Sunday, August 31, 2008

LUMBER PILE is gone!

A Burn Barrel on the
strike line

The lumber pile from the front yard is gone! Thanks to the upcoming strike at Boeing, I cut up the remaining wood pile in the front yard for the burn barrels we use on the strike line to keep warm. I am sure there are better ways to keep warm- the SPEEA union used bottle propane heaters- but this is tradition. And who wants to try and roast a weenie over a gas heater?Anyway I digress. I chopped up all the non-treated wood into burn barrel size chunks. And the leftover cedar shakes and shake pieces from the front gable.
You have to take your opportunities were they come up.
I have been waiting to get this project (get rid of the lumber pile)done for months. I put an ad on freecycle and got rid of some of the wood. Only a few jobs left to do. I need the finish the cedar shake siding on The three remaining the gables of the house and two on the garage, Install three windows and one downspout into a rain barrel. Oh yeah and some interior moulding.
Now I can completely mow the front yard. YIPPEE! No more mowing with the weedeater(I have been waiting to run the lawn mower over the whole yard for over a year now). I am almost through with the remodel. And I have already finished with the final inspection on the addition! Landscaping is next- which will be all edible plantings! And no grass in my front yard.

Not really the woodpile, but it sure felt like it when I was waiting to get rid of it!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Challenges Update- Borage is not an emotion

Borage ready to bloom!

As I post this weeks challenges update, I must report that my Union is getting ready to strike Boeing. Whether or not I agree that the contract offer is fair, the Union is suggesting Strike.
This is were what I have learned so far in the Independence Days challenge will come in handy!

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge

1. Plant something. Nothing this week

2. Harvest something: Cucmbers, tomatoes, peas, borage leaves

3. Preserve something- dries some tarragon, some mint and froze a head of cauliflower

4. Prep something.- Mad a couple of bell cloches for fall garden, figured how to cover my pots

5.Cook something new- Ate something new... ate a pumpkin flower in my salad today

6-Manage your reserves: Qorked on storage in the garage

7- Work on local food systems- Nope

8-Compost, Repair, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle something: a few pop bottles that I use for bel cloches- simply cut off the bottom

9-Learn a skill: nope

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE Still doing it at 5 minute or less showerwd, still catching shower warm-up water, still clean and not smelly! Started brushing teeth in shower before the water starts.


MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE Borage is ready to start blooming. Broccoli is still the same.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bring a lunch!

Lunch- the second most important meal of the day! Why not be more sustainable ~ take your lunch along from home! This is a good way to get rid of leftovers. You can make your own version of lunchables- or even take along some soup and a salad.

Lunchboxes are not neccesarily expensive. My lunch box came from And it brings back memories of school and when I was a young buck. Of course my lunch box today wouldn't pass muster in the cafeteria whose cool list. it is pretty plain. And you can get different lunchboxes. How about a laptop lunchbox? Or a Bento Box?

While I think the box is plain, the contents are not. Some days I take homemade soup, or some cobbler all packed in 1/2 pint mason jars. Some days I take a salad in my jars or some leftover casserole. Or sometimes I take along a sandwich or some roll-ups. And don't forget the fresh fruit and veggies (carrot sticks, peas in the pod, radishes)

The advantage to taking my own lunch, is that I save $$$. The second advantage is that my lunch box is sustainable. There is little to no waste. The funny thing is I end up taking waste home from work-coffee grounds and filters to dump in the compost. I always take home my fruit rinds and apple cores (to feed the worms). I know that this is not the most convenient thing for most of you- so why not try taking a sunday evening and making enough for lunches for the week. I try and do this making dinner. I throw a roast in the rotisserie. Then there is something for dinner, and enough for a couple of lunches. Same with chicken. Sometimes I cook a casserole.

And don't forget the PB&J. I love Peanut Butter and Jelly. And don't forget the water bottle. A stainless steel water bottle.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


TIME: Noon - 4PM
The NW blogger Meet 'N Greet will be at Meridian Park in Seattle. It's right next door to Seattle Tilth and has an enormous play area, playground, basketball hoops, bathrooms, etc. So, if you want to (or have to) bring your kids, there is plenty of stuff for them to do. Please let me know if you are planning on attending. This will be a local food, potluck style event, so plan on bringing something to share. And BYO Utensils, plates etc. Contact Crunchy-Bird, or Melinda-Bird if you are interested in attending

The pumpkin that ate Burien

Basil growing in it's container

Walking through the garden after the rain

A poem by robj98168

It rained all day yesterday, and this morning it had stopped
I needed to go outside do bad, I thought I would pop!
Container garden
I took a stroll through the yard,
what did I see?
A bright shiny pumpkin,
Looking up at me!
A bush full of tomatoes,
weighing heavy on the vine
All shouting in unison- "Look,
look at us - we are so fine"

A bright lil' punkin
And basil, some purple, some green,
looking all fresh and really keen
I walked though the garden,
After the rain-
I hope it's sunny tomorrow
So I can go out and
walk through it again!

The punkin vine that ate burien!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekly Challenge Update - or What the hell are you eating?

Dandelion fritters

A day after drooling- er I mean posting about Cheesesteaks and Chili Dogs I figure it is time to get back on track. So here is this weeks challenges update:
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge

1. Plant something. Trying to start the avocado pits I have been collecting from all wonderful avocado’s I got recently from a friend visiting from California . Planted some radishes.
2. Harvest something: chard, borage, cucumbers, zucchini, dandelion flowers,
3. Preserve something- Froze Cauliflower, Put up a gallon of Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles
4. Prep something.- Trying to make an EarthTainer™ using two five gallon pickle jugs; Made a DC powered Hombrew Air conditioning unit. I used a 12 Volt fan and a 12 Volt Bilge pump. This can be solar powered. I reuse water and soda pop bottles found in the trash fill them 2/3's full and freeze them for the ice
Cook something new- Dandelion Fritters, Borage and cucumber salad
5-Manage your reserves: Put up storage shelving for Canned goods. Finished making storage space for canning tools.
6- Work on local food systems- Besides shopping at farmer’s market, nope
7-Compost, Repair, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle something: Trying to start the avocado pits I have been collecting from the wonderful avocado’s I got recently. Found some cloth bag holders to use as Laundry bags to put dirty clothes and rags in. Saved two plastic 5 gallon pickle buckets from going to the dump by making them into an Earth Tainer™ planter , Found a child's folding lawn chair perfect condition in the dumpster at mom's apartment- Will give it to a cousin or someone with a small child!
8-Learn a skill: Learned how to make Earth Tainers™ (Self watering/water conserving planters)

This weeks Cooked something new recipes:
1 cup of dandelion flowers
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1 ½ cups of flour
½ cup of Corn Meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
To make the fritter batter; beat 1 egg, then blend in 1 cup milk. Mix 1-1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup cornmeal with 2 tsp. baking powder in a separate bowl before blending with the egg mixture. Rinse and dry flowers. Dip the flower buds into the fritter batter. Carefully drop breaded flowers in hot oil until golden brown. These can be used as croutons in a green garden salad.
NOTW: It would probably work better if you used the flowers fresh rather than putting them in the fridge and waiting until 11:30 at night Like I did the first time. They tend to close up a bit.

Borage and cucumber salad
3 large cucumbers
1/2 pint sour cream
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon of dried dill seeds or 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh, young borage leaves (chopped finely)
Slice the cucumbers thinly. Salt lightly and set aside in a colander for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Mix the remaining ingredients, add the cucumbers to the mixture, and toss lightly. Garnish with borage blossoms. Chill for one hour before serving.

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE Still doing it at 5 minute or less showerd, still catching shower warm-up water, still clean and not smelly! Got the water bill and we used about half the water we normally do for August.

CRUNCHY CHICKENS' SMELLY OLD SWEATY BUTT-CRACK CHALLENGE No A/C Use this week. I did however, set up my DC Powered Homebrew AC Unit. This is cool - it is powered by the car's battery! And it can be solar also!

MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE Borage is really taking off! I think it is getting ready to bloom! Note to self take pic of borage and post. Actually makes a nice plant- I can't beleive some people would call it a weed! Broccoli- just the little green sprouts... Apparently some one forgot to tell Broccolli Dude how patience-challenged I am.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hey Paisan!!! Two great spots to eat

This post is not for the faint of stomach- it involves Hot Dogs and sandwiches with cheez-whiz on them. Hey- I cant be good all the time. Read on at your own risk!
Lately I have been discovering a few restaurants that deserve mention here. Not that they are necessarily sustainable, but that they are damn good!
Hey Paison! Santone’s Italian Sandwiches- You will feel like you are in a Soprano’s episode when you walk in. There are pictures of The ratpack, Frank, Dino and Sammy. Then Ronnie Santone, the owner greeted me with a boisterous Hey Paison! Immediately you feel like family! Then I ordered the best sandwich ever- the Philly Cheese steak with fried onions and a smattering of cheez-whiz. Next time I’m gonna try Ronnie’s cannelloni! The sandwich to go was wrapped in foil-so at least it wasn’t Styrofoam and unlike so called delis like Quisno’s and Subway- no plastic bag! And the sandwich was to die for. I now know what they serve in heaven for lunch! Don’t believe me?- just look at the wonderful reviews~
Now my other favorite lunch spot, Matt’s Gourmet Hot Dogs were they "Guarantee you'll love their food or Matt is an idiot", is a lot like Santone’s in that you feel like you have been coming there for years. He takes an out of town favorite, a Chicago style hot dog, and makes it a Seattle tradition. I think their dogs are locally made. I order the chili dog because it is the best thing there! Quirky little restaurants that are clean, Friendly, and now I know what they serve for a late night snack in heaven! And my chili dogs are wrapped only in paper and put in a paper bag! Very Cool!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Gas Mileage- how to improve it

Been checking out those Hybrids have you? Well you can always practice Hyper Miling or you can try and get hybrid mileage out of your current car by doing a few simple things- I drive a plethora of cars (as you can see in the pic)- And I get great gas mileage!

Start with your choice of vehicles- Lets face it - you cannot buy a Hummer and expect 30 miles to the gallon. A smaller car is probably a good choice. My 1966 valiant,by today's standards would be a mid size car, it was sold as a compact- has a 225 slant six engine and gets about 22 mpg. Driving a 42 year old car might not be the best way to get great gas mileage unless it is a Nash Metropolitan or a BMW Isetta-

1961 Nash Metropoltan

1961 BMW Isetta

1- Keep your engine in tune- This has nothing to do with your choice of CD's. A tune up can greatly improve your mileage. Just changing your spark plugs every year can improve your mpg! Also Keep the engine and systems in repair!- Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent!
2-Keep your tires inflated- Proper inflation can improve your gas mileage! I have a slow leak in one tire on my Suzuki, so I watch it like a hawk.
3. Keep your oil clean- change your oil a bit more often than recommended- If they tell you every 7000 miles it is probably best to change it every 3,500-4000 miles. I don't think people need to change their own oil. You have to dispose of the waste oil and that usually means taking a trip with a full oil container to a auto parts store or gas station that accepts the oil, spilling oil in your car, buying cat litter to spread on oil you dripped on the garage floor, etc. Your lube shop is your friend! For about $20, they will change your oil and oil filter, check all your fluids, and maybe vacuum your car.And they should already get their waste oil recycled-ask them! And always use the recommended weight if Oil. It should say in you owners manual. And don't try to fool yourself with the "My car uses a quart a month, so I never change it- I just keep adding oil" BS- If your car burns a lot of oil or leaks oil over a quart a month - you got problems - maybe not now but later- get'r fixed!

4- Change and/or clean the air filter- you should be able to hold the air filter up to a light and see light through the air filter. Like visualizing an acid trip. Except there shouldn't be any birds. Some air filters are meant to be cleaned. The one on my MGB is an example you take it off blow air through it, cuss and wash it then spray some oily crap on it and voila! A clean air filter!
5- Drive like grandma (except if your grandma has the last name of Andretti) - Taking it easy on the road can improve your gas mileage.

Now, If you are looking for a new car, I say why new? Why not a gentle used car? You can take a car, like my Suzuki Swift (Geo Metro),or a slightly used Toyota or Nissan can be an excellent choice- My roomate, Martin, before he bought his new Scion "Toaster", bought a 1983 Toyota Tercel and put over 100,000 miles on it. The car has close to 300,000 miles on it- and it is still going- (a friend of ours bought it) Just following common sense maintenance and driving methods gets you near hybrid like gas mileage numbers, and buying a used car IS recycling and reusing.

Martin's 1983 Tercel
My next car hopefully will be a Think Electric car, but be that as it may, I still like to squeeze out every drop of gasoline I can! You can do like me and have a fleet of cars, that way they all have gas or at least one will. Unless it is time to gas up the fleet- that is always a blue day! Those days I would rather walk!

NW Blogger meet and greet

A date has been set. Sunday, September 7, Time to be determined, Afternoon time, at a local Seattle park (TBD).

Potluck, byo plates and utensils. Fun and Laughter planned.

Sign up at One Green Generation. Tell 'em Rob sent you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eating the Dandelion, day by day, part deux

Okay, I tried the Dandelion Fritters. I must say, in the words of Miss Paula Dean, anything bad deep fried is still pretty good.

They are some delightfully crispy little buggers, And I must agree with Marisa, whose dandelion site is a must read, that they are (or would be) great for a salad topper.

But they also made a great little snack. These would be great at a fry party or with your kids so they can run back to school yelling "guess what I ate"

But I dont think I will try fried rat anytime soon though. Sorry, Chile.

Proof That I will eat just about anything

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eating the Dandelion, day by day

My apologies to Lord Tennyson. This post is dedicated to Ms. Chile- who advocates eating bugs, rats and god knows what else (keep her away from my yorkie!) - This is but a simple weed flower, that grows in everybody's yard, especially mine- finally something that Everyone can grow and harvest! Y'all welcome to stop by and get all the dandelion flowers you want!

Dandelion Fritter Recipe and a video:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Victory Gardens rock!

I am afraid we are coming back to a time when we will have to grow Victory Gardens. Just like in WWII!
In my new found exuberance in gardening, I feel that we should share in the exchange of ideas to get folks out gardening. I know the one excuse is I don’t have any land. Hogwash I say! Sharon Astyk and her Casauban’s Book Blog puts it a better way than I can:

“If you’ve only got a windowsill…GROW SPROUTS! Sprouting seeds from broccoli, alfalfa, wheat, radishes, spinach and other vegetables are delicious, highly nutritious and an excellent substitute for out of season things. You can have something crisp, crunchy and delicious on your salad even when there are no peppers or lettuce to be had. Everyone can grow their own sprouts. Here’s how."

Now Sharon and I have differing ideas on TEOTWAWKI, but I whole heartily agree with her on this. There are lots of bloggers out there who do pretty good with limited space- Matt and Melinda have an allotment at Melinda’s mothers, but they also have a fire escape garden and window boxes with fresh herbs and such. Also, the shiba guys have done amazing things in their small albeit great garden of their condo-an edible garden that has been featured on garden tours in West Seattle and don’t forget to check out their fabulous Potato Condo!

Container gardening is the hope for most apartment dwellers. But it is also a great thing for those of us who have small yards. One thing I have found out there is the Earth-tainer- on the Tomatofest site- This container-based system combines the traditional soil-based growing cycle with elements of hydroponic moisture delivery to the plants for sustainable, organic gardening. And here are the plans to make your very own earth-tainer

And by folks sharing their creations with us on their blogs- I get to learn about Potato Condos, raising strange new things like Borage.
One of the best sites for small space gardening is Square foot gardening. Mel Bartholemew shows the easy way to garden. A foot at a time! I feel kinda close to Mel’s method- (A little horn tooting here) as I started the Square foot Gardening Group on yahoo under my old handle of ppreater, and its membership today is over 3,000 strong! All because I read Bartholemew’s book and put a small garden in at the mobile home I owned in Kent!

I have always had a garden of one variety or another, and I do like to grow things- when I lived in an apartment, I grew tomatoes and cucumbers on my balcony, I had a small square foot garden when I lived in the mobile home. I now live in a regular house and have an irregular garden- I still like to grow my tomatoes in pots and I still use most of the Square Foot Gardening basics I learned. Now if I can just get my mother to grow some food at her apartment, I will have accomplished something!

JP can has statue?

J.P. Patches- What a Clown!
Growing up in Seattle in the '60's, all kids were Patches Pals and tuned in daily to watch the adventures of Julius Pierpont Patches and his girlfriend Gertrude. Sure, I occasionaly would switch the channel to Kings Clubhouse with Stan Boreson, but usually you would find me watching JP. Some lucky kids had parents who wrote in their kids birthdays so J.P. would say happy birthday on his ICU2TV. Somehow, he never said happy birthday to me. Wonder why, Mother???
Anyway JP and his alter ego, Chris Wedes, are now 80. And have a statue. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekly Challenge update, sweaty butt crack edition

1. Plant something- Nope

2.Harvest something. Picked plums;cucumbers; chard; borage leaves

3. Preserve something- Froze some blackberries.

4. Prep something.- Washed old T-Shirts, sorted, donated some to charity, made rags out of the others

5. Cook something new- Made a "lazy days of summer" meal!- a “LATS” Sandwich, with Cheap Vegetable Gardener’s Oven Baked Fries

LATS (Lettuce Avocado Tomato) Sandwich

1 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tsp. Thousand Island dressing

2 slices whole wheat bread (toasted-optional)

1 leaf lettuce

1/2 medium tomato, sliced

½ fresh Avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced

Alf Alfa Sprouts (optional) Instructions
In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Thousand Island dressing. Spread one side of each slice of bread with mayonnaise mixture. On bottom slice of bread, layer lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices, 2 bacon strips and 4 avocado slices. Top with Alf Alfa sprouts if desiredTop with second slice of bread.

• 2-3 large potatoes

• Vegetable spray

• 1 tsp salt

Description: Preheat oven to 450F. Peal potatoes and slice to desired thickness. Soak in water with 1/2 tsp salt for 10 minutes. Strain out water and pat potatoes dry on paper towels. Spray cookie sheet with vegetable spray and then lay out potatoes on single layer and spray with another coat of vegetable spray. Sprinkle remaining salt on top of fries. Cook until fries are golden brown (about 10-15 minutes)

WHAT I DID DIFFERENT-I cut the potatoes into thin slices on the mandolin rather than fries flip them over and cook until the other side is golden.

6. Manage your reserves- Got Quilt, sheets, pillows and Bodum French coffee press on freecycle

7. Work on local food systems.

8. Compost, Repair, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle something: Repaired water wand to water plants in basket or high up. Got Quilt, sheets, pillows and bodum coffee press on freecycle. Repaired rain barrel hose.Took old T-shirts and some other clothes to Salvation Army

9. Learn a skill: Took a class on canning and food preservation at the community center. Signed up for a class on Productive Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces

CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE 5 Minutes for showering, catching warm-up water in bucket; drew the winners in my Water Savers Giveaway-

Low Flow Shower Head- Hayley; Shower Timer- Shadows of the goddess designs; Areators- EB, heather and Elouina

CRUNCHY CHICKENS' REALLY GROSS SWEATY BUTT-CRACK CHALLENGE OK I gave in and sat in air conditioned comfort in the living room tonight. We are having our annual dog days of summer heat spell this weekend. The A/C was already on when I came home from work, and I left it on. Wuss that I am. I had to work, was tired and sweaty, it felt good!

MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE- Borage is really growing now, harvested a couple of leaves and put them in a salad.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


And we enter the RNG page---The WInners are

Low Flow Shower Head- Hayley
Shower Timer- Shadows of the goddess designs
Areators- EB, heather and Elouina

Verde came up twice but was declining so Hayley and elouina win!
I will be emailing each of you to get a snail mail address to send your prizes! Or if you don't have an email address listed on your post or profile, just send your snail mail to me at Next giveaway next month!
Make a Glowing tomato!!!

- Click here
for another funny movie.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Free School is cool!

Yesterday, I took a course offered at the Burien Community Center called Food Preservation methods- it basically covered canning methods, but also got into freezing and dehydrating. It was most interesting. It was offered from the extension service of WSU, and facilitated through The Seattle Free School.The Seattle Free School is just that. It is for the community by the community. All are welcome. No money ever exchanges hands- the only exchange is skills, knowledge and experiences.
They have an interesting list of classes:

Knitting and Crochet with Plastic-take your plastic bags-grocery bags, bread bags, newspaper bags and turn them into a usable durable fiber. Students should have a basic understanding of knitting and/or crochet or a willingness to experiment. In addition students will get an overview of tote-bag, hat, and/or rug creation and pattern design.

Cheese Making- Mascarpone... eventually we'll have classes that teach other types of cheese but until we find a kitchen come learn to makethis wonderful cheese that is inexpensive to make an makes for the best tiramisu ever!

Soap Making- All bars of soap made in this class will be donated to local shelters at Christmas.

Sew Your Own Grocery Bag- Students will recycle and remake fabric remnants and clothing cast-offs into unique and durable shopping bags.Just in time for the plastic bag ban to be enacted!

I encourage anyone who lives in the Seattle Area to look into the Seattle Free School. I don’t know that it will be life changing, but I feel pretty confident in saying it will be life ENHANCING!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Radiator Charlie and his mortgage lifter

Wow – Eco-capitalism has been around for a long time! Talk about ideas for peak oil employment!
Being a guy who never gets tired of good stories from the More experienced members of society, I love the story of Marshall Cletis “Radiator Charlie” Byles, the originator of Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter Tomato,
From Gary Ibsens Tomato Fest:

"Developed by M.C. Byles in the 1930’s, this heirloom tomato remains very much in demand in the Mid-Atlantic states. Mr. Byles, affectionately known as "Radiator Charlie" earned his nickname from the radiator repair business he opened at the foot of a steep hill on which trucks would often overheat. Radiator Charlie, who had no formal education or plant breeding experience, created this legendary tomato by cross-breeding four of the largest tomatoes he was able to find and developed a stable variety after six years of pollination and selection. He then sold his heirloom tomato plants for one dollar each (in the 1940’s) and paid off the six thousand dollar mortgage on his house in six years. It is said that each spring, gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to buy Charlie’s seedling tomatoes. The large, slightly flattened, pink-red fruits that range from 1 pound to more than 3 pounds, are meaty, very flavorful and have few tomato seeds."

Here is a good radio interview From Living on Earth - Featuring Jeff McCormick with Ed Martin, the grandson of Radiator Charlie- and the story of and his “Mortgage Lifter”.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All the poop thats fit to print

Picture- Freund's Farm Market
Yes, you may groan now- this is yet another post on poop.

I am a plumber, so poop IS my business!

Continuing the discussion on compostable starter pots for your veggies, after reading the comments, Abbie made a comment on poo pots, an episode on Dirty Jobs. I googled "poo pots", I eventually found the video on you tube from the dirty jobs series(discovery networks asks that their videos not be embedded so the link is the best I can do). I also found a link to where poo pots or "cow pots" are sold. What we have here is another example of eco-capitalism. Just like Terra Cycle worm poop products, this here farm takes cow manure, and has figured out how to make a money making product from this. The important thing is also, as "E" pointed out, that peat is mined and processed and probably wont be around for ever. I know there is a big concern over that in England. So that makes poo pots even more important because they should be able to be made as long as there are farm animals making manure. I also found this link, for a tool to make your own starter pots, but I personally think using a small bottle or such will work just as well... just follow the instruction on the link at the end of yesterday's post. So sorry about another poopy post, I just think that anybody who figures out another use for shit and makes money at it, should be rewarded! As for me, I think I will make starter pots out of newspaper or toilet rolls next winter, but I will probably order a dozen poo pots to see how much better they are!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good things and bad things

Ever notice how you think something must be good and it turns out bad? Bonnie Plants sells their Tomato plants, peppers etc in peat pots which in itself is a great thing- you plant the plant in its pot in the ground and the pot composts itself, fertilizing the ground around the plant. Just throw away the little plastic collar around the pulp pot. BUT- Bonnie plants are in Alabama. I think unless you live in the south, this would make the carbon footprint of the plant something awful.
Now I am not faulting Bonnie plants at all. They have come up with an ingenious answer to an old problem- the plastic starter packs. And for that they deserve a truckload of credit. But it makes me wonder why other plant nurseries don't do the same thing. I have a hard time believing that the plastic starter pots are that much cheaper. And what about the disposal costs? But I suppose they don't have to throw them away so they don't pay disposal costs.
You can make these at home your self by starting plants using Diy starter pots or toilet paper tubes or even egg shells!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Really - it isn't a pickle- it just looks like one!

This poor girl really doesnt like pickles. Kind of disturbing. But old maury keeps putting his pickle in her face.

Sunday weekly challenge update

Plant something: Planted more fall things- lettuce, beans, peas, radishes
Prep something: 7 jars of pickles, 4 jars of boysenberry jam, Froze a head of cauliflower, dried some herbs (dill, basil) Dehydrated Apricots, Golden plums
Harvest something: Cucumber, tomatoes, Swiss Chard radishes
Manage something: Working on storage for canning and dehydrating supplies
Cook something new: Pickles, Insalata Caprese Salad
Work on Local Food Systems: Shared some of my harvest with my Mom
Compost something, repair, reuse. reduce, recycle: Composted brandy fruit, got “new” outdoor lamp at goodwill for back door to light my way to the garage, finally installed solar powered security light I bought last year on back of garage to light my way to the compost bin
Learn a skill: Am learning how to build mason bee houses, learning about raising mason bees
CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE- Everything still normal- 5 minute or less shower times, catching warm up water
CRUNCHY CHICKENS' SWEATY BUTT-CRACK CHALLENGE - No a/c use at all this week- warm first of the week cool the rest. My scooter doesn't have A/C, neither does the MGB Convertible nor the Swift. Only my truck has A/C- and I haven't been driving that.
MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE- Borage is coming along, and thr broccoli is sprouting already!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Whole Foods, Aunt Verna's Back Porch, Pickles and Boysenberry Jam

my Fancy outdoor water bath canner!
It smells like my Aunt Vernas's back porch in here! And that's a good thing. I am starting pickles today. And boysenberry jam! And the pickling spice water aroma is everywhere. My aunt Verna's porch always smelled like a hybrid of Krispy kreme donuts, creme and pickles. Maybe that's because my Auntie fried the best donuts, and made pickles. The creamery smell? Well I suppose that's because she stored her farm fresh creme out there. I store jam in mine. Now about my sojourn to Whole Foods. I drove over to the Tukwila park 'n ride, got on the 150 bus, and had to stand while the driver did his best Mario Andretti impersonation. After I got done with the Metro Surfing championship, I found my self in the bus tunnel and the Westlake Center station. I climb the stairs, and proceeded to find Westlake avenue, and started down westlake. On the way I found a place to sells mg parts so there was a wasted half an hour. Not really, but it took me a half an hour in the store. I continued going down Westlake, thinking they must have closed the damn store- then I spotted a Whole Foods sign on their garage. Another block and I was in front of the Whole Foods store! If I wasn't a "foodie" before I found it, i am sure close to being one now! What a wonderful store! Deli counters take out counters, I was a bit intimidated! My impressions are Nice store- nice people working in there. Clean. I like the fact that I can find products their that I would normally have to mail order. Twist sponges, my Preserve razor blades made of recycled plastic, etc. But all that plastic- I thought I was at Trader Joe's. Although Whole Foods didn't have the ton of plastic around four peaches or apples, I don't get why it is around all the fresh herbs. I understand that they have little or no control on this- That it wont keep fresh any other way. But every thing else had nice packaging. I bought four chicken kabobs in the meat section, and of course was very impressed that they were wrapped in butcher paper. Until I got home and found the bag. Guess they don't want to stain my fabric shopping bag! I was most impressed with their take out counters. They asked me if I wanted it here or to go! (They have a lovely deck on which to eat) Anyway I told them I wanted it to go, they packed it in a box with no Styrofoam! I was needless to say impressed. I would shop there if it was anywhere near my neighborhood. But as it is it will have to be special planned trips.
Excuse me, my jam lids are pinging!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Whole Foods Dreams

I have never in my life been to a Whole Foods store. Now you all can close your mouths, there is a good reason why. They’re not in my area. Nobody knows why Trader Joe’s opened a store in Burien. Burien has a bad reputation, at least for grocery stores. And TJ’s is doing just fine in Burien. So all you West Seattlites- quit coming to my store and bothering them about moving it to West Seattle- you already have a PCC. Anyway, I have been watching “Emeril Green” (Emeril Legasse- that icon for green living!) and have become infatuated with Whole Food Stores (Old Emeril films the show inside a Whole Foods store). So with Saturday looming around,and actually having a day off, I will get on the 150 bus for the Westlake center and Whole foods.
They actually are suppose to carry many items I have been looking for. So we shall see if I have any green eco-friendly epiphanies to blog about after Saturday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sexy Mason Bee's

I was looking at something. I found a bee in my yard! He was a sexy little guy, pollinating all my squash flowers. First one I had seen in a while.Then I found out he was what they call a "Mason Bee". Masons are named from their habit of making compartments of mud in their nests, which are made in hollow reeds or holes in wood made by wood boring insects. Mason bees are increasingly cultivated to improve pollination for early spring fruit flowers. They are used sometimes as an alternative, but more often as an augmentation for Western honey bees.
So after looking at wikipedia, I had to find out more. You can purchase and learn about masons at Bee (BC) or locally (Seattle) at Knox Cellars. They dont produce honey BUT they dont sting. And my sexy little guy was probably a girl. I found out that masons mate and the boy bee dies. C'est la vie, little bee, c'est la vie

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Paris for President? See you at the debate bitches!

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

I never have or have not liked Paris Hilton, but thanks to that "wrinlky white haired dude"... I now love the girl. This was a long time coming. Maybe that "wrinkly white haired guy" will think twice before using a celeb's pic in his ads!

See more Adam "Ghost Panther" McKay videos at Funny or Die

NW Meet 'N Greet Picnic!!!

Get out your picinic baskets. Crunchetta and melinda are arranging a NW Blogger picnic and they need your input.
What they need from you is what date is best and are taking suggestions for a place. So if you are interested in attending or have a suggestion on the place just giddy up over to crunchy chicken's or melinda's one green generation blog.

And remember to bring your own eating utensils and plates and cups etc etc. This will be a green picnic. And leave Yogi at home.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I can has plums?

That time of year again! Golden plum harvest time. I was surprised to see as much fruit as I did. I pruned the hell out of the Chinese Golden Plum tree last fall. And the birds were already making hey out of the ripened fruit. But I got like three buckets of plums, so I guess I will make Golden Plum Jam. And some plum brandy for christmas. This keeps up I'm gonna change my name to Smucker!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Weekly Challenges Update

Sharon's Independence days challenge:
1. Prepped something: prepped new bedding for worm bin
2. Planted something- Planted Broccoli, string beans, beets, for fall crop, and replanted radishes
3. Preserved something: Froze some blackberries, Blackberry jam, Started some Blackberry brandy, started some apricot brandy
4. Harvested something: Picked Blackberries on my work lunchtimes, Radishes, Swiss Chard, Some borage!
5. Managed your reserves: Put up fancy wood holders in garage rafters to store and manage lumber left from remodel project. Cleans up the yard, makes more room in garage for storage
6. Cooked something new: Tried Chile’s fried rice (but I put chicken in it),
7. Work on Local Food Systems: Picked the blackberries at work, Signed up for a food preservation class at the community center,
8. Composted, repaired, re-used, reduced or recycled something: Repaired broken couch, prepped new bedding for worm bin, changed worm bedding, got the worm castings out and fed plants; put old printer on freecycle; put up a giveaway on my blog to give away low flow shower head, shower timer, and low flow faucet aerators.
9. Learn a skill: Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
FINAL POST FOR CHILE’S ADDICTIONS IN A PEAK OIL WORLD- August is finally over and I can say No Diet soda this month at all. I have drank a lot of Ice tea, Coffee and sparkling water- but no sodas at all this month. Good luck to those who are carrying on this challenge! It will be mind opening.
CRUNCHY DOMESTIC GODDESS’ 5 MINUTE SHOWER CHALLENGE- Still at 5 minutes. NEW NEWS!- my local water district, which is part of the Seattle Saving Water Partnership, which sent a neat coupon book in the mail, is giving to their customers a low flow shower head, a CFL light bulb, and a shower timer. Very cool! And I am putting up the shower head, timer and aerators as a giveaway!
CRUNCHY CHICKENS' SWEATY BUTT-CRACK CHALLENGE No A/C at all this week. haven't needed it as it has been nice and cool all week.
MELINDA'S GROWING CHALLENGE- I decided to plant some broccoli seeds in addition to the borage I already planted. Yes I must admit to never growing broccoli before! The borage is getting bigger- I thinned it, and not being a guy who can leave the thinnings alone, ate them and yes- the leaves do taste like cucumber!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quit Peeing in the Shower

Glad I got your attention. This is not a post on bathroom confusion. This is a post on saving water and a giveaway. Yes. Free Shit!
I know some of you are in Crunchy Domestic Goddesses’ 5 minute shower challenge. Why not take it a step farther with a low flow shower head? My water district is a member of the saving water partnership. I know- so what?!? Well, they gave me some free stuff.
A- CFL- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb, A shower timer, a low flow showerhead and a couple of low flow sink faucet aerators. So what’s that got to do with the time space continuum? Nothing. ’Cept of course, being the generous guy that I am, I am going to pass on the shower head and aerators since I already have those things and the water timer, since I have short showers down pat. I am, however, keeping the CFL Bulb. Wow? You say?" What do I have to do to win one those great things?" Just put in a comment to this here blog post, and there you go!You are entered. Winners will be picked by random drawing. And winners will receive- either a Low Flow Shower head, or a shower timer, or 1 of three aerators. SO there will be 5 winners. Winners announced and giveaway ends on Saturday, August 16, 2008, at 3PM. Good Luck to all who enter!

I'm a Brilliant Diamond!!!

I would like to thank beany for this award! Us language dud’s gotta stick together!
1.The winner can put the logo on her/his blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you’ve nominated
And bonus, 7 random things about me
mmm- lessee-
1-how about Tara who single handedly saved a nest of aliens
2-bourbon mom who never says anything about the fact I misspell her handle all the time
3-Cheap Vegetable Gardender who is propagating peppermint and teaches all how to garden cheaply and use big words like propagate
4-Bean sprouts from across the pond, who keeps the emerald isle green and is one keen bee keeper
5-Since I am a guy. I think I will nominate a guy- how about 2 guyz?- the shibaguyz who raise two friendly shibas and great produce in their unique container garden
6-And another guy- Mr. Brownthumb- who knows them fancy words like Allium bulgaricum when talking gardening
7-And last (but far from least) my pal Verde who is serving up justice desserts
7 random things about me:
1- I am employed as a plumber for a large airplane builder here in the Seattle area
2- I have three dogs in this house – small (dinky Binky; a yorkie), medium(Spike AKA GARDEN DOG and My Buddy- a pug) and stupid (Topaz AKA“spaz”- a chocolate lab and former seeing eye dog) All are rescued dogs. I also have one rescued cat (Sammy- The King of All Lesser Species) or rather he has me!
3- I am a member of a car club! I own a 1979 MGB and a 1966 Plymouth Valiant.While both cars are surprisingly fuel efficient, I would like to convert the MG into an electric. The Plymouth is for sale! Yes I am lightening my load! I would love to own a 1907 or there abouts Baker electric or Detroit Electric!
4- I also own a classic 1967 Vespa scooter. And a Honda scooter
5- I agree with Hilary Clinton that it takes a village to raise a child. I also think it takes a kid harness .
6- I haven’t drunk alcohol in 14 years! Although some folks think I must be on something.
7- I have a serious kitchen/garden gadget addiction. I love my small appliances! I also own a small tractor!
Yes folks that is all from this brilliant diamond. May have a giveaway tomorrow!