Y’all Shoulda Been There — The Detroit Music Awards

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Friday, April 15th the stars of the internationally received radio show Funk Soul Brothers and Sisters, “Johnny Ace” and “Little Brother Arthur David” attended the 20th Annual Detroit Music Awards Show at the Fillmore Theatre.  It was our first time.  It was the first time that we were officially acting as the media…the fifth estate.  It was the first time that we were asking the questions.  It was the first time that we had to be witty and engaging in the moment. This was not going to be a stroll in the park.  We needed the help and cooperation of many and we were fortunate to get it.  There are two people (besides the young woman that was manning security in our area) that I would like to give a special shout out to.  The first going to Ms. Adrianne Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief of the Detroit Entertainers & Musicians News (www.detroitemnews.com) and the second to, a Ms.Trish Shandor, a past winner of the music awards in several categories.  Ms. Reynolds shared her space with us and gave us access to some of the people she was scheduled to interview and Ms. Shandor was very, very helpful by directing some of the nights top talent and winners in our direction.  As a result we had a wonderful time and were able to get several great interviews.

click     Trish Shandor Interview

As mentioned, the DMA show has been around for 20 years now (1992) and has grown considerably in stature and importance.  Detroit is truly blessed to have the degree of talent that it has that is organic to the area.  Nationally recognized artists that have won awards are:  Aretha Franklin, Eminem, Bob Seger, The Clark Sisters, George Clinton and Parliament, Glenn Frey, Grand Funk Railroad, Kid Rock, Martha Reeves, The Miracles, Insane Clown Posse, Smokey Robinson, Dennis Coffey, Ted Nugent and Was Not Was.  But for me, with no disrespect of the nationally recognized artists, the real significance of the awards is measured by the quality of the local artists…local artists that work real hard to improve their art and to be heard in a world that creates stars virtually overnight and discards them nearly as fast.

click     Demetrius Krayon Nabors (piano)/Damon Warmack (bass) Interview

What took me by surprise was the energy or should I call it the vibe of the show.  Everybody that we saw walked and talked like they were on totally different plane…way higher than usual.  These people were amped up…cranking!!!  The night was like a major film premiere, a Broadway opening, a playoff or championship game all rolled into one big crackling electrically charged environment.  Everybody was or wanted to be part of the action.  There were the anointed ones that everybody acknowledged, there were those whose stars were ascending and there were those that had a ticket for the bus, but if they ever arrive at their destination it was way too early to tell.  But you had to love the attitude…the passion and desire…the energy.  This was a night where everybody’s glass…winner…loser…or wannabe…was half full not half empty!

click     Misfit313 Interview

Here’s a list of the evening’s performers…


Joe Nipote (Host); Motor City Players; Annabelle Road; The “Original” Vandellas; the Polish Muslims; Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas; Dennis Coffey & Mayer Hawthorne; and the Insane Clown Posse

The only thing that was not surprising was the overall attitude of everybody that we met and interviewed and the general aura of the event.  The DMA show is one of the social highlights of the year.  Artists, singers, musicians of all stripes and colors were on hand, catching up with or being introduced to each other in an atmosphere that was as laid back as it was electric.  What did make it kind of unique was that several artists who had already been given their awards remained on hand for the presentation of other awards or just as a show of support for nominated friends.  No jealousies…no conspiracies…just a party.  A party where everybody felt like a winner.  What a good time it was!!!

2011 Detroit Music Award Winners and Honorees

Additional Thanks To:

R.J. Spangler

Tracy Kash Thomas

Bugs Beddow

Kathy Vargo

Jason Brown


Click Here to hear more interviews and music from some of the winners of the 2011 Detroit Music Awards Show!


Twitter…Your Online Call Center For Gardening Information!


While researching my latest blog regarding online sources for container and raise bed gardening I came across this article by Kerry Michaels (About.com).  The author was asked whom does she follow on Twitter.  Her list and comments are below…


  • @Arcadia1 – A kind and gentle spirit with a fabulous design sense.  Her container gardens totally rock – she’s funny and sweet.
  • @C_Vanderlinden – Colleen is the Guide to organic gardening for About.com.  She is feisty, kind and knows oh so much about organic gardening, and can disseminate that knowledge with kindness and compassion.
  • @SeasonalWisdom – Theresa is another funny, kind and way smart garden writer.  Her tweets inform, enlighten and amuse.
  • @Oakleafgreen – Andy is a lovely presence on Twitter.  He always comes up with cool plants and is generous with humor and knowledge
  • @Indigogardens – Lynn’s containers rock and roll.  Her pictures are fabulous.  She is lovely and knowledgeable.  She writes and tweets beautifully.
  • @Gardenwiseguy – Billy is irascible, incorrigible, talented and funny.  I love his “take no prisoners,” style of writing and tweeting.
  • @TheresaLoe – Theresa has the prettiest, pluckiest chicken around (sorry I couldn’t resist).  She is also a terrific blogger and her tweets are always sweet, smart and funny.
  • @Cityslipper – Daniel is a passionate gardener and a great blogger, who shares my loathing of upside down gardening.  His tweets are delightful and insightful.
  • @HelenYoest – Helen is an extraordinary gardener and writer.  Her tweets are always worth reading.
  • @aHaModernLiving – Jayme has style, wit and humor all wrapped up.  She adds spice and energy to Twitter.
  • @Sweetrebecca – Rebecca certainly sweet, but she’s also smart and sassy and her gardens, as well as her containers, will make you swoon.
  • @Susancohan – Susan is an amazing landscape designer and writer of the wonderful “Miss Rumphias’ Rules” blog.  Susan’s tweets are interesting and engaging.
  • @PatFitzgerald – Patrick knows plants.  He breeds them and clearly loves and respects them.  I have to say though, my favorite of his tweets are his pictures of pints in the local pubs (though I find myself drooling when I see them).
  • @Michelle_at_FG – Michelle is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and generous.  She rallies the twitter world with energy and zest.
  • @Douggreen – I am a huge admirer of Doug Green’s writing.  He has encyclopedic gardening knowledge, humor and is just enough of a curmudgeon to be totally delightful.
  • @susanmorrison – Susan shares insights, pictures and humor, all in equal measure and with aplomb.
  • @InterLeafer – Laura, a self-described design diva and garden writer is all that.  Her tweets are kind, insightful and interesting.
  • @Torontogardens – Sarah is funny, generous and knowledgeable.  She makes me laugh and think – a great combination.
  • @kate_frank – Lovely and kind.  I look forward to her tweets because they always engage and enlighten.
  • @CanarsieBK – Mike is a new tweep I follow.  This guy has urban moxie.  He gardens and twitters like a fiend.
  • @JeanAnnVK – Jean Ann is smart, funny and sassy in equal measure.  Her tweets are interesting and thought provoking.
  • @MrBrownThumb – Ramon is thoughtful, kind, takes knock-out pictures and shares wonderful garden info and stories.
  • @Shibaguyz – Outrageous, spontaneous, knitting, gardening, funny and dangerous to follow because they will make you laugh and put annoying songs in your head.
  • @AboutGardening – Marie is a gardener’s gardener.  She is beyond generous and patient.  She doesn’t tweet much, but when she does it’s worth looking for.
  • @Treesandshrubs – Vanessa is a tree goddess.  She is encyclopedic while being entertaining and engaging.
  • @Gardenofwords – Cheerful, funny, generous and wrote a fabulous post on Gen Y.
  • @KatWhiteDesigns – Funny, irreverent, writes a great blog with lovely pictures.
  • @DebraLBaldwin – I’ve always been a huge fan of succulents, but Debra’s pictures and take on succulents has opened up a whole new door of perception for me.
  • @ShawnaCoronado Green living, nudist gardening, container enthusiast.
  • @Thegerminatrix – Ivette, aka the Germinatrix, is a self-described plant fiend.  She can also write like a demon and take gorgeous pictures.  She’s funny and saucy and her energy on Twitter is a tonic.
  • @SusanReimer – Susan is a fabulous writer – she’s funny, incisive and I love her attitude.  Her tweets are generous and interesting.
  • @Proven_Winners – I’m a huge fan of the Proven Winners website and I like their plant of the day Tweet.
  • @betweenthelimes – Lovely and interesting.
  • @WildBoarFarms – My tomato guru.  
  • @punkrockgardens – Sweet, interesting and real.
  • @AnniesAnnuals – Plants and tweets that totally rock.  Funny, fizzy and generous with her voluminous plant knowledge.
  • @emilyoftexas – Because I love her art, her donkeys and reading about her life, which is just so very different than mine.
  • @TMTenterprises – matt is sweet, funny and generous.  He adds new meaning to talking dirt – because he thinks green and knows his soil.
  • @scotthokunson – Scott’s tweets are passionately green with the knowledge and chops to back them up.
  • @LifeOnTheBlcny – Fern has great style, information and her website rocks.
  • @GardenWiseInc – Great tweets.  Generous, interesting, never boring.
  • @HappyChickens – Orren is a 13 year-old, chicken farming, worm growing, blog-writing amazement.  Lovely guy with great tweets.
  • @CostaFarms – Great information, links, tweets and knowledgeable about plants and the industry.
  • @GreenSoil – Rancher turned compost tea guru.  Her tweets are interesting and sweet.  Her tweets help keep the gardening community alive and thriving.
  • @bwisegardens – Barbara is an extreme container gardener.  Her tweets are full of great photos and ideas.
  • @DaffodilPlanter – Lots of interesting, stylish and sweet tweets.
  • @CoastalHG – Lovely magazine, generous and beautiful tweets.
  • @OurLittleAcre – Kylee is full of information, endlessly cheerful and generous with information.
  • @BackyardWisdom – Great tweets full of information and great links.
  • @joegardener – Joe’s tweets have great info and links to his kicking TV show, Growing a Greener World.
  • @GardenMag – Wonderful tweets full of sweet links and great gardening ideas and insights.


I hope that this listing and comments help you to find the help you need or enables you to talk gardening with people near or far!


I would love to know who you follow on Twitter and why?  I think it would be nice to post some of their tweets here.  I am new to Twitter so I will add the people I follow as my contact list grows.

Do You Know What Type of Garden Suits You Best?


So you are thinking about planting a garden and you aren’t sure what type of garden is best for you.  How big should it be?  How much room do you have or need?  Should you be thinking about container gardening or maybe raised beds?  Once you decide what’s what…you will have even more questions!

So your favorite Uncle Arthur has put together a list of websites, a few videos, two pdfs and a book list that will answer most of your initial questions.  Good Luck!

Container Gardening

Video  –  Container Herb Garden

Vegetable Gardening In Containers  pdf.

“Container Gardening”

“Guide To Container Gardening” 

“Container Gardening Ideas”

“Container Gardening – Growing Vegetables” 

“Container Gardening”  

“100’s of Container Garden Ideas: Fine Gardening.com” 

“Container Gardening For Everyone”

Video –  How To Container Garden

Raised Bed Gardening

VideoHow To Set Up a Low Maintenance Garden – What Is Raised Bed Gardening?

Raised Bed Gardening – Cornell Fact Sheet  pdf.

“How To Make A Raised Bed Garden” 

“Raised Garden Beds” – Eartheasy “Solutions for Sustainable Living”

Raised Bed Gardening – Supplies

“Raised Bed Gardening/University of Missouri” 

Video  – “How To Build A Raised Flower or Garden Bed”

Books (all available on Amazon.com)

“Square Foot Gardening” or “All New Square Foot Gardening

Author:  Mel Bartholomew

“The Vegetable Gardeners Bible”

Author:  Edward C. Smith

How To Grow More Vegetables and Fruits than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land than You Can Imagine

Author:  John Jeavons

“Cubed Foot Gardening:  Growing Vegetables in Raised, Intensive Beds”

Author:  Christopher O. Bird


Whew!  Did you get all that?  To put some of that information to good use remember to come out for Flower Day at Detroit Eastern Market!  This year it takes place on Sunday, May 15th!  Come one…come all!

Semen…Semilla…Une Graine…In other words, SEEDS!


Yo siembro la granja!  I seed the farm!  It is April and if you live anywhere north of the Equator you are probably starting to start your seeds in little trays, cups, little pots or containers…whatever’s handy.  As Martha Stewart would say…“It’s a good thing!”

Thanks to my membership in the Garden Resource Program, I have collected and will soon start enough seeds that will grow so much food I could feed the proverbial army.  By following the guidelines provided by the program, I am starting about three weeks earlier than last year and the goal is to extend my growing season by six weeks.  This year I can reasonably expected to begin eating produce from my garden in May…not June or in the case of some vegetables, July.  Talk about progress!

This year I have already started:

Giant Delicious Tomato (new)                         

California Wonder Bell Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

Long Slim Cayenne Pepper

Chinese Decorative Pepper

Italian Beefsteak Tomato

Giant Yellow Bell Pepper (new)

Sweet Banana Pepper

Ancho/Poblano Pepper

I will be looking to set up the following over the next few days:

Collard/Mustard Greens








So how do you know what plants to start indoors or what you can put directly in the ground?  Well, according to the information provided through the resource program the determining factors are soil temperature and how long it will take for a seed to germinate.  Simply put, some seeds/plants do well in cool weather and some do well after the soil has warmed to a consistent temperature that promotes growth.  Planting warm weather crops early can cause them to rot in the ground or suffer from frost.  Planting cool weather crops when it is too hot may cause them to shrivel up and die, go to seed before they can be harvested or compromise the quality.  Last year I experienced problems from both ends of the spectrum.  So by starting the plants indoors I can put my plants out at the optimum times, which will virtually guarantee a successful and productive garden.

What are some of the basic “cool weather” crops?







These seeds can survive light frosts.  Plant in late March/early April.  Some varieties might do well slightly earlier, so this is a “safe” recommendation.



Herbs (Dill, Cilantro)


Broccoli Raab



Summer Squash/Zucchini


These seeds might not germinate well or rot in the ground if they are planted before a frost.  The average last frost date in Detroit is May 10th, but can vary greatly from year to year.  Pay attention to weather reports!

Hot weather?


Peppers (Hot or Sweet)




Sweet Potato

Winter Squash


These seeds can be sown repeatedly throughout the summer for a continuous harvest.  Pay attention to the days to maturity and plan to the days to maturity and plan for enough time for them to grow before the first frost.  The average first frost date is October 9th in Detroit, but can vary greatly from year to year.







These are some of the plants that one can “sow” in either early spring or late summer/fall.  Mainly these are the “cool weather” crops, which don’t do well in the summer heat.  Plan for two separate plantings and harvests.  Some of these crops taste better after the first light frost of the fall.

Much thanks to the people at the Garden Resource Program.  Even though I have been gardening for years, I am finding that they are a great resource.  Much of the information presented here has come from them.  I highly recommend them for anybody that is planning or maintaining an existing garden.  From what I understand you don’t have to live in the city of Detroit to gain access to their information.  A small donation of $5.00 is all it takes.  Think about it…“It’s a good thing!”

For more information about The Garden Resource Program please go to:


For additional information about soil temperatures and related gardening topics go to: