Monday, May 31, 2010

Bienvinidos Mercado!

This Sunday, in beautiful downtown Burien, was the opening of El Tianguis mercado Latino in Burien.
Sort of a mini- farmers market but in the tradition of Latino culture, El Tianguis mercado Latino in Burien is an open-air market that will be held on Sundays from 10am-4pm along 5th Place beside the Burien Town Square Park between SW 152nd and SW 151st Streets. Same place as the Burien Farmers' Market.
The Mercado features Latino food and beverages, arts and crafts, home and garden, clothing, electronics, and many other items that are traditionally available in markets in Latino countries.
They will be operating every sunday from 10-4PM, except June 20 which is Burien's Annual Wild Strawberry Festival.
All I know is one vendor had corn on a stick. and I loves me some corn on a stick!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Now kitty can have job?- Weekly Challenge Update

I was thinking Sammy now has a job, keeping me in litter buckets, but his litter doesn't come in buckets! So we will have to be dependant on other Kitty's shit generosity if I want to make more bucket containers! So Sammy Cats job is to still to sit on my lap and purr and pat my face with his paws. And dispatch the occasional mouse.

Thats a lot of cat poop!

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 19
1. Plant something: Cucumbers, hot peppers
2. Harvest something: Radishes, Mesclun greens, lettuce, foraged clover heads and pineapple weed.
3. Preserve something: Dried clover heads for tea and put them up
4. Waste Not: Community garden wanted cardboard. I had three large pieces left over from the kitty litter bucket bed. Seemed like a natural barter! Used those buckets, obtained from freecycle, along with pop/water bottles from the trash to make a container garden bed
5: Want not: Bought some local honey at the farmer’s market. And some locally made bread.
6. Preparation and Storage: Used 4 kitty litter buckets to store Sammy Cat’s litter. (I buy wood stove pellets in a large bag- ¼ the cost of feline pine and looks and acts the same)
7. Build Community Food Systems: Community garden wanted cardboard. I had three large pieces left over from the kitty litter bucket bed. Seemed like a natural barter! Wrote an article for the B-town Blog about the Community Garden
8. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Radishes, mesclun greens and lettuce in a salad; Pineapple weed as a snack.

Garden Challenge "Extreme Evangelist Edition"- Came up with a way to use kitty litter buckets for garden planters.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bucket Garden Cost Rundown

Never known as one not to beat a dead horse, more on the Kitty Litter Buckets
Here is the Cost Rundown for my bucket garden from yesterday.
  1. 12 Kitty litter Buckets- Free from Free Cycle............$0.00
  2. 12 Empty pop/water bottles- Free from garbage.......$0.00
  3. 10 Feet of 1/4" Vinyl Tubing from Lowes................$2.98
  4. 1 large piece of furniture cardboard from dumpster...$0.00
the joys of freecycle and dumpster diving TOTAL= $2.98

Pretty cheap! The point is anyone can make a great garden for almost no money. All you need is a tad bit of space to put it somewhere sunny, and give it a bit of water!
Once again if you have access to a roof top, a balcony or patio with sun, you can have a garden! It takes less than 16 square feet (2'X8') to put one in. And the best thing is it is portable- you can take your garden with you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mr. Bigglesworth's Kitty Litter Bucket Garden Bed

Okay here it is... with all of it's scientific genious... Ladies and Gentlemen... May I present the "Mr. Bigglesworth's Kitty Litter Bucket Garden Bed"

Okay first the name... Named after the kitty whose bathroom habits resulted in his owner donating the buckets on freecycle. I figured the cat's name was Mr. Bigglesworth, not that the gal who gave me the buckets is in anyway Frau Farbissina or related to Dr. Evil in any manner. Now for the facts:
1- each bucket is home to a tomato or cucumber. There is another option of this bed in the green house where my hot peppers are roosting.
2- The ease of each bucket as opposed to actually digging a bed for the plants. Each bucket holds approximately 1/2 cubic feet of soil/compost/potting soil. So it doesn't get very heavy, making moving it around a breeze.
3- The lid from the litter bucket acts as the buckets "personal mulch" and also the irrigation device that waters the plant.And since it acts as weeds. The Bottle fitted in allows it to water the plant. An option to this would be to cut up black garbage bags and put them on the buckets using the lids "rings" (the lids with the center cut out leaving only the ring to snap onto the bucket) as a mulch. I fitted some tubing from the bottle to the dirt to act as a soaker hose.
4- A Big piece of cardboard as a weed block. Don't do this if you don't want your grass to die.
The real advantage of this was getting space for garden without a actually doing any work. LOL

How to make the lid Watering device:

1 Take the lid from the bucket. Notice it is marked with a 3" hole. Cut the whole.
(Use either a hole saw or a jigsaw- I used the jig saw)

Cut the hole for the pop or water bottle to set in.

I found that using a 7/8" Hole saw work best, but I am guessing a spade bit or a "step bit" would work as well. When the hole is cut, ream out with a knife until a plastic pop bottle neck with threads fits in. Then take the cap and screw on the bottle from the bottom of the lid.
Drill a hole in the bottle cap just a tad under what ever size vinyl tubing you use to water the plant with.(I used 1/4" tubing) Then insert the tubing through the bottle cap, approximately 3/4 " the way up.

Now comes the tricky part...

Poke some holes in the tubing using a screw. Careful not to poke all the way through the tubing. And stick the screw in the open end of the tubing to plug it.
Or do my plan b- Use the same amount of tubing and stick the end in the planter right buy the roots of the plant. I find this works just as well, the bottle empties out a tad faster but we don't care so much how fast it empties.
ROB'S PS- I have discovered that just sticking it in the dirt (the "plan B") works kind of like one of those there Aqua Globes you see on TV- So maybe that version is more like a SWP!
Attach the lid to the bucket and wait for the damn plant to grow. This isn't as scientific as a self watering planter, but hey it kept me busy for the better part of a day. And, if I am busy then I ain't getting in trouble.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rob's post at B-Town Blog!

Every once in awhile things in nature evolve into something wild and crazy! The B-town Blog featured a post written by yours truly about the Community Garden in Burien.
Don't worry... I ain't quittin' my day job or anything like that. But it was fun to write a post for a professional blog. Pay's about the same as writing this drivel on this blog!


About a year ago, I did a post on how someone at work had started a free corner- In essence making their own little free cycle group at work. Well now those great folks at Free Cycle and Intuit have teamed up and introduce Freecycle At Work, basically a freecycle site that allows your corporate entity to become a free cycling group, promoting reuse at the office.


Simple- You just post things you wish to give away.
What can you post? Anything you wish: household items, kitchen goods, lawn care, tools, office supplies, electronics. When you're done using your stuff, give it away. Others will feel differently and give your old stuff a new life.
You may choose to repurpose office equipment that your team isn't using. An unused file cabinet or printer may be needed by another team. You can mark items as personal or company owned to differentiate between them.
Anyone interested in your stuff can easily contact you through the application. From that point, it's a matter of you bringing your stuff to work and then having your coworker pick it up.

Sounds pretty easy, yes?I see many great benefits- you get to find like minded folk at work, an advantage over regular free cycle would be not having to drive to get an item- the item is "car pooled" to work and then to it's new home.

A new use for free cycle. I see this catching on. I am off to sign up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Solar Powered Tiki Torches

Okay so I don't win any Buy nothing challenges. When I walked in the dollar store in Burien they had solar pathway lights. I bought a few. Then I walked in the store last week and they had TIKI TORCHES! Well I put the old noggin in gear and came up with solar powered tiki torches...I have seen these for sale on the interwebs, the cheapest being around $10 to $20, For $2 at the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree) all I had to do was manipulate the threaded hole on the tiki torch with a plier,to make it big enough to shove the solar light into, then I shoved in the solar light minus the pointed stake. I like it-- no messy lamp oil to worry about, no wicks. No Fires, No explosions.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Alright - get your mind outta the gutter... I said SOX not SEX.
My favorite garden nerd Cisco Morris shows us a new product, with Meghan Black on King 5's Gardening with Cisco. Garden Soxx from Cedar Grove composting :

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 18

1. Plant something: Basil; more tomatoes, lettuce, mesclun; Fennel, dill, radishes, kohl rabi, thyme, parsley, more chives, Chard, Nasturtiums, Bak Choy, pumpkins, gourds, peppers, lemon balm

2. Harvest something: Foraged some Pineapple weed the driveway- next time try them for tea- it only takes a tablespoon to make tea; Basil

3. Preserve something: dried (dehydrated) the basil and jarred it

4. Waste Not: Repaired my "Garden Weasel" tool (Oiled the "weasels"); repaired front yard hose- (Mended the hose in the front yard rather than buying new one); got some huge pieces of cardboard from a furniture store for the garden

5: Want not: Bought 12 bags of topsoil (18 Cubic feet); Got 25 "Kitty Litter" Buckets off of freecycle- will use in the garden; got soil for the kitty litter buckets garden

6. Preparation and Storage: nothing

7. Build Community Food Systems: Planted a few items in the community garden, to be destined for the food bank; Had to ask questions of fellow community gardeners for an article for the B-Town Blog

8. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Pineapple weed tops in salad:
Garden Challenge Extreme Evangelist Edition- Well I try… Got mom going on the square foot method, and I was planting pumpkin plants and my neighbor’s kid Andrew and his friend Stephanie where interested so I showed them how to plant the plants. Thinking I might buy him his own plant and let him go to town.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Freecycle strikes again!

You never know. I was looking on craig's list, etc for buckets- in particular 5 gallon buckets, more than my current "supplier" could do. After seeing them for prices like Just $1 each, and 30 miles away- it is a good thing I took a look at Recycle SWK, my local Freecycle site, as there was a gal giving away her Kitty Litter buckets! So I go them. And just a couple of blocks away! For Free! Help someone else keep them out of the waste stream. What am I gonna do with all them buckets?
Well, I have a plan to use them as garden planters. You will see. They will become my new garden beds. I plan to put them on a scrap piece of plywood or cardboard for a weedblock, and just fill them (after drilling drain holes) and put them up, side by side in a grouping. A lot easier than building one out of cement blocks, or wood. And in one spot in the front yard, They will be the liner for a planter I plan on building under my front window. And I could use a few of them for... well Kitty Litter- since I buy large bags of wood stove pellets to use as kitty litter- would make an easy way to store them! Wood stove pellets=Feline Pine. Same thing. At least it looks and acts the same. Anyway - Sammy poops in it!
SO how about you? Do you freecycle... and what's the best thing you got off of it? Poll Time:

Friday, May 21, 2010

A walk in the yard...

I was walking around the yard and saw some cool things:

First tomatoes of the year(who cares if they are Cherry Tomatoes?)
Sage flowers And Thyme Flowers
I have no Idea what these are, some type of squash, they were volunteers in a "pony pak" of Roma tomato plants I bought I also saw a dog with a 'tude!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It is the time for all things green to be shown, discussed, sold, sampled, volunteered and displayed. It is the annual Seattle Green Festival. I will be there on Sunday, June 6th in the S.C.A.L.L.O.P.S. (Sustainable Communitys ALL Over Puget Sound) Booth from I think 1-5PM- so if you have nothing better to do, stop buy and say Hi! I have word that Crunchy Chicken will be there on Saturday with those imps from Mission:Sustainable as well.

WHEN:June 5-6, 2010
Saturday – 10am – 7pm
Sunday – 11am – 6pm

WHERE: WA State Convention & Trade Center; 800 Convention Place Seattle, WA 98101

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adventures in Foraging

Since I cannot find a class on foraging, I am forced to take matters into my own two hands. I have had some success lately. I have foraged pineapple weed and red and white clover tops for tea.

Pineapple Weed

Pineapple weed grows in compacted earth, and gravel drives and roads. It only takes a tablespoon of fragrant flower heads to make a cup of tea (or so I read)
Clover heads- I find both red and white at vacant lots in in Town. I pick the heads and dry them for tea

Red Clover Flower is a general detoxifying (blood cleanser) herb.
Red Clover Flower is a source of phytoestrogens said to help with hot flashes and general menopause support.
Red Clover Flower has a pleasant sweet taste. Historically, tea made of the red clover flower has been used as an antispasmodic, expectorant, a mild sedative, and a blood purifier; additionally, the tea has been used for asthma, bronchitis and respiratory spasms.
These flowers also make a good herb tea, although red clover is less labor intensive to collect and more healthful. This common, widespread plant also favors sunny meadows and lawns.
So I am gathering my guts and trying some foraging. Don't get me wrong- I still want to take a class on foraging, but feel a bit better about going on my own.

White Clover uses: Leaves of white clover are edible, raw or cooked. The young leaves are best harvested before the plant flowers, and can be used in salads, soups etc. They can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach. Flowers and seed pods have been dried, ground into a powder and used as a flour or sprinkled on cooked foods such as boiled rice. The young flowers can also be eaten raw in salads. The root can be eaten if cooked first. A sweet herb tea is made from the fresh or dried flowers. It is considered delicate. The dried leaves impart a vanilla flavor if mixed into cakes etc.

If you read this and get an urge to forage:



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One For Da Guys

Vegetable Skewers on my Wheel of Fire BBQ

I love the gals in these blog post parties, but every once in awhile I think us guyz need to examine our masculine side. No I don't mean grab a beer and scratch something. I mean a manly topic. you know. Grill something. Just in time for Memorial Day and Father's Day!
Below is a grill I made out of a truck tire wheel. I have taken it to BBQ's and beach parties. And it drove over the competition!
IT was easy to make- I just put four "Capita" Furniture legs from IKEA through the holes of the wheel, and tightend them. Then I made an "ash catcher"- First I put a disposable aluminum pie tin to cover the axle hole, and then for the coals, I cut out some hardware cloth. Just measure out the cloth slighty bigger than the wheel in circumfrence, and push it down- this is where your coals will sit. And for topping it of I bought a replacement grill for a Weber BBQ, but you could use those old ones off of those disposable BBQ's as well. And I put a big metal tray on the bottom to catch any ash that might fall through! There you have it- a BBQ Grill that's ready to roll! And it is unique. Perfect for the beach or tailgate parties.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Community Garden is GO!

Community gardens are getting planted! Here is what our garden looks like so far:

Square foot grids set the placement of plants and seeds, tomatoes at the rear

"The neighbor" Grace's garden
My friends Bill and Rebecca's garden- a tad artistic, yes?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update

Pretty busy week; in addition to my own garden, My mom and I took "possession" of the plot at the Community Garden, wow more garden space! I should have my head examined, but part of the Growing Challenge Extreme Evangelist edition is teaching people and I am already teaching mom the Square Foot method of gardening, as well as a couple of newbie gardeners

1. Plant something: Tomato plants, cauliflower, broccoli (yes I am trying the *&^%$ again),cucumbers, some lemon grass into pots, some oregano, transplanted some sage, chives, radishes, carrots, chard, fennel, beans, peas
2. Harvest something: foraged some red and white clover flowers, to make tea; also some sage flowers
3. Preserve something: dehydrated/dried the clover flowers, jarred the sage flowers
4. Waste Not: Made a bird feeder from a bottle, used some cardboard for weed block
5: Want not: Got the Mantis type rototiller ready for the community garden, delivered some more tools bought at a garage sale- a rake/hoe tool, shovel, spade and mini duo- hoe
6. Preparation and Storage:
7. Build Community Food Systems: Went to the welcome meeting for the community garden and found the plot that was assigned to us.
8. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Made a hamburger with local raised ground beef I bought at the Farmer’s Market-
Garden Challenge Extreme Evangelist Edition- Got the garden plot at the community garden pretty much in. Planted tomatoes, chives, radishes, carrots, chard, fennel, beans, peas to start. The fellow gardeners are all nice people, and it tickles me to see the camaraderie of all. It always amazes me how something so simple as planting a garden brings a diverse group of people together with a common goal

Friday, May 14, 2010

URINE: Not just for gardens anymore!

Someone call Crunchy chicken. Seems there is a new use for pee/urine:
Assistant architecture professor Ginger Krieg Dosier recently unveiled a new breed of biologically “grown” bricks that are durable, sustainably manufactured, and easily produced from readily available materials. Called “Better Bricks,” the building material can be “grown” from sand, common bacteria, calcium chloride, and urea (yes, the stuff in your pee) instead of being baked, which consumes a ton of energy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recycling event And Rain Barrel/Composter Sale

Another sure sign that spring is here: The Normandy Park/Burien Spring Recycling Collection Event and Bin Sale is scheduled for this Saturday, May 15th, between 9am – 3pm at the Washington State Criminal Justice Center, 19010 First Ave South.

This event will be open to recycling computers, monitors and TVs for FREE, and will also include the sale of Rain Barrel, Compost, and Worm Bins for $20 each, cash only.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Normandy Park/Burien Spring Recycling Collection Event & Bin Sale.

WHEN: Saturday, May 15th from 9am – 3pm.

WHERE: Washington State Criminal Justice Center, located at 19010 First Ave South.

INFO: This is a FREE recycling program that will include computers, monitors and TVs through the E-Cycle Washington program. This program allows residents to take their old electronic devices to be recycled without having to pay a fee.

Why recycle electronics?
Many electronics, especially TVs and computers, contain toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury. Reusing and recycling electronics keeps these toxic materials out of our landfills and incinerators and also recovers valuable resources. The electronic equipment this program collects will be taken apart and separated into materials such as glass, plastic, metal and toxic chemicals. All recycling will follow performance standards set up by the Department of Ecology.

What if my electronic equipment still works? Many groups and businesses focus on making used electronics available for reuse. Click here for more information on donating your electronics for reuse.

Look for the full list of all collection locations here:, or call 1-800-recycle.

Please note that computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and printers are not included in this program.

Here’s a partial list what you can recycle at this event – to see the full list, download a PDF flier here:

  • TIRES: Bias ply, steel belted, and studded tires accepted. Limit 6 passenger Y o u C a n tires per household (18 inches and below) free of charge. $1.50 charge for Bringing each tire on a rim. $5 charged for each large truck tire and $15 charged for each truck tire on rim (cash only). No oversized tires accepted.
  • MOTOR OIL, FILTERS, & ANTIFREEZE: Motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, 2-cycle oil, steering fluid, crankcase oil, kerosene, and home heating fuel. Do not mix with antifreeze, solvents, gasoline, or other substances.
  • LEAD ACID BATTERIES: Car, truck, marine, and motorcycle batteries accepted.
  • ALKALINE BATTERIES: AAAA, AAA, AA, A, B, C, and D cell batteries only.
  • CARDBOARD: Please flatten. No wax coated cardboard.
  • REUSEABLE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND CLOTHING: Clothing and miscellaneous household items in good condition will be collected by Seattle Goodwill. Mattresses and furniture will not be accepted. Items in need of repair will not be accepted.
  • PORCELAIN TOILETS AND SINKS: $5 charge (cash only). Toilet seats, hardware, and base wax rings must be removed.
  • PROPANE TANKS: Residential tanks only. $5 charge (cash only).
  • CLEAN SCRAP WOOD: Includes milled wood, plywood, pallets, and other untreated and unpainted wood. No pegboard, particle or press board.
  • BULKY WOOD: Includes large tree branches (minimum 6 inches in diameter), logs, and stumps.No leaves,
    grass, small branches, sod, or brush. Please lay a tarp under material for ease of removal.
  • ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT: DVD players, VCRs, stereo equipment, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, cellular phones and computer peripherals such as keyboards and mice. Computer monitors and televisions will not be accepted. You can recycle these items for free at other locations – see the E-Cycle box for more information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Burien's Newest Gardener-


Mom! Mom (and I) got a garden plot in Burien's new Community Garden. Now she want's me to take her to Sky Nursery for Heirloom plants to plant in it. LOL I am not going to take her to a nursery clear across the city. They sell perfectly good heirloom plants right here. Well Okay, Des Moines, but really. But mom is excited. She hasn't had garden space since she sold her house and moved to the apartment. And I am guessing we will meet a bunch more excited folks as the season progresses!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2nd Hand Planter-

What's this? A 2nd party post? it's A DIY Quickie!- I painted this terra cotta plant pot sage green. Then I stuck it in this basket I got from a garage sale. I think it looks good!

Monday, May 10, 2010

DIY Produce Bags

I am getting into using my own Produce bags. What I have done before is just put the orange or banana or apple with my other groceries on the checkout belt without a bag, for some reason checkout clerks hate that! Or I just reuse the produce bags and Big Bertha, the check out clerk never is the wiser! I just wash them (rarely need too) and stuff them in my pockets when I go to the store. But then I get to think about the eco- mantras about not using more material… and I start to think maybe there is a better way! And every so often I need sturdy little produce bags. So I got to thinking (always dangerous) about how I could I, make my own produce bags, even though I don't sew?
I got these cool burlap bags that my raspberry plants and some strawberry plants came in. Just add a draw string and voila! A produce bag! Probably make great Christmas wrappings too
These little burlap bags are easy to add a drawstring to- or a shoestring -which I had lying around
Originally they came with these paper clamp thingys- another great way to keep the top closed!

Mesh Produce Bags:

I made these up from those little mesh bags from Trader Joe's- You know the ones that new/baby potatoes, avocados and limes come in? Super easy to put a drawstring through, simply weave the string through the mesh holes about every fourth hole.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Betty White is a goddess! The Weekly Challenge Update

Boy, Betty White killed on SNL last night! Probably the most entertaining SNL Mothers Day show in years! I used to love when the cast's mothers would guest star. Oh well on to the challenges:
1. Plant something: Tomato plants,

2. Harvest something: nothing

3. Preserve something: nothing

4. Waste Not: Cut up the leek greens (I made leek and potato soup this week) and froze them to use in stock later.

5. Want Not: Repaired my cell phone car charger, Made up some produce bags form burlap bags and mesh bags from Trader Joe's,2 bulk cardboard egg containers to use for seed starting; some tin cans, three large 5+ gallon planters... A landscaper was planting trees, I walked by and asked him what he was going to do with the black plastic planters they came in, he said "do you want them?.. they are now mine!

6. Preparation and Storage: Finalizing plans to redo my laundry/pantry/mud room. Going to put in new storage shelves, a new floor, paint and a new door with a window in it!

7.Build Community Food Systems: Got some tools together for the new community garden to keep. Attended the Farmers' Market and bought some leeks, soap, tomato plants and some homemade fudge! Also left a bag of canned food in the Letter Carriers Food Drive out on the mail box

8. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Some leek and potato soup from the leeks I bought at the farmers market

Garden Challenge Extreme Evangelist Edition- Planted some of my tomato plants; got some tools together for the community garden to keep.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

No 'poo before No 'poo Was Cool!

Going bald at a young age gave me some advantages- 1- I can and do cut my own hair which simply involves a hair clipper and extremely short cut and saves me at least $10 a pop per haircut(the going rate last time I visited a barber- You get no discounts for having less hair!) . And you know, I have been all about "No Poo" since my hair fell out. Never made sense to spend alot of money on shampoo, conditioner since I didn't have hair- so I started using the same soap I would shower with. Recently it dawned on me... "I was no poo before no poo was cool!" Never thought going bald would give me an eco-advantage! But I listen to everyone talk about the shampoo issue... "Have you tried baking soda for shampoo?... What about my hair... Does Vinegar as a rinse make you smell like a salad bar... What's in my shampoo???...WHat the hell are Parabins??? AAAGH"... Blah Blah Blah.
Well anyone who reads this blog should know I am a believer in Dr. Bronner's Magic Pure Castile Classic Soaps. You can use this stuff for everything. I use it to wash my body, my hair, my dishes, my dog. Recently I made the transition from the liquid soap to the Bar version. It doesn't last as long but I didn't have to worry about that pesky plastic bottle either. Recently I have discovered locally made bar soaps that are hand made and good for the skin. The skin, you know, is the largest sex organ on your body. You should treat it nice! Anyway I digress! The two products are Ballard Organics, made in the Ballard area of Seattle, and Lilie De Vallee, made in Samamish, Wa. I get the Ballard Organics at the Eat Local store here in Burien, and found Lilie De Valle at the Burien Farmers' Market. The list of ingredients in Lilie De Vallee are simple: Oils of olive, Coconut, Vegetable Palm and Castor, Grapefruit Seed, Extract, Jojoba, Shea Butter, Herbal Ingredients, Distilled Water. And the ingredients in Ballard Organics is similar: Saponified Organic Palm, Coconut, Olive and Castor Oils, Organic Cocoa Butter, Essential Oils, non-GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin -E). I have not tried any as shaving soap yet, but those ingredients sound better than the Colonel Conk's shaving soap I use now for shaving, and at least they are wrapped in paper.

Don't read me wrong- I am not giving up on Dr. Bronner. I am just giving Ballard and Samamish a shot.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Plastic Free Catsup and DIY Pancake Syrup

About a year ago (or a year ago in January) Beth at Fake Plastic Fish and I got into a little food smackdown... rather she made her own some homemade Spicy German Mustard and I made some home made (okay... semi home-made) Catsup. Then she complained that I used canned tomato paste. "BPA! BPA! in the lining of the tomato paste can"She cried. Bitch, bitch, bitch. Then I found her a recipe for making homemade tomato paste. Was she happy??? I think not. Well now she can't complain, because I found a whole butt load of catsup recipes that are made simply from tomatoes, no canned or packaged products. Well almost. Spices are still packaged last I checked of course you can buy them in bulk. Happy now Beth??? I should think so!

And even though the Farmers Daughter wouldn't approve, with all those maple trees and sugar shacks between her and her husbands families, Here is a recipe/video for making your own pancake syrup. My mom used to do this, (ooooh the Mapleine) You know me...I have never been one not to grab on to someones shirt tails - or in this case apron strings- except I have to make room as Connie from apparentely already has kids buggin' her while she is cooking!And she is nice enough to show how to save a little money making your own pancake syrup. Take a look at it and see if you found as much humor in it as I did. Of course, you know I am of a sick and twisted mind!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


After waiting all winter, the Burien Farmers' Market opened today. I feel like spring has sprung and we have all climbed out of our coccoons. It help that the weather was sunny and spring like as well.

Romeo and I perused the market and bought some handmade soap, some leeks and some tomato plants and some homemade fudge.

We also had lunch there. A BBQ hot dog and chips. Who could ask for more?

America's Grow A Row

Yesterday I talked about the annual Mail Handlers Food Drive. Well why change a good topic I always say. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 in 8 households in the United States experiences hunger or the risk of hunger. Many frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for an entire day. Approximately 33 million people, including 13 million children, have substandard diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they cannot always afford the food they need. The demand for hunger assistance has increased by 70% in recent years, and research shows that hundreds of hungry children and adults are turned away from food banks each year because of lack of resources.

America's Grow a Row matches volunteers to small farms to help pick vegetables that is then donated to food banks all over. But one way you can participate is dedicate a row/bed in your own garden. Last year, sustainable Burien started the community garden at the BIAS, which was for sense of a better word/phrase a Demonstration garden. All the produce grown there was donated to the local food bank. over 50 pounds. And consider we didn't even get the garden started until June! And that was just from 6 4' X 8' beds! This year I plan on one of my Kiddie Pool gardens to be designated for the food bank. So plant a row for the hungry in your area.

The Garden Writers Association Plant A Row or PAR Campaign was started in 1995 when the PAR began in Anchorage, AK, in the garden column of Jeff Lowenfels, former Garden Writers Association president. He asked his readers to Plant A Row of vegetables for Bean’s Cafe, an Anchorage soup kitchen. The program was so successful, he introduced it to GWA as a national program.
It took five years to reach the first million pounds of donated produce. The next million was reached in only 2 years, and in the next 8 years, more than a million pounds of food was donated each year. This is a significant contribution considering that each pound of produce supplements 4 meals.
Since 1995, over 14 million pounds of produce providing over 50 million meals have been donated by American gardeners. All this has been achieved without government subsidy or bureaucratic red tape — just people helping people.
Other sites featuring Plant A Row programs:Ample is a web site that helps match gardeners to food banks and pantries

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Letter Carriers' Food Drive

This Saturday is the annual Letter Carrier's Food Drive it is so easy to participate

WHAT: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers

WHEN: Saturday, May 8th

WHERE: Leave bag(s) of non-perishable food items at your mailbox for pickup.

INFO: Suggested food item donations include canned meats, fish, soup, juice, vegetables, pasta, cereal and rice. Please do not include items that have expired or are in glass containers.

How To Help:

Place non-perishable* food products in a bag.

  1. Leave at your mailbox on Saturday, May 8th.

  2. Your letter carrier will pick up and deliver to local food banks or pantries.
The food banks experience a slow down in the non- holiday times of the year, and it is so important to help them out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bike Racks and A Mother's Day Present

The Sustainable Burien group, to which I belong, wanted a bike rack for an upcoming event at the Wild Strawberry Fest. Here is what I came up with for them:

I took an old futon bed's rails that I found at Mom's Dumpster, and I originally was going to make porch railings from them. But I got the idea to make the bike rack from them. I found they were a tad small heighth wise, so I cut out the tops on every other post, and set them up so they would have a bike on each side. I tried them out with the old bikes I had around and they work! Hopefully the bike group at Sustainable Burien likes them as well!

are my

As for mom for mothers day, I found this neat Garden Hod style basket at a garage sale, and put in some garden tools, seeds, gloves and tomato plants in the hope that she gets approved for the community garden- If she doesn't she can grow a kiddie pool garden at my house!

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have been holding off doing this review, as I am afraid of what some people would think- oh great another review about No Impact Man.
First, I am not a fan of Colin Beavan AKA No Impact Man. In fact, I always thought the No Impact project kind of presumptuous- you know- in a "I am better than you" kind of way.

Then I read this book, and found out he actually felt the same way, but that wasn't the point of the project. To be honest I would never sign on to this type of lifestyle. But that all being said, I am glad Colin did do the project and I am gladder he wrote about it. The book shows a sense of self deprecating humor that I previously did not associate with No Impact Man, the blog.

Me not being a fan of non fiction doesn't help, but Beavan does manage to engage the reader when discussing shopping at Farmer's Market, his wife's hatred of bicycles, and her inability to kick caffeine (Right on Sista), he manages to keep one riveted to his little experiment.

All in all I would say "No Impact Man" makes a big impact with those who read it.

I give it 3 green thumbs up!