It's time for my annual list of Christmas Tree Alternatives. Not that I have anything against fresh cut trees. But there have to be alternatives for those who don't like fresh cut trees, those who are adainst cutting down a tree for decoration, and even those who are allergic (myself included- I touch evergreens and break out in a rash so no gin martini's for me!). It really doesn't matter what a tree is made of, it's the memories and the ornaments that make it a Christmas Tree!
My Friend Mellow, and her family made this wonderful Copper Tree, that should last a lifetime.
I have seen Branch trees used for Halloween and Easter... Never thought of them for Christmas!
Here's one for the Gardeners: Use a Tomato Trellis as a tree!
How about a tree made from Pallets???
Or maybe string?
One of my favorites- the Driftwood tree
OR JUST USE WHAT YOU HAVE LYING AROUND THE HOUSE!!!
Time for my 2013 Gift Guide (or what to buy someone like me for Christmas)... Not that I am fishing for any gifts or anything. Really. Any way on with the guide:
AQUAFARM- A hydroponic fish farm. Really interesting as you learn about Hydroponics. I actually own on of these. And I have grown lettuce, wheat grass and basil in mine. Going to try some diversified crops next.Don't believe the "self cleaning" though. Of course mine had an algae bloom as it sits in a southern exposure window. But it is easily taken care of and cleaned. Maybe I need to move mine to a bookshelf with a L.E.D. Grow light...
59.99 includes seeds, rocks, pump, start food. At Back To The Roots
MUSHROOM KIT- Also from Back To The Roots, a gift for an aunt, a foodie friend, office party, A mushroom garden kit. For only 19.99 You can give a garden full of delightful, delicous Oyster Mushrooms. Super easy to grow. BTTR best product!!!
PAPER POT MAKER... I know, I know... you can use a can to make paper seed starting pots...but think of the person you are giving to... perfect gift for gardener who starts their own seeds!
How about a BIKE? or Accessories? perfect green gift, bikes are so affordable right now. And if they have a bike accessories like Paniers, locks, lights do not need to be expensive.
One of our B-Town DOG members is a finalist in the Beneful Dream Dog Park 2013 contest. This is so important to the Dogs of the South End. So please attend if you can, dress like a pirate (not required but encouraged) and get ready to yell your lungs out for Kellie and Bailey!!!
Romeo and Buddy are fashion hounds!!! This show is a local Newsmagazine, Evening Magazine. My friends Joel and Angie own Secondhand Hound. Very cool store- a thrift shop for dogs! See if you can spot my two troublemakers!
I need to add Joel and Agie were Buddy's fosters, so for him the trip to Ruston is like going home!
Yup. I was playing around with squash and recipes for other things and came up with this one. Perfect appetizer for a fall party.
6 slices bacon cut in half
12 chunks of butternut squash about 1" cubes
Wrap the bacon around the butternut squash, securing with a toothpick. Put in a preheated 350 degree oven, on a rack in a shallow pan for 15 to 20 minutes.Dry on paper towels
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
In a sauce pan, melt butter and brown sugar add nutmeg, mustard and worcestshire sauce. Heat. Spread sauce over squash chunks. Serve warm
B-Town DOG Founder Kellie and her dog Bailey are finalist in the Beneful Dream Dog Park contest!!! What does this mean? Well if they win, a 500,000 dream dog park makeover!!! How do they win? Easy. We need folks to go the contest site and vote daily for Kellie and Bailey. Maybe Romeo and Buddy will get to play in the dog park of their dreams as well! If the video doesn't load there is a copy at the end of this post.
Romeo and Buddie's pal Brutus plays a scary pirate!
Since I demonstrated how to make a SWP (Self Watering Planter) over the weekend, I thought I would repost this post. Good info to know if you want to grow some of your own food and don't have room for a garden!
A few have commented on my SWP's, and a few more have sent me emails askinf how I make them. Well luckily I had one more Pepper to transplant so I needed to make one. The actual idea comes from Gary Ibsen's Tomatofest website, where they are called EarthTainers™. He and his friend Ray,(the original inventor of the EarthTainer™) ask that if you use their design that you simply make a donation to Feed the Children. Since I basically use the same directions- no problem. I just wanted a free or cheaper way of making the SWP's instead of buying roughneck totes to make them. Cheap Veggie Gardner should appreciate this stinginess thriftiness.
Anyway if you don't want to look at the videos, here is how I make SWP's First I get 2 buckets in this case a 5 gallon and a 3 gallon bucket. You can get these from restaurant type places- just ask! (Thanks WahKueCafé!)
Then in one bucket cut a hole big enough for a plastic planter or a tomato can to fit in this case I am using a galvanized steel planter I had laying around. If you have access to hole saws this is easy. Or use a jig saw. A jab saw or drywall saw will work as well, This time I used a jigsaw.
Then make a hole towards the side of the same bucket big enough to fit a piece of PVC Tubing through.
Then drill some holes in your tomato can or planter.
Most buckets will fit together leaving about 2" of room between the two buckets- I don't have to worry here as I am using a 3 gallon and a 5 gallon This is good as the bucket will have some room between the upper bucket –or planter and the 2nd bucket or “reservoir”. If it doesn’t HAve this lip or the top bucket goes all the way down simply insert a brick or a couple of rocks in the bottom bucket to raise the top bucket.
That done, drill a hole in the bottom bucket, taking note where the top bucket’s bottom is. Drill the hole just below the bottom of the top bucket. Put the PVC tubing in the hole you made for it.
. . Now fill it with about two cups of soil into your tomato can/planter, fill with water. Fill the rest of the top bucket with soil and make sure to water a bit between layers of soil or compost. Until it is full and wet. Some times I rip up old t-shirts and make a “wick” throughout the planter. But I have seen no evidence yet in the planters I have done this to that it is any better than letting the soil “wick” the planters. Then plant your plant or seeds in it. When watering fill the bottom bucket through the PVC tube until water comes out the drain hole you drilled. You now have a Self watering planter! Very nice if your forget for a day to water or you go out of town for a weekend. Saves on water as well. If you like you can cut the lid to the bucket, leaving only a ring, then take a garbage bag or you can use a plastic shopping bag put over the bucket and snap your ring on- works as a mulch cover!