Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 19

Plant something-
In the greenhouse: Some Chammomile seeds.

In the community garden plot: Tomato plants

Planted at home- Tomato plants, tomatillo, Fennel, lettuce, radish,

Harvest something: French sorrel, miner’s lettuce, radishes

Preserve something: nothing
Community: Gathered some Strawberry Plants from the front garden for the community garden.
Preparation: Made a bunch of seed tapes, DIY'ed a window box to plant herbs and window box roma tomatoes
Eat the food/eat something new: Salad with Sorrel, miners lettuce and Chinese cabbage from last week.
Waste not: Made up some seed tapes and planted.
Want not: Bought two kitchen cabinets from IKEA.

Well let's see- I planted all my tomato starts. And I built a window box for flowers, herbs and Window Box Roma tomatoes and a few tumblers.

Monday, May 30, 2011

DIY Seed Tape

I have been reading "I Garden: Urban Style" by Reggie Solomon and Michael Nolan, and they brought up the topic of homemade seed tapes.

Seed tapes can be a great work reducer in the garden. And save wasted seed. And labor (eliminates the time used for thinning). But commercial seed tapes are expensive! And you can't always find the variety of seed you want. I was first introduced to home made seed tape years ago, by a retired Navy cook, Chief Witte, or CW as we called him, who had a huge garden. A complete vacant lot he purchased next door to his house. Now, some people use Toilet paper or paper towels. But Chief Witte used newsprint. Just simply fold over a strip of newspaper, cut at the fold about 1 inch. Open it and using your gluestick or elmers school white glue, or a simple paste of flower and water, apply glue of your choice to on side of the fold, on the inside. Then place your seeds, at the appropriate spacing, then fold over. There you have an seed tape. Biodegradable as well. I just did this with some Chammomile seeds. They are incredibly small and fine. I used radish seeds for the pics.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Albert Einstein said: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have 4 years of life left.
No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

In New York City, urban beekeepers fought hard to make rooftop beekeeping legal last year. It is still illegal in 89 cities.

Urban beekeeper David Graves claims the bees are very happy on the rooftops of NYC.

He even sells the honey, raising awareness with every jar.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Benefit Concert for Relay For Life

My cousin's family, the Taylors, are putting on a country music concert to raise money for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. This cause is especially close to our hearts because in recent years we have lost loved ones to cancer. I hope you will consider supporting this event or just donating to the cause.

The details on the concert:
The concert will be held on Thursday, June 30th in The Kelley Farm, 20021 Old Sumner-Buckley Hwy, Bonney Lake, WA 98391Bonney Lake, WA.
Tickets are only $10. Jason Wyatt will be performing.
To support this great cause, you can order tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/176771
Or to find out more about Jason go to www.JasonWyattMusic.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Norwgian tek-now-All-o-gee at it's best

Norwgian tek-now-All-o-gee at it's best

Well for a party post today, I am featuring something made by my Uncle Art. A self propelled riding lawnmower! Really it is just for yard art, and something to threaten his grandkids with when they act up, which he claims never happens.

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 17
Well hell we had a week of good weather and my Chinese cabbage bolted. Luxky for me, It still tastes good and the flowers add a pretty to salad. I use it in omelets and such so is okay. Still I am up to my ears in the stuff!
Plant something-
In the greenhouse: Started some Dragon’s Tongue Beans- they seem to grow better started than just planted.
In the community garden plot: Kale
Planted at home- Kale , radishes, chard
Harvest something: Harvested- My Chinese Cabbage bolted, (just a week of warm weather!) so pretty much got all of it out before I plant more
Preserve something: nothing
Community: Supporting my Cousin’s family effort- they are putting on a concert to benefit American Cancer Society featuring Jason Wyatt
Preparation: Purchased a new frost proof Hose Bibb (spigot) for the front.
Eat the food/eat something new: Chinese cabbage salad, omelets featuring Chinese Cabbage
Waste not: Scavenged a delivery box - perfect Sq. foot garden planter
Want not: Purchased a new frost proof Hose Bibb (spigot) for the front, some lumber for the bike shed

Monday, May 23, 2011

Seahawks and Sounders see the light!

Qwest Field Event Center is a huge auditorium where events like Car Shows, trade shows home shows and Seahawks rallies are enjoyed. What is making this venue different than all others in the Seattle Area is the nearly the 2.5 acres the roof covers will be covered - this summer with solar panels.

The 3,750 solar panels will generate about 830,000 kilowatts of electricity per year, or enough to power 95 Seattle area homes. The system is scheduled to be up and running late this summer. The Qwest Event Center is located between Qwest Field and Safeco Field, and is operated by First and Goal, operators of The Seattle Seahawks and The Seattle Sounders and is funded largely in part by Paul Allen.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Plant a row for the hungry - Row Marker

Click to enlarge

If you are thinking of joining Fleecenik Farm's Plant A Row challenge, or have done it already, Here is a row marker. Especially useful for getting the message out if your garden is visible to others, or is in a community garden plot, just click the pick to enlarge and print and cut out. Then paste it on to a stick or whatever you use to mark your rows.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homemade Ginger Ale

Two Frugal Chicks is a local blog that teaches folks how to save big bucks couponing. They also have some great ideas like this one on how to make your own Ginger Ale. So I had to try it. Came out pretty good.

Combine 1/2 cup of freshly grated ginger, 1 cup of cane sugar, and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 9 minutes. Cool and strain.

To serve, add about a 1/3 cup of this ginger syrup to a chilled glass. Top with seltzer water and garnish with lime. Adjust proportions to taste. Serves 4 to 6. Refrigerate leftover syrup for later; the flavor intensifies.

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Cube- For Urban Homestead Living?

A tour of the Cube from Mike Page on Vimeo.

I am always thinking about retirement. Maybe the "CUBE" would be a perfect home. Certainly looks interesting. Of course I would need a large garage or outbuilding. To hold the solar panels. Yeah... that's right... to hold the solar panels.

Seems Kinda small, but with smart design, livable. Could you live in a small house with a small footprint?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 18

Plant something-
In the greenhouse:

In the community garden plot:

Planted at home- Some lettuce, some peas, some beans, transplanted the miners lettuce from community garden to home (I found out it likes shade), radishes, beets, chives, chard

Harvest something: Harvested- chives, garlic scapes, some salad greens (mesclun mix), some sprouts, sage leaves and sage flowers, some lettuce

Preserve something: Dried some sage flowers and sage leaves

Community: went to my first farmer's market of the year. Found many of my favorite vendors had returned again this year, as well as some new ones!

Preparation: Installed a new frost proof Hose Bibb (spigot) in the back to water the porch garden.

Eat the food/eat something new: Chives and Garlic scapes in some Potato and Leek soup, salad greens, chives and sprouts in a salad
Waste not: Obtained 2 bench style cushions and 2 lawn chairs and a table from a guy at work... using one of the cushions for a dog bed in the rear of my car, and the other as a cushion on a bench (or another dog bed since Romeo takes his afternoon nap on the bench) and gave the lawn chairs and table for use in the community garden. also Some cool planter boxes from same guy at work- that are perfect for the Square Foot gardening method, And a garden tool rack!

Want not: bought some leeks, asparagus and radishes at the farmers market, and some fresh baked bagels, baked in tukwila (the next town over) with Washington state sourced wheat.

Home garden- Some lettuce, some peas, some beans, transplanted the miners lettuce from community garden to home (I found out it likes shade), radishes, beets, chives, chard

Harvested- chives, garlic scapes, some salad greens (mesclun mix), some sprouts, sage leaves and sage flowers, some lettuce

Preserve something: Dried some sage flowers

Some cool planter boxes from same guy at work- that are perfect for the Square Foot gardening method

Monday, May 16, 2011

She's Baaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Green Bean, that stalwart of green superheroines, is back and blogging again!!! While she never actually left, doing time at the justice league of green super hero's -the Green Phone Booth, it's good to see her back at the Green Bean Chronicles. She's one bad mother clucker... WATCH YOUR MOUTH... Hey I'm just talking about Green Bean!

100 K

Well over the weekend, "Rob's World" hit a milestone with over 100,000 page views. 1069 posts with over 100K views. May not be news to anyone, especially those who get that many page views in a day or a week, but still 100K. Yay me!

Friday, May 13, 2011

You Just Love me for my Chard...

IF You Wait long enough, You get considered Sexy and In Vogue!I was reading an amusing little article on EcoSalon.com. It’s title is “Manscaping: These Guys Have Stems Attached"

Basically, besides obliterating the definition of Manscaping, they are saying that the new Young, virile garden boys are today's rugged macho men. Take a read and you decide! Good to know now I am considered sexy and not just a garden variety nerd.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ride that thar fish Tex...

You know I enjoy reading people who are getting into chickens and goats, even rabbits for backyard meat. But recently I have been reading about fish farming in your backyard- specifically Tilapia.
There's a good article on Yahoo! Green about tilapia, calling them the Chicken of the Sea. Now not wanting to confuse Jessica Simpson, the article calls tilapia that for it's thrifty value as a meat fish. There are a lot of advantages to having your own pond filled with tilapia- one you know the water is clean. 2) Another advantage is the fact that the footprint is fairly low, depending on were you live, and 3) you can even grow them in an aquarium, if the idea of a pond with a green house is too much for you.
Tilapia are nutritious good eating fish. Reminds me of Blue Gills. And I have seen them on the menus of some high fallutin places. Just never heard of anyone trying there hands at backyard tilapia growing on a small scale.And from what I have read it would be perfect for an Urban Homesteader! I have seen them in tanks at Uwajimaya Grocery store in Renton. So I was wondering if anyone out there knows of anyone who is doing their own fish farming practice? And no, stocking a private pond with trout does not count.
Anyway I was thinking, maybe when retirement comes in a few years, buying an aquarium and raising my own fresh fish. It's not like I haven't raised a gold fish or two in my day! If I did it would that make me a Fish Cowboy?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Outside Oslo Wall Art

I just love Jessica Jones fabric designs. Jessica writes the “How About Orange” Blog. And she designs great fabrics and ribbon. One of her designs, from her “Outside Oslo” line really captures my eye, the Outside Oslo Wildflower print in particular(must be my Norwegian heritage flashing up). So when she announced it was for sale online I jumped at the chance to turn one of her great fabrics into some wall art. I bought a yard of it, originally had planned to cover a bulletin board with it, but decided I didn't want to stick tacks and pins in it and cover it up with paper so I framed about half of it in a frame that would hide the circuit breaker box in my studio. Then I took two squares of fabric, mounted them in embroidery hoops for some accent art to compliment the big picture! The rest is destined for pillows or something.
I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekly Challenge Update

Independence Days Challenge Year 4, Week 17
Plant something-
In the greenhouse: Re-potted the Amaranth, the last of the tomato plants

In the community garden plot: Radishes

At home: Planted a second square of carrots for the Plant A Row program/challenge

Harvest something: Some lettuce, some Chinese cabbage, sorrel, miners lettuce
Preserve something:
Community: Very gratifying to see a lot of the Community Garden members come out to work at our first work party of 2011.
Preparation: Repaired two heavy duty extension cords, ordered the stuff to make my Solar Generator (finally!)
Eat the food/eat something new: just salad with lettuce, Chinese cabbage, sorrel, miners lettuce
Waste not: Repaired two outdoors extension cords, re-used a butt load of little plastic pots found in trash!
Want not: ordered the stuff to assemble my Solar Generator;

In the greenhouse: Re-potted the Amaranth, the last of the tomato plants
In the community garden plot: Radishes
At home:
Very gratifying to see a lot of the Community Garden members come out to work at our first work party of 2011. Dumb ass that I can be, I forgot to bring my camera.

Plant a Row for the Hungry- Planted a second square of carrots for the Plant A Row program/challenge

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Award Winning "Rob's World Blog"

I just received an award!!! THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD! LOL I had to look at twice- the first time I thought it said Versatile Bugger
In any case, the Versatile Blogger Award was passed on to me from Chile Chews. Y’all know I just love Chile’s Matter of Fact blogging style. She don’t take crap from no one! Unless you are a farmer giving away manure!
As part of the award process, I am to share seven things with my readers that you may not know. And like Chile, I've been blabbing online for years, now that's hard to come up with!

I AM CRAZY about mysteries. Not just detective stories. My favorites have to have an animal involved. I actually get cranky when I think my favorite author of all time, Ms. Rita Mae Brown and her co-author and pet cat, Sneaky Pie, don’t come out with a new Mrs. Murphy series installment when I think they should.

I AM ADDICTED TO CSI and NCIS- I can and do watch episodes of those crime shows over and over again.

I AM ALSO ADDICTED TO Infomercials. There I said it. You want my attention do it in an infomercial. Works for Ron Popeil, Billy Mays and Jack LaLaine! But your infomercial actually has to be a product that I can see the good in purchasing! No ShamWow’s at this house! Honestly, I have nothing against Sham Wow's- I think that anything that will keep you from using a forest worths of paper towels is good. But Vince, really? He reminds of those A-Holes from High School

I OCCASIONALLY RUB SHOULDERS WITH THE RICH AND FAMOUS- Have I ever mentioned I have met Wayne Newton? For my Birthday a few years back we went to Las Vegas. And one of the highlights was my Birthday Dinner was at one of the local casinos there in Vegas with a show starring Mr. Vegas himself!And after the show we had a meet and greet with him! To prove it here is a picture of me and Wayne.

ME and my friend Wayne…That’s Mr. Newton to use guyz.

I HAVE WORKED AT THE SAME PLACE FOR HALF MY LIFE- That was a hard to swallow when I realized it.

I HAVE THOUGHTS about writing a book about my DIY Adventures, but that’s probably something I won’t do.

NOW: I need to pass this on to five other bloggers:

1 Fleecenik Farm- talented knitter, Mother of two, wife of one, works real hard on her family's homestead in Maine

2- Cheap Vegetable Gardener- Inventor, fellow NW Gardener who likes to keep me busy with projects and Ideas in the garden

3- 4 Bushel Farm- very talented seamstress, she always fascinates with idea and projects in turning 2Nd hand clothing into new fashion!

4- Green Roof Growers - amazing garden and chicken projects from their roof top garden in Chicago

5- All of you reading this- why not?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Get rid of that Junk In your Trunk and save $$$

This is a repost of a post I did on Sept. 5, 2008. With gas over $4 a gallon, I think it is as timely today as when I posted it.-Rob

Before- my trunk runneth over
I found a new way to increase the gas mileage of my vehicles. Unload your trunk. Today's cars are built for very little tolerance of weight.This is a trick from hyper milers- they will not only unload the trunk, they will take out seats and the spare tire, and other things I am just not ready to do. But I can unload the crap out of my trunk. Upon a recent inventory of my trunk, I have a bag of rocks (for landscaping), a bag of top soil, miscellaneous tools,Cans of paint, which weigh in all total approximately 160 pounds or 1 average person. "Hey fat ass, get outta my car!" Anyway with that all removed and a few items from the back seat- (Amazing how one person can get all this into one sub-compact car, but hey when you have talents...). And the next time you have a flat and don't have to spend an hour taking everything out of your trunk to get to the spare, you'll thank me.

What? You don't carry a 60 pound bag of crushed marble in your trunk?

Now it is clean ORGANIZE-

Now some folks like to put organizers in there car to keep things separate. And I have seen these things for sale at ridiculous prices! I say scaaaaaaareeeeeeew that and use what you got. You can put things in plastic grocery bags even. Me- I choose to use all the lap top bags I have. This way you can reuse an item and organize your trunk at the same time. I have also used 1 gallon plastic plant pots(for loose tools), milk crates. Anything that fits.

After- Clean and light! Yes I know it still needs vacumming!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dude your bathroom smells like salad...

In a moment of weakness, I succumbed to my consumeristic ways of old, and bought a Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner (I know... the shame). Never satisfied with how the detergent in the bottle worked, my big disappointment was you couldn't re-fill the bottle with your own cleaner. Disheartened but not down, I went to my workbench to see what I could do.

I took the bottle out of the shower cleaner, grabbed a pair if channel lock pliers and carefully forced the old cap off.
Then I refilled it with Vinegar, with a touch of essential oil (lavender) And now I have an automatic shower cleaner that Re-Fills with a more environmentally friendly cleaner. I am thinking a person could just fill a sprayer bottle with vineagar and spray after a shower, but hey I already bought the shower cleaner. Thus endeth my eco confession.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Well, let's see, for a party post this week I made some more Solar Tiki Torches... I made some last year, and made some more this year! Very easy to make, about 1/10th the cost of factory made ones. I got some Tiki Torches and some solar lights at Dollar Tree, take the cap off with the wick, with a plier make the hole big enough to fit the solar lamp base minus the post you stick in the ground, and VOILA you have a solar tiki Torch for $2!

you may have to bend the hole to make the lamp fit

I only party down with the best at:

Hump Day link