to a boil and place in your tomatoes.  You will leave them to boil for about 3 minutes or until you see the skin begin to split.  Next, you will remove them from the pan and place them in the ice water.  You should then be able to slide off the skin easily.  Also, make sure to cut out the small hard core.  After that, you will just snugly stuff them inside the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe the rims clean and then place on the lids and rings.  Place the jars back into the canner and boil for about 15-20 minutes.  Remove and let them cool.  The lids should seal with a "pop" sound within the hour. You now have canned tomatoes!  How easy is that?  Easy squeezy!

Have a great weekend and check back with us on Sunday, when we will let you know what events/festivals are happening around Tennessee for the next weekend. If you missed this weekend's list, you can find the post on our blog from this past Sunday, July 13, 2014!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simply Beekeeping: Small Hive Beetle

Small Hive Beetle
We are going to talk about beekeeping today.  Earlier this year, we had 2 hives and were very excited about having some fresh honey later in the season.  Unfortunately, we had an unwelcome visitor named the small hive beetle and they decimated our hives.  We lost them both and ended up with nothing.  However, we are still new at this and still learning.  You don't always hit a home run on the first pitch, so we'll be trying again next year.  In the following paragraphs, I will let you know what this little devil is and how to keep them under control.

What is the small hive beetle and how does it harm the hive?

The beetle is actually native to sub-Saharan Africa, but has begun to spread to countries around the world within the past couple of decades.  The bees in Africa don't seem to really have a problem keeping them under control, however, outside of the continent, other bees can have serious problems with them.  The adult beetle is dark brown to black and about a half centimeter in length. The adults can live up to 6 months and can bee found anywhere in the hive.  Usually, they will be in the back of the hive on the bottom board. The female will lay eggs in cracks and crevices within the hive and with 2-3 days, the larvae will hatch. They will then feed on the pollen and honey, doing damage to the combs.  Within 10-16 days, they will leave the hive and burrow within the soil nearby.  After 3-4 weeks, they will emerge as adults and reenter the hives to start the process all over again. The damage to the hive is because these evil creatures will burrow through the comb, breaking caps causing honey to run down the combs making a huge mess and defecate in the honey which ruins it.  The bees will no longer use the combs and can not use the honey at all.  Often times, the queen will then stop laying if the bees can not keep this under control and the hive will collapse.

Small Hive Beetle Larvae Destroying Comb

A strong colony should not have any problem keeping these pests under control, but you always want to help your colony along.  You can not completely get rid of the beetles once they enter your hive, so you want to use several different control methods.  We are going to try three methods next year.  First, we will lay out a horse stall mat beneath the hive.  It keeps the larvae from going into the ground immediately, and they will have to squirm their way to the edge to find the ground.  During their travel, the heat of the mat should kill most of them and then other animals, such as birds, can pick them off as they try to escape. Next, we will use an open bottom with a screen and place an oil (vegetable) trap below, so the beetles and their larvae will fall in and die like they should!  The final method will be to use beneficial nematodes. They are naturally occurring and do not harm the environment. The microscopic roundworms will invade the body of the beetle and release a  bacterium that liquefies their insides. Awesome! The nematodes will then feast on the dead beetle, mate and reproduce.

Hopefully, we will be able to keep these evil creatures under control and bring you a happy posting about our triumph.  I hope you all have a great rest of the week and join us again on Friday for the Recipe of the Week.  Until next time.

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