Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I have decided the name for "my" garden should be THE VICTORY GARDEN. After some research, as part of the Revive The Victory Garden movement. From the Revive The Victory Garden Website:

"Why plant a victory garden?
Today our food travels an average of 1500 miles
from farm to table. The process of planting, fertilizing, processing, packaging,
and transporting our food uses a great deal of energy and contributes to the
cause of global warming.
Planting a Victory Garden to fight global warming
would reduce the amount of pollution your food contributes to global
warming. Instead of traveling many miles from farm to table, your food would
travel from your own garden to your table.
Our current economic situation is
other good reason to start a Victory Garden. Every time that food is shipped
from the farm to the store and your table, gasoline is used. As gasoline prices
rise, food costs rise.
How can my actions make a difference? I’m only one
Each one of us may only be one person. However, we each have an
impact on the environment and can make changes to reduce our impact.
I have
no backyard, what can I do?

You can combine vegetable plants with flowers in
your front yard.
You can plant containers on your porch, patio, or balcony and can grow
sprouts indoors.
Check to see if you have a community garden available.
Perhaps a neighbor or friend without time or ability would let you garden
their yard, in exchange for some produce.
If these options are not
available, you can also choose to purchase foods which are grown close to home
by visiting your local farmer’s market or joining a CSA (Community Supported
Agriculture). If local foods are not available to you, choose foods which use
fewer chemical pesticides - such as organics, are in season, or have minimal

So basically their goals are the same as Sustainable Burien's- The ability to grow produce in confined spaces, lowering the food miles- thus lowering the global warming on food reaching it's destination, and to invoke community in growing the gardens!

Sounds good to me!

4R's Super Hero

It's time for a 4R's Superhero award. This one goes to Condo Blues. Whether it is re-using her father-in-laws scrap bricks for a flower bed border, or reusing broken concrete (he/she broke the concrete themselves) for a raised flower bed, Ms. Blues and her husband work and show how to re-use building materials in the garden. And I am sure Blitzkrieg, their cute as a button dog helps with all this heavy construction going on!
The 4R award goes to individuals who do something great for the planet by reducing, re-using, recycling or repairing, thus keeping items out of the waste stream. Not a meme, the recipient is allowed to post the fancy logo on the website, they don't have to print anything, pass it on or divulge any secrets of their lives. Just accept the award and know in their hearts they are a "4-R Superhero

Monday, June 29, 2009


Roofing contractor Jason prepering to remove the old roofing

Just when you thought it was safe to wake up- you hear it-




After the last go around of contractors when I had the addition put on you would think I would have learned- contractor evil. So then I hired a contractor to replace the garage roof. Noisy but industrious, they had the old roof torn off in record time. They even brought a dumpster!
- already they are more endearing than the contractor who built the addition. The difference- I hired these guys or rather their company- not the contractor hiring subs. So if it goes bad I only have myself to blame. And I am not having the high blood pressure, hospital inducing heart problems I had with the old contractor- These guys are professional, came to get the job done!- I am so impressed with their choice of tools!They should be gone today! And I get a new garage roof to match the house! with a 30 year warranty! I would have gone with a tin roof- but limited budget forced me to go with three tab shingle. Oh well- cant have everything!

And you may ask Why oh why DIY KING, did you not do it yourself? Simple. Part of smart DIY is knowing your limitations and hiring help when you need it. It is a lot healthier for me to sit back and watch these hard working guys do what they do best than for me to climb up and sweat.

UPDATE: The roofers were done and gone by 12:30PM. COmpletely, everything cleaned up. What a great bunch of guys~!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Community gardening on the B/ias

Get a group of people together on a Sunday afternoon, add some dirt, some raised beds and what do you get? A COMMUNITY GARDEN! People working as teams on one of four gardens. Folks from sustainable Burien aka SuBu are trying to create something great.

Romeo in front of "my" garden

Here is mine. I call my plot My garden as I am the one who adopted it. If someone else can come up with a better name that promotes community, gardening, and ending hunger feel free to comment. And BTW- I am looking for team members to give me a hand- so if you are local (Burien-South Seattle Area- email me at robj98168@yahoo.com and lets garden play in the dirt!) All produce grown from the gardens will be donated to area food bank. The "Rob" Bed has fennel, tomatoes, radishes, chard, cucumbers, basil, peppers, hot peppers (kung pao), lettuce, and peas. The idea I hope to promote is you can grow a lot of food with a small plot of land. And have some fun.
As for the B/ias (Burien Interim Art Space) It is a temporary home to a bunch of art, not without controversy:
This gal and her child will be watching over the community garden

Artwork from kids, made from old pop bottles and such adorn the community garden space.
This is a neat addition that just seemed to pop up!

The naked lady statue that is stirring so much controversy. IMHO She is a great statue, and is most definitely art, and is quite beautiful. I think the naysayers saying she doesn't belong where folks can see should go home, turn on the 700 club, and take their bottom lips pull it over their heads and swallow. The Interim art space started by Kathy Justin and Dane Johnson ( no relation) is a temporary home to the fantastic pieces of art, awaiting the construction of phase two of the condos and retail space to be built.
Finally a look at all four beds. One bed will have all native plantings, one bed will feature edibles like flowers and such, And I forget what the other beds will have. Thanks to Kathy and Dane for letting us set this up!

The first Tomato of the year- the weekly challenge update

My First tomato of the year, off my robin tomato plants

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 8

1. Plant something: Some “watermelon" radishes- a different variety than what I am use to; cherry belle radishes, transplanted hot pepper plants, some lettuce and some mesclun greens; “kent beauty” oregano – an herb whose flowers attract butterflys; transplanted a Hungarian pepper plant, Started some Sweet Potato slips , 2. Harvest something: India Mustard greens, Arugula, Beet Greens, and Dandelion, Basil, My first tomato!

3. Preserve something: Made and froze pasta and sauce for lunches and suppers; froze some basil cubes, bought one of those ziplock freezer vacuum packers with freezing bags to go along with my seal a meal; made a batch of strawberry jam (and before I get comments and emails on using jars not meant for canning, the large jar is one I put in the fridge immediately after for immedieiate consumption); froze the rest of the berries using Grandma's freezing trick
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): Used a 5 gallon and a 3 gallon bucket to make a self watering planter; Used a big jar that had pepperoni sticks in it that I won in a raffle years ago to store homemade instant oatmeal in.Used some pizza boxes as weedblock for the potted plants in the front yard. The usual recycling, composting, vermi-composting.
5. Preparation and Storage: Obtained a case of jelly jars and a case of canning jars and lids; Checked the food in the freezer- need to start eating the guinea hens and other frozen food in there! Made a batch of Instant oatmeal, recipe found on Cheap Like Me’s blog stored in a big jar originally fully of short pepperoni sticks, reused for this purpose
6. Build Community Food Systems: Shared how I make Self watering planters on my blog; (ok a stretch, but it works for me); Volunteered some time and labor with SuBu creating a demo garden for community gardening at the B/ias(Burien Interim Art Space) in Burien
7. Eat the Food: India Mustard, Arugula, and Beet Greens, Dandelion greens in a salad with strawberries and feta cheese; Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil dressing; some Apriums (a plum and apricot mix) Used leftover salad in a wrap;
8. Cook or eat something new: India Mustard, Arugula, Beet Greens, Dandelion greens in a salad with strawberries and feta cheese; Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil dressing, Apriums and crème (well not crème- non-fat rice milk); Made a sugar free version of Chocolate Mug cake; Made some home made instant oatmeal following Cheap Like Me’s recipe

Melinda’s Growing Challenge: Showed how I make Self Watering Planters on this blog; Transplanted a Hungarian pepper, started some sweet potato slips; Volunteered some time and labor and donated some plants with SuBu creating a demo garden for community gardening at the B/ias(Burien Interim Art Space) in Burien

Melinda's Buy Sustainably Challenge: Bought Romeo a handmade chew toy from the Strawberry Festival and Sammy a Catnip Bird from the same and bought some Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar and a couple of jars of bell pepper sauce from vendors Sunday at the festival. FOUND OUT THAT FRED MEYER SELLS BULK ITEMS!!!-I bought rolled oats in bulk to make instant oatmeal. Saving $$$ over prepackaged instant oatmeal using Cheap like Me’s recipe ; bought a half flat of local strawberries at the Burien Farmers' Market

Friday, June 26, 2009


A 65 Rambler Ambassador Wagon Complete with make out seats!
No this is not a post about the most embarrassing car my folks ever owned (A 1967 AMC Rambler Ambassador station wagon I couldn't stand when I was a kid-of course would give my eye teeth for now)My dad used to brag about the fact the car had make out seats and you could turn the whole car into a bed! Dad was so proud- Hey later in his life he owned a Plymouth Volare Wagon-
This is one of those posts where I ramble on and on. So bear with me-
Today I found another store in my area that had bulk food items- That is two stores within walking distance! Maybe one of these days I will find one that sells milk in glass bottles. Anyway, I digress- Cheap Like Me Blog yesterday posted a recipe for make your own instant Oatmeal, since I eat oatmeal just about every morning I was interested. I wanted to make this yesterday but had no rolled oats (one meatloaf too many I guess)So into the store I went and happened on to this Bulk Bin Aisle. I must admit I don't shop at this store (Fred Meyer) often so it was a big surprise! The Bulk items aren't cool like some of the stores y'all shop in, but it tickles me so! And they aren't much different than the organic bins at the Grainery (Health Food store) Just your basic grains, oats and other hot cereals, gummi bears and nuts- But it is an improvement! "Baby Steps" I sighed.

My Co-Worker, Billy

Also In a day of surprises, I found out my employer, nay my work group hired a Rent a goat company to remove brush and blackberry bushes of our property. I found out when my dispatcher called me on the radio, in a fit of confusion saying some lady called and she needs the hydrant turned on to water her goats! Well I had to find out about why she had her goats there, and of course, they were there to work! LOL I laughed about that one all night- I could be replaced by a billy goat- but let it be known on the radio that I took care of the goats at Boeing and all is well. Maybe I relayed that the goats are in the 20 building (Executives), but I would never admit to it. I'm but an innocent lamb.

Surprise number three- Sustainable Burien or "SuBu" as we like to call it is going to put in a community garden exhibit at the B/ias (Burien Interim Art Space). So I am guessing it is but a short time we get the word from the city parks on a "P-Patch" program starting soon!

And now finally- A word about Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Both Icons of my generation. Every blue blooded straight boy had or wanted to have the poster of Farrah which showed her nipple through her swimsuit. Tame by today's standards, it was hot by the seventies standards. Farrah of course showed her real talent for acting later in life but it was the automobiles that I remember her and the angels driving. Farrah had a Ford Mustang Cobra, late seventies edition, Kate Jackson had a smart Pinto, and Jaclyn Smith of course had a stylish (for the day) Fairmount Futura. I suspect Ms. Fawcett was a bit like that Mustang- Cool, fast and no one seemed to appreciate it until it was too late. I remember Michael Jackson singing with his brothers on Ed Sullivan at the log cabin we rented on Whidbey island (yes my dad packed a TV in the rambler. We were a true 60's family) Anyway, like Michael or not, he remains instilled with me, particularly because we are so close in age. I will always remember him, not for great videos like "Thriller" or "Billie Jean" but for the little boy, my age who so confidently sang "ABC" on national TV.

Well that's enough of the wonder years for one night.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How I make SWP's- Self watering Planters

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 Wah Kue Café!)
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!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Summer is here and time for a refreshing treat. To me summer means street fairs, and snowcones. I recently was playing around with my Cuisin Art and crushed some ice. And I had been watching a shaved ice vendor at the Burien Farmers' Market. I put two and two together , and came up with this recipe- You don’t need and Ice crusher or any other fancy gismos. All you need is a Cuisin Art or a blender and some syrup:

About 2 cups of Ice cubes
Some type of flavored syrup

Put ice cubes into a cuisine art or blender.
Pulse for about a minute.
Until Ice is crushed smooth

Scoop ice into a martini glass or cup.
Pour syrup (about 1 jigger or one ounce) over the top. Enjoy!

Note: I used TORIANI SUGAR FREE SYRUP (raspberry flavor), I would imagine you could use any flavored syrup. But using sugar free makes it a guilt free treat!
And please - no comments on the messy kitchen! (I have been in school all week and had no time for cleaning!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chocolate Mug Cake

A friend from my car club sent this easy recipe for chocolate mug cake- And you cook it in the microwave! Easy chocolate cake! There goes my blood sugar levels off the scale.
But thought I better share this recipe with everyone!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts or high.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Burien Strawberry Festival- Weekly Challenge Update

The Burien Strawberry Festival is going on this weekend. If you happen to be in South Seattle drive on out to Burien to the festival. There is a Fathers' Day Car Show on Sunday And from 2:30pm to the end, Robj98168(Hey that's Me!) will be manning the Sustainable Burien Booth, so come on down and get a coastal Strawberry Plant while they last! There are also inflatable rides, Wii Bowling, Food vendors representing all cultures and of course, my favorites- Elephant Ears and Roasted Corn (Yum!)

Pics from Saturdays Festival:

Becca a "S-B" Volunteer explains recycling to a citizen
Merry Ann, another S-B Volunteer, describes and hands out Native Coastal Strawberry plants

The guys from Solar Epiphany proving that Solar works in Seattle, even on a grey cloudy day
Now On to the Challenges:

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 7

1. Plant something: Some “watermelon" radishes- a different variety than what I am use to
2. Harvest something: Fennel, strawberries, radishes, spring onions, India Mustard, arugula, some thinnings of purple kohl rabi, daikon radishes

3. Preserve something: Made and froze some “frosty paws” for the dogs;
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): worm bedding (shredded newspaper and soaked for the worm bin); Found a chair in a dumpster dive and plan on re-upholstering wit some fabric I happen to have laying around
5. Preparation and Storage: Made a “charging station” for the lawn mower and Weedeater so they can stay out in their little shed
6. Build Community Food Systems: Worked with Sustainable Burien at the Strawberry Festival- We are trying to show How to recycle, how to start composting, giving free information on sustainability issues, and giving out free coastal strawberry plants
7. Eat the Food: Fennel, onions in a broccoli slaw; strawberries for breakfast; radishes, Daikon radishes; Used India mustard, arugula, some thinnings of purple kohlrabi in a salad,
8. Cook or eat something new: Fennel- used in a slaw- never had it before; Used India mustard, arugula, some thinnings of purple kohlrabi in a salad,

Melinda’s Growing Challenge: Not much to report, did a better report on Thursday

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: Didn’t buy anything this week, minus some hinges and a eight foot section of picket fencing to make a gate out of (I will use the rest elsewhere- perhaps as deck railing)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Growing Challenge: WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR

This year on Melinda’s growing challenge Seed to Seed I have had some successes and some failures. Here is what I have learned so far:
Type of pots- I used toilet paper tubes, Tully’s compostable coffee cups, and started plants in the pots they will live in. I have had most success with the plants started in the pots they will live in.
Tumbler tomatoes and Window Box Roma's started from seed in the same container
Followed by the Tully’s cups. The toilet paper tubes work, but I have learned you may want to put them in a container of soil. Also none of these things work if your kitty cat gets up in them and destroys the seedlings.
I made self watering containers for the tomato plants. My basic container is two 5 gallon buckets.
A brandywine tomato in one of the SW Containers
I use a plastic pot, which I put a piece of t-shirt material around to act as a screen; with holes in it fitted in the bottom of one, and drill another hole in the same bucket . I then put a couple of rocks or bricks in the other bucket and set the first bucket in it. I drill two or three drain holes in that bucket, just below where the second bucket sits. I then put dirt or rather compost in the top bucket adding water – first filling the small planter then the rest of the bucket. I put some watering wicks in a couple of them- I just cut up old t-shirts and string them through the dirt from the planting pot while adding the compost- I have a simple set of videos explaining this here <> These are great videos put up by Gary from Tomatofest.com all he asks is you give a donation to feedthechildren.org if you use the design. I made one pretty much the same as his and I must say the tomatoes are growing great! These containers are great for a couple of reasons:
1- No waste of water
2- You don’t have to water everyday- cool if you go out of town for a weekend and have to depend on your useless s/o to water
3- Drought- we are having a strange and rare occurrence of no rain this month- works real well to have these SW Containers.
POTATO CONDO- The potato condo is working like gang busters- I got 3 levels. This is an idea I got from the shiba guys. Since they didn’t want to give out their secrets, I assumed it works this way: Start with a simple box structure- add compost and potatoes to the first level.

Then add a level and more dirt until you see sprouts, then add another level and more dirt. Sort of like using the old tire method. Without the chemicals from the tires leeching into the compost. Haven’t harvested the potatoes yet, but got lots of nice green plants with pretty blossoms on them. The other advantage to this is that when I do harvest, I just need to remove the boards and no heavy digging!
NEW THINGS: Some of the new things I am trying this year:
FENNEL- I am growing my fennel in a bucket- I have harvested some already- the fennel is doing well

ARTICHOKES: I planted 1 artichoke to try growing it. I love artichokes and have ever since I was a boy. Plant is doing well

Fennel (above)

Artichoke (below)

WATERMELON: I know. Everyone says you can’t grow watermelons this far north, Well why not? I say- they grow cantaloupe in Minnesota
CHINESE CABBAGE or Napa Cabbage- delicious, Had to rip out as it was starting to bolt. It grew very well. Will plant again.

This gardening thing, like most things is a constant learning experience. I am having a good time learning and trying new things every day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Confessions of a plastic user

My name is Rob, and I am a plasti-holic. I recently did FPF's Plastic Gauntlet challenge,
and feel I failed miserably. I am no Fake Plastic Fish.
So here I am trying to write a post on responsible re-use of plastic waste. Some
of these are easy- I almost always have "Muggsly" (what? You don't name
your coffee mug?) in hand so coffee is not a problem- no paper cups with
plastic lids for me! I re-use plastic pop bottles for upside down
planters, and for bel cloches to protect plants from the cold. I have
started saving dog food cans- Yes they have BPA in their plastic
linings- I freeze water in them to make luminarias. I save ziplock bags and
wash them out (not as gross as it sounds) when I wash dishes in the
dishwasher. Just turn them inside out and stick them in- this was handy
when I was feeding Romeo natural pet food stew from the pet food pantry.
But I have since quit doing that since they won't come up with a
reasonable way to allow customers to bring in their own containers. That
and the last few times I was there they were out of the ziplock bags and
I just don't do deli plastic clamshells. So I returned to canned dog
food. I still make Romeo's ice cream treats, which he loves. And there
is plastic involved with that as well- I use plastic ice trays, which
make cylindrical shaped ice cubes, and I store them in a ziplock- one of
Romi's old dog food ones as a matter of fact.
I have quit feeling guilty about plastic vegetable bags so much as I
reuse them over and over, until they finally come to the end of their
life as Romeo's poop bags. I know not perfect but better. I reuse breads
bags over and over again as bags to put produce in, store things in,
etc. etc. They end their life in the same way as the produce bags.
Of course it wouldn't bother me if no bags were involved with buying
produce- Sometimes I get away with it- for examples when at Trader
Joe's, that bastion of plastic wrapping, I buy organic bananas or
potatoes singular. That way no plastic bag gets involved- and their
checkers are more than happy to just place them in the bag! Nothing
makes me angrier than a checker assumes I forgot the plastic wrap and
puts the item in a plastic bag for me! BTW anyone notice the plastic is gone from the
tips of the organic bananas at Trader Joe's?
I know there is room for improvement; I do recycle all my #1 AND #2 pete
containers. #5 would be nice if we had a Whole Foods store in the area
that 1- Was local and 2- Participated in the Preserve "Gimme Five"
program. But it doesn't appear that will happen soon. I would buy in
bulk but there again no stores in the area to do that- except for the
local health food store. I would buy milk in glass bottles but the only
store that offered it closed. And I just don't know what's better:
plastic milk jugs or paper-board boxes?
That brings me to pop- I don't drink a great deal of pop- not a Coke
addict. But I prefer bottles over cans. But cans don't bother me much as
they are recyclable. In fact it is cheaper for the soda companies to
make cans from recycled aluminum than new aluminum. Apparently the BPA
in the can is not a problem either. Who the hell knows where it goes? It
would be nice to have one of those new-fangled soda machines that Beth
uses, but I don't drink enough pop to warrant it. Dry Cleaning is not
much of an issue with me since I don't own much that needs dry cleaning.
And most of what I do own is okay to hand wash.
Yes I know recycling and re-using aren't perfect answers- but for now,
they work for me. And so does washing bags, reusing soda bottles,
Re-using dog food and tomato cans for luminarias.
You'll notice I don't mention Plastic shopping bags- I don't use them much. I
use reusable shopping bags or try to make an effort to use them - I do pretty well. Those I do get occasionally usually go back to the store for recycling.
1- Make bell cloches and planters out of plastic bottles.
2- Make Luminas out of cans and "solig lanterns" out of Crystal Light
3- Save plastic planters to use for next year. OR donate them to
something like Sustainable Burien to pot strawberry plants in them to
give them away! (I had wished they at least used Tully's coffee cups or
something similar but hey I am shy and didn't scream Bloody murder).
4-Sell and buy used- That way no new plastic is made for the item,
including packaging.
5. I do a lot of dehydrating. To keep from using plastic bags (for my
vacuum sealer the bags come on a roll, so even if I used them I only use
what is needed) I us mason jars and my vacuum sealer has an attachment to
vacuum pack the jars. Thanks to Chile for turning me on to the
Mason Jar attachment for my food sealer!
6- Buy products that are sent responsibly- I have bought a number of
products that are sent with packaging in mind- Thanks to Beth, I have
Skoy clothes, which are fantastic and Lunchbots and Tiffens for lunches.
All these products came sent very smart with little or no plastic
involved. The Skoy clothes are fantastic! They dry well and never get
moldy which is one of the things I have against sponges! And the
lunchbots and tiffens are great to they allow me to bring food to work
for lunches with no baggies. Even my lawnmower ( a Nueton Rechargeable)
was sent with impressive packaging- No Styrofoam, minimal use of plastic
bags (for small parts etc- and then they combine the parts in one bag
rather than a bag for each part) In place of styrofoam they used cardboard.
7- Never stop trying new ideas- whether it is something simple as using
toilet paper tubes and six pack holders for starting pots, or making
cloth out of shopping bags. I am open to trying new things.

So what say you? What hints do you have for reducing plastic waste?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Paul McCartney agrees with me

In yahoo news today, there was an article about Paul McCartney supporting launching a meat free Mondays campaign. I originally picked Wednesday as a Meat free day, but I suppose I can join Sir Paul and his daughters with Meat Free Monday. There is a website with recipes and more. So now Meatless Wednesday will become Meatless or Meat Free Monday. So join Sir Paul and I and eat no meat on Mondays! According to Mr. McCartney:

"I think many of us feel helpless in the face of environmental challenges, and it can be hard to know how to sort through the advice about what we can do to make a meaningful contribution to a cleaner, more sustainable, healthier world," McCartney said on the campaign's official website.

"Having one designated meat-free day a week is actually a meaningful change that everyone can make, that goes to the heart of several important political, environmental and ethical issues all at once," he added on http://www.supportmfm.org/.

And no I don't think this is a case of Celebrity cause for a day, as Paul and his late wife Linda certainly have shown they are serious about this cause in the past.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

6packs- My weekly challenge update

I bought this six pack of plants at the farmers market-such an ingeniuos way to sell plants- she just stuffed some newpaper in the bottom and filled with dirt-Hmmmm... gives me an idea for next years plant starting

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge- Year two, week 6

1. Plant something: My six pack of plants (corn, strawberries, mint and pumpkins) I bought at the Farmers’ Market; put my bird gourd plants in the ground;
2. Harvest something: Radishes, some scallions, strawberries
3. Preserve something: Dehydrated some jerky and vacuumed sealed in Mason Jars
4. Reduce Waste (recycle, reuse, reduce, repair or compost something): Donated some plant pots for Sustainable Burien to put strawberry plants in to give out at the Burien Strawberry Festival; some coffee grounds from Starbucks some in the worm bin, some directly in the soil (on my acid loving plants) and the rest in the compost- same thing coffee grounds from home and work; made some worm bedding out of newpaper; the usual recyling and composting
5. Preparation and Storage: Vacum sealed some beef jerky
6. Build Community Food Systems: Donated some plant pots for Sustainable Burien to put strawberry plants in to give out at the Burien Strawberry Festival; saved coupons for food bank to buy food
7. Eat the Food: radishes, used the scallions in an omelete; ate the strawberries while wlaking around watering the garden
8. Cook or eat something new: Nope

Melinda’s Growing Challenge :Transplanted the last of my tomatoes; planted the bird gourd plants

MELINDA'S BUY SUSTAINABLY CHALLENGE: But some parts to make a collapsible table (am using some pvc lattice strips I already had); bought some plants and bread at the farmers’ market

Friday, June 12, 2009

Six packs, collapsible tables and stir fry

Another great day at the farmer's market! I got these neat plants packed in a pop bottle six pack- Corn, strawberries, pumpkins and mint by one of the vendors- the B-town blog even did a write up on her. Very cool re-use! Totally compostable! On the home front-Instructables sent out a newsletter and how to make one of these neat collapsible tables

to take to a park- I have some Plastic PVC Lattice strips- so I might try to make one with variations! I might use pvc tubing for the legs and use some PVC fittings to screw it into.

Finally- I used up the last of my chinese cabbage in a great stir fry- chinese cabbage cut into 1" strips, a handful of pea pods, some broccoli fried in a wok with some sesame oil and soy sauce at high heat topped off with some Chile oil- very tasty!