Friday, April 29, 2011

One Small Change- LED Lightbulbs

I have a new small change- I am slowly replacing Compact FLuorescent's with Light EmittingDiode light bulbs. Note I said slowly as it makes no sense to get excited and change out my trusty CFL's before they burn out (And at $10 a pop for the LED's, dollar wise as well) Also, because the light is dimmer, I will have to make decisions on whether or not to change in some areas as I need light in those areas- like my kitchen (DOn't want to lop off a finger- especially the middle one- I need it for driving). I have CFL's in my fixture and don't think I should change until A- the LED's get cheaper and B- they become Brighter. But I did change the only incandescent lamp left in the house- the Laundry/Pantry. Couldn't before as that lamp is on a motion sensor that would not work with a CFL- but works fine with the LED. And I changed the porch light to a LED. Don't really notice a difference, and one of my reading lamps to LED- which takes some getting used to. I put the lamp on my "Kill-A-Watt" style meter and it came out at 1.5 watts! Pretty cool if I say so myself!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Upcycled Garden product for Kids!

You know we have all seen the little garden starter kits. They have been around for years. Northrup King use to have one when I was a kid for tomato plants. Poke holes in a plastic tray, water, sit in a sunny window sill and you have a little green house of tomato plants. Well, Terra Cycle, on of my favorite companies, takes it to a new level, They are selling growing kits for kids made from up-cycled Stony Fields yogurt containers, with a growing medium made from compost and their famous worm poop. They sell them in a Vegetable kit, Herb Kit and a Flower Kit (Flower Kit is Temporarily out of stock as of this posting) Great way to teach kids about reusing, composting, growing! Makes me wish I was a kid again!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Get An Email!

This is brilliant recycling. Lynn


Seal Plastic Bags with Old Bottle Caps

Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top, as in photo.

Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top to seal.
Seal Plastic Bags with Old Bottle Caps
The bag is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak, the secret lies with the top and screw cap!

Zip-top bags are great, but sometimes you buy something in bulk and you're stuck with an unsealable bag.

My response
Lynn, I don't know if I would call it Brilliant Recycling considering you have to purchase a water bottle and something in a plastic bag. I think the world would be better off with a person using a Re-useable Water Bottle and purchasing nuts and using a jar or a re-useable mesh produce bag instead of a plastic bag, but that being said, It is a brilliant Re-use idea as long as you remember to use both parts of the water bottle for other things!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 16
Plant something-
In the greenhouse: Repotted most of the tomatoes. Potted a pepper plant (impulse buy) To leave in the green house

In the community garden plot: Some Chard, carrots, beets, leeks, broccoli, radishes, daikon, Kohl Rabi, deer tongue (mache), borage

At home: Kohl Rabi, radishes, chrysantimum greens, Artichoke, beans, peas

Harvest something: Thinnings, some garlic scapes
Preserve something:
Community: getting the first community garden work party planned with my colleagues on the board ; Planted my “row” for Fleecenik Farm’s Plant A Row Challenge
Preparation: Made some hanging baskets and topsy turvey planters
Eat the food/eat something new: garlic scapes and thinning in tuna salad,
Waste not: Junk lying around for topsy turvey and hanging planters. Old lumber to build up a bed in the front yard It is pressure treated so using for a ornamental bed. Figured out how to reuse the bottle on my Mr. Clean Automatic shower cleaner ( again, an impulse buy) and will try using a vinegar solution in it.
Want not: bought a case of vinegar for cleaning and garden use.

Okay got out of my soy corn dog rut, made a green tea soup with rice and kelp. Bought some chocolate eggs for easter, ate one.

Planted my Ed Hume Carrot seeds that the Ed Hume Seed company sent at the community garden

In the greenhouse: Repotted most of the tomatoes. Potted a pepper plant (impulse buy) To leave in the green house
In the community garden plot: Some Chard, beets, leeks, broccoli, radishes, daikon, Kohl Rabi, deer’s tongue (mache), borage
At home: Kohl Rabi, radishes, chrysantimum greens, Artichoke, beans, peas

Very excited- my first amaranth seeds have sprouted in the greenhouse. Very excited to try amaranth leaves!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Plant a Row for the Hungry/Free Seeds for it

Well I got my "row" planted in Fleecenik Farms "Plant a Row" Challenge. Or in my case... I got my square planted (since I am a devotee of Square Foot Gardening). And I found out that the Ed Hume Seed Company will give a package of seeds for those who participate in the National Garden Writers Association's Plant A Row drive. Ed, a local garden writer and television personality sent me a package of carrot seeds to plant in my row/square. To sign up for the challenge, head on over to Fleecenik Farm Blog. To get a free packet of seeds for it, go here to Ed Hume Seed Company. I may have to plant another square at home, since I have seeds left over!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

At least I now Know What the green stands for...

I would be remiss, since this is Earth Day Week not to post a rant!!! (A rant? on Earth week???) Relax my green bunnies. My rant is on Planet Green. When Planet Green debuted I had hopes of a channel to show my kind of tv, Shows about conserving, saving, homesteading. And at first it was good. But lately all I see are shows on Jesus Christ, Fishing, and no more of the shows I love like Wasted, Living Like Ed, What Happened Planet Green? Succumb to advertiser pressure? Joining the MTV thang? (MTV When I was young and it had just started actually played MUSIC for christ sakes- now it is all Jersy Shore-Jackass-Snooky loving bullshit). Oh jest a rerun everynow and then of Living like Ed or Emeril Green. Is that to much to ask, you Corporate Media Assholes? Well I should of known- Same folks that produce DIY Network and of course all my favorite shows there are cancelled as well. Oh well at least I got an idea what the 'green' in Planet Green stands for!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Well Happy Earth Day everyone. There is so much to do and to learn on Earth Day. A little history about the 41 years of Earth Day (from Earth

"On April 22, 1970, Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator, founded the first Earth Day in an attempt to bring about a better understanding of the affect we have on our planet, and calling us to take action to make positive environmental changes in our community. The first Earth Day was attended by 20 million Americans nationwide, from college campuses to town halls, and giant teach-ins were organized in New York City and Philadelphia, the latter event turning into a seven-day event known as Earth Week.

This small attempt to start something of this scale on the national level brought millions of people to band together in their neighborhoods, starting grassroots campaigns to help revolutionize the way we handled waste, recycling, power consumption, and conservation in general. That event set a powerful precedent for the rest of the world, eventually inspiring more than 140 nations all around the globe to have their own Earth Days.

By the year 1990, over 200 million people on Earth were participating in the event, making it one of the most-attended organizational activities ever created, even being called “the largest secular holiday in the world” by the Earth Day Network, the nonprofit organization that is in charge of the event on an annual basis since its inception in 1990."

Here is a link to free Earth Day Poster from the Earth Day .org site!

How I Celebrate Earth Day:

Simple. I take romeo for a walk to the community garden tp do some planting, then onto a starbucks for a coffee and a couple of dog treats.

So, how do you and yours celebrate Earth Day?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day=Black Friday?

I am a bit amused at all the Earth Day Deals. When I was a kid, and Earth Day was started, it was a day for celebrating the earth and doing good projects like picking up litter, planting trees. Now it seems to me, it has become an opportunity for stores that can't wait to get on the "Greenwashing" Band Wagon.
Anyway, here are some sweet deals for tomorrow
  • At participating Starbucks, you can bring in a reusable mug on April 22 to get free brewed coffee or tea.
  • Lowe's is giving away one million trees on April 23
  • All 394 U.S. national parks have free admission now through Sunday, April 24.
  • Disney stores will offer a number of promotions, including selling $2.50 reusable tote bags that support The Nature Conservancy's Plant A Billion trees in South America's Atlantic Forest campaign. (You can buy your own tree for a dollar directly from TNC.)
  • Babies 'R' Us: Reusable shopping bags make an appearance every Earth Day, but this year Babies 'R' Us is going one step further. With an online coupon that's valid through April 22, customers can get a free tote bag and 25 percent off all clothing and shoes that fit inside.

  • Walgreens: Between April 18 and April 22, Walgreens customers can get 22 percent off a variety of green items, from cleaning supplies to beauty products. From April 22-25, the company also said that it would donate 30 percent of the sales from products from its Earth Day store to the World Wildlife Fund.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hundstol Doggy High Chair

I am thinking this is just a joke... or is it??? Just wanted to share with Ikea fans... it is toooo real and funny!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 15

Plant something-

In the greenhouse: Nothing- waiting to repot!

In the community garden plot: Some Chard,

At home: Found one of my artichokes from last year either reseeded or wintered over- transplanted.

Harvest something: Dandelion greens and flowers

Preserve something:

Community: Started digging up some strawberry plants to plant at the Community Garden to share with others.

Preparation: Finished Bucket garden 2.0;

Eat the food/eat something new: dandelion greens in a salad

Waste not: scrap lumber making new garden bed borders Is pressure treated so using for a ornamental bed

Want not: Bought a new printer via Craig’s list; decided not to replace my computer- the dvd drive went out- both of them! Instead I bought an external DVD ROM drive for my netbook that works also on my PC.10% of the cost and almost none of the shipping packaging waste. Works fine. Soy Corn Dogs for dinner again. No wonder I get into ruts! But I love them!

Monday, April 18, 2011

If you can't beat them... eat them

Imagine, if you will, a vegetable that is so prolific it grows almost anywhere, seeds itself, doesn't need watering. OMFG you say, where can I get this wonderful plant?


Your back yard, streetsides, parks, Fields. I am talking about dandelions!

Dandelions get a bad rap, and yahoo green agrees. My top pick on my foraging list, from dandelion fritters to salad and soup, dandelions even make wine! So obnoxious weed or super food? I am inclined to the latter, but you decide!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bucket Garden 2.0

This is one of those round TUIT posts. I finally got around to one of those nagging projects. My Bucket Garden 2.0! I already use those pickle buckets and such for Self Watering Planters, but I wanted to have a better way to look at them, especially in the front yard! Very easy actually, I pounded in posts at the corners and the end of the boards, then just screwed on the 1" X 6" X6' cedar fencing boards, and put the buckets behind it. When filled with dirt and growing plants, my guess is you won't even see the buckets at all! Or maybe I will just put some mulch on the lids to hide my lazy ass ways.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I get so jealous of all of the bloggers who have chickens. I have been reading “THE URBAN HOMESTEAD” by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, part of their book makes a lot of sense to my chicken decision. They writes in their book if you have “vampire hours” (Which I do) chickens are probably not for you. So my hopes of having three little ladies in my back yard, while not dashed, but postponed until I retire and have the time to go out in the morning and let them out of their coop. And lets say I am more than disappointed, but folks, reality has to take center stage with me once in awhile and considering your talking about an animal, I have to think of them first! Chickens need some of your time and care to live healthy, wonderful lives. That and the fact they wake up about the time I fall asleep just won’t work. So I will hold off joining the chicken fray. For now. (Just 4 more years to retirement!!!) Or until someone invents a breed of chicken that keeps Swing Shift hours.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How I Frame My Posters

Y'all know how much I love Propaganda posters, and you may or may not remember I ordered some modern day propaganda posters from Victory Garden of Tomorrow. Well they came and The Ikea Ribba Frames I selected with a mat built in didn't show the whole poster The mat opening wasn't big enough) So off to the store I went and got some different mats. Same problem. Then I remembered a trick one of my Teacher friends showed me when framing childrens art:

I cut colored poster board the size of the frame, and took a glue stick and glued the poster onto the poster board. Then I framed the whole thing. Looks good. Or rather good enough. I also framed a few other posters, one from the BIAS Art Space (I love my giant metal lady) to remember all the good times when it was around, and a poster from an MG Show I participated in.
I only party down with the best at:
Hump Day link

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 14
Plant something- In the greenhouse: Started bell peppers, Lemon Cucumbers, pickling cucumbers

In the community garden plot: Chives

At home: Planted potatoes in the Potato Grow Bags I ordered

Harvest something: Just some sprouts

Preserve something: Dehydrated some sweet potatoes (both to use in soups and as dog treats); Community: Community Garden orientation today

Preparation: getting planting boxes ready; making tomato cages

Eat the food/eat something new: Nada

Waste not: scrap lumber and fencing making tomato cages

Want not: Installed new shower head (2 gallon per minute) Slowly installing LED Light bulbs in strategic areas

Do without

I was very good this week. Friday for dinner I had Corn Dogs- Yes I said Corn Dogs. I had bought some Soy Corn Dogs from Trader Joes. No candy, bought no mochas or lattes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Celebrating Arbor Day

Arbor day is celebrated the 2nd Wednesday of April in Washington State. To see when Your state celebrates, click HERE. Traditionally, most of the states celebrate the last Wednesday of April. Anyway, this year I am not planting a tree. I usually try to plant a tree, an apple or such (last year it was a Peach), But I am tree'd out. But fear not. I planted two Red Currant Bushes this year, instead of a tree. Also to celebrate, one could make a purchase of trees to be planted in national forests and such, through the arbor day foundation, or check with your local city, county or state to see where volunteer oppurtunities exist. Or just plant one in your own yard.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


As usual I am a little late to the party:I am still reading the first book!
From the Take back Urban Homesteading FB Page:

The publishers of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living is being threatened by the Dervaes' lawyers as the book is launching. For an entire week we will spread the word about the book via fb, blogs, and the web. Here is the web page link for ordering the book:

Be sure to order the book directly from their website so they get the full profit. If you buy from Amazon then Amazon will get a cut of the profit.

Like I said, I am in the middle of the first UH Book by Rachel Kaplan. So it will be a week or so until I order the second. I do like the phrase/subtitle "Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living".

Friday, April 8, 2011

Try Craft Stick Bending

I found a new craft to add to my reportoire... Craft Stick Bending. Looks like a fun way to spend a rainy day (And we get lots of those!) Anyway, wander on over to and see what all there is to make! I can't wait to try my hand at bending yard sticks!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Lens Cleaner!

Okay, so the packaging leaves a lot to be desired, but I recently bought a pair of glasses at Costco and came across this lens cleaner kit. 2 bottles of cleaner and a travel bottle, 2 clothes, and a handy 6 in 1 screwdriver tool. What I like is they are refillable bottles, and Costco Optical has a handy refill station right there.And the refills are free! Makes for a nice day! And while I was waiting for my new glasses, a gal sauntered up to the refill station and refilled her bottles. Well you know, skeptic that I am, I asked her how long she has been doing this- "about 3 years" she answered. So I was sold.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DIY Topsy Turvey Planters

I think those topsy turvy tomato planters are so cool. When my friend, Cheap Vegetable Gardener came up with a cheap way to make them, I had to do it. And theses are how I made out. Made out of trash and duct tape, they actually work pretty good in our climate. I have also used then for herb planters. CVG has since changed how he makes these

And this year, I am going to try these:

Photo: Ikeahacker

I have a small confession: I did not make these topsy turvy pots- yet. Why? It is not tomato season in Seattle. I did, however, buy the stuff to make them. So I am ready to go on this. These neat Topey Turvy pots were made by "Ninjarita", in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who likes to make use of Ikea in her garden. She makes inexpensive Topsy Turvey type planters, and uses Ikea wastebaskets and storage containers for planters. Take a peak of her Ikea inspired garden. There are instructions there as well. Really cool especially if you find what you need in the Ikea As Is section. There you are buying used and keeping it from the waste stream.
I only party down with the best at:
Hump Day link

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 14
Plant something-

In the greenhouse: Ever the optimist, started some Habenero and Jalapeno peppers, started some Bell peppers;

In the community garden plot: Rosemary and Thyme; Onion Chives

At home: Bought 2 Red Currant Bushes to plant and celebrate Arbor Day; added another rhubarb plant to the rhubarb patch ; Planted some spearmint and pepper mint in pots

Harvest something: Some sprouts; foraged some chickweed as well

Preserve something: Nada

Community: Attending a Community Garden Board meeting Today!

Preparation: Made a soil block maker and shared how on my blog!

Eat the food/eat something new: Strawberries “Shortcake” Strawberries and whipped cream over biscuits- great for breakfast! Some foraged chickweed in a salad.

Waste not: Used an old clamshell to start seeds; reusing pop bottles to plant the wall garden Want not: Bought 2 Red Currant Bushes to plant and celebrate Arbor Day Made it through this winters frozen bun’s challenge. Did not get a cold this year. I survived by wearing sweatshirts, using my snugglie, and my electric warming throw blanket. The boys survived with help from their “Petzzz” Heated Pillows. And Romeo survived with help from the electric throw as well. With an occasional Sammy Cat visit. Well my first fail on this one… I forgot about meatless Friday and had chicken legs for lunch. Oh well, dust myself off, wipe the chicken grease from my chin and start over again.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Early Spring Walk

Basil starts in the green house

Thought I would post some pics of an early spring walk around the community garden and ending up in the green house:

Garlic scapes in my plot

Below: some interesting trellis designs made by friends Matt and Catherine

out of bamboo:

Sugar peas in Catherine's garden The Rob Johnson Memorial Greenhouse

Clint Eastwood Rowdy Red And Spoon Tomatoes make an appearance A Purple Vienna Kohl Rabi start
Black Prince tomatoes! Lots of fried green tomatoes and salsa if these tomatoes all come out ok
and lots of leek and potato soup if these leeks all get big