Monday, April 30, 2012

A Little Gardening Humor

A joke I found on Facebook... good enough to share here!

An old gentleman lived alone in New Jersey . He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

"Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. Love, Papa"

A few days later he received a letter from his son.
"Dear Papa, Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.
Love, Vinnie"

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

"Dear Papa, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances".

Friday, April 27, 2012

Independence Days Challenge Week of 4/27

The Window Box garden
Plant: Planted romaine lettuce, chard, Red Sails lettuce in the window box garden; Peas, beans and Cauliflower in the community plot;
Harvest: Dandelion leaves, Romaine lettuce leaves, Arugula leaves
Preserve ; Trying re rooting a celery plant and some spring onions
Prepare: Finally got the down spout on the gutter and into the rain Barrel!
Local Foods: Harvested my own!
Community: DOnated some tomato plants to the food bank garden; Attended a fundraiser for the Environmental Sciennce center; attnded a fundraiser for a gall with cancer
Eat the food: Dandelion leaves, arugula and lettuce combined in a salad
Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle: Found a wastebasket just rolling around on the street, it became a garden container! Big Gulp cups as garden containers!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arbor Day 2012

Well a little late, but better than never! This arbor day, I had planned to attend the Burien Arbor day celebration held at a park almost next door, but didn't get too as I had a Dr. appointment. The past few years I have planted columnar apple trees, a cherry, a peach tree, huckleberry, elderberry and blueberry bushes and 3 Camellia Senensis (tea plant). This year I planted 3 Pacific crabapple  trees, and gave 5 to a coworker. So my tradition lives on!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

'Sup, Tex?

Found these old cowboy boots discarded So of course y'all know how my mind works... what to do with them. My first thought was make Romeo size cowboy boy boots out of them but since I lack the nessecary cobler-sewing-leather working skills to do that, I made a planter... at least if the plants die... I can say they died with their boots on!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Weekend

I celebrated the weekend in grand fashion! I attended the Environmental Science Center annual Earth day dinner fundraiser and auction. Where I won a quilt. (Don't ask me how much I bid for it). Had a nice dinner, And on Saturday, I did a bit of work in the garden and yard, bought some Tomato plants to donate to the Highline Food Bank garden, then I met up with my cousin Sue and her daughter Katy for a sandwich at Hey Paison! followed by a Casino Themed party for my Cousin Jessica's 40th Birthday.

On Sunday I went to a benefit showing of the movie Down By Law, a quite surprisingly good movie, at the Tin Room Theater. The Tin Theater and t's counterpart the Tin Room Bar & Grill are one of the best examples of Re-Use around... both were an old Tin shop and converted to a bar and later the movie theater and feature a bunch of the items from the old tin shop. The benefit was for a friend of mine's sister whom has cancer.  So all in all a pretty good weekend full of sunny weather, good friends and good food!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Independence Days Challenge for the week of 4/20

 Horsetail- who knew they were edible and delicous with butter and garlic
My re-used head board pea trellis

Harvest: Catsear greens,dandelion greens, Horsetail, Dock, Shotweed and Nettles; chard, sorrell, spring onions, kale; some Fennel fronds that wintered over and has new growth
Prepare: Cleaned out my old bed at the community garden and prepped the new one! Vleaned out the window box and relined it with new planters that just fit from the Dollar Tree;
Local Foods: Catsear, Horsetail, Dock, Shotweed and Nettles
Community: Took a foraging class with Sustainable Burien
Eat the food: Steamed Horsetail with a garlic butter sauce, Catsear and Dandelion greens, spring onions and sorrell  in a Mache salad; tried the shotweed and dock raw. Nettles in tea.
Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle: Reused a head board I was planning on for another garden project in the garden plot for a pea trellis; found a pair of used cowboy boots to use as a planter

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Great Re-Used Items in the community garden!

My pea trellis

You know, I was going to use this headboard to make a "Garden Bed", but I needed a trellis for my community garden plot! Well, sometimes things work out, and I have a nice pea trellis in my bed!
These shutters make great trellises as well
Reusing old pots as smaller pots is a great way to reuse cracked/chipped pots and extend the life of the pot!
Tomato Cages turned upside down make great Pea trellises as well!
Many of our tools are also re-used or recycled like this wheelbarrow. The old tire was frozen on the axle, so I replaced it with a tire from a childs bike... Works great!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Introducing Wabi

A new tequila? No. Wabi is a new group in Burien advocating walking and Bicycling. It was started ny friends and acquaintances of mine who are big into biking and walking. And social advocacy. And events to support the idea. And they are trying to put up bike racks all over town, something the former city councils seemed to have forgotten, even while portraying Burien as a "bike friendly" city. So take a look at the WABI site,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weed Eaters

The Whole Group- notice the man and dog on the right! Picture from RED RED CIRCLE / Maureen Hoffman
Bedstraw (which grows crazy around my house) and Shot Weed
 Picture from RED RED CIRCLE / Maureen Hoffman

On Sunday, I went with my Sustainable Burien group on a foraging hike. Around a local park on Puget Sound, Seahurst Park. The hike was headed Master forager, Melany Vorass, and she explained many kinds of different edible weeds Catsear, Horsetail, Dock, Shotweed and Nettles, including how to cook with the different varieties, what parts to eat, what could be poisonous, etc. I have a lot of books on this but need expertise like Melany's on actual picking. Great class!

More on the SUBU weed eating walk thru class at my friend  Maureen's Blog!
Melany Vorass on the Internet:
Essential Bread
Weed Cuisine

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Small Change: Smaller Trash Can

Been a while since I did a small change..I kept looking at my trash on pick up days, it was always 1/2 full. I did some research and found that I could get an insert installed in my trash barrel in effect changing it from 35 gallons down to 20. Should be more than sufficient for me thanks to composting, recycling and reusing I never have that much trash. Saves 780 gallons of trash a year and a little money. TWOFER!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Independence Days week of 4-13

Plant: Started Chrysanthemum green .Planted Daikon
Harvest:Dandelion greens; Micro greens
Preserve: Froze some Fried Rice made for a retirement party and leftover
Prepare:getting existing beds and SIP's ready, getting new SIP's ready
Local Foods:Nada
Eat the food: Dandelion and Micro greens in a mixed salad
Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle: Just general recycling, composting

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Help Blitzkreig Fight!

Blitzkreig Cancer Treatment Fund

If you know blogger Lisa Nelson-Woods, of Condo Blues fame, then you obviously have met her Pekingese companion and muse, Blitzkrieg.
Photo property of Condo Blues/Lisa Nelson-Woods

Well, Lisa posted sad news- Little Blitzy has lymphoma, a form of cancer. And she has started a fund to help pay for Blitzy's treatment. And I encourage all of you to donate. Poor little dog has had a hard life before Lisa and her husband rescued him- he was beaten and kicked, resulting in him losing an eye (that's why he always looks like he is winking at you), and a tooth- after all the horror of his past life, he found a home full of love with Lisa, And he learned some tricks, and works hard at shows and pet charities as an example of what a rescue can do! And you know, I cant even imagine what I would do if my dog Romeo, was going through the same thing. So even if all you can give is $5 or $10 I encourage you to do so. And let's help this little fellow beat this cancer!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Praise of Electric Yard Tools...

Lawnmowers are a way of life. You can choose an electric  or non corded electric for your yard. Some yards are just too big for that. Manufacturers are working hard on a solar powered lawnmower,  but for the most of us an Electric or Non-corded (battery powered) electric will do just fine. Couple that with a full implement of electric yard tools and you should be able to take great care of your yard. All the yard tools above are sold at Clean Air Gardening

Top Ten Reasons Electric/Battery Powered Yard Tools Are Better:

  1. Never have to pull start 
  2. Never have to fill with gasoline
  3. Never have to cart around gasoline cans
  4. Never have to mix oil and gas
  5. Never have to tune up the engine/motor
  6. 3- words- Plug 'N Play- you can use different tools from one power source
  7. No Emissions
  8. Lower Noise pollution
  9. Electrics are cheaper to run
  10. Electrics are more environmentally friendly

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chicken Ranch... Eggceptional lays!

This is the first entry into my ReUse Hall of Fame- reserved to people out there in the interwebs who go one step beyond to make purposefull stuff out of garbage.

Exhibit #1
I found this great blogpost on re-using a child's play house as a Chicken coop. Best. Re-use. Ever. My favorite part? The sign on the door "Chicken Ranch... Eggceptional lays"

Monday, April 9, 2012

Independence Days Challenge: Week Ending 4/6

Plant: Started Cabbage,Tomato- Cherokee purple; Tomato- Oregon Spring;Tomato- Super Sioux Pepper- Early Jalapeno; Bell Pepper; Squash, Spaghetti; Cucumber-Lemon; Brussels Sprouts;Fennel.Planted Chard, Corn Salad (mache) Arugula, romaine lettuce, Nasturtiums,
Harvest:Dandelion greens;
Local Foods:
Community:Helped Steve and John in the Food Bank Community Garden;
Eat the food: Dandelion greens in a mixed salad
Repair, Re-use, Reduce, Recycle: Made a few more SIP planters;

Friday, April 6, 2012

Please think Twice before buying a bunny or chick for easter

Please. Don't. Buy a chocolate bunny instead.
You see, a lot of folks don't know how expensive and how much responsibility owning a bunny can be.
I learned the hard way.

Years ago, some friends learned that I was thinking (thinking mind you) of getting a couple of rabbits. When I bought this old barn- there was a hutch out back.
But I digress...
Anyway, Sammya and Jordan decided I was the one to take their bunny. They got this bunny, a doe, by accident. They wanted a buck. So they got a buck. And completely ignored the doe. Left in a cage all the time, with no interaction. So when they heard I was thinking of a rabbit they gifted Redeye to me. Well, long story short (I know- too late) Redeye was an okay rabbit- now remember I always had puppies and kitties... and a pygmy hamster before. Well I soon found out having a rabbit can be a lot of work! And expense, Vets, while wonderful people, need to make a living so they charge for things like cutting Rabbit nails and filing down teeth. (depending on whether you are prepared to learn how to cut their nails, watch their teeth etc.etc.) I didn't learn how to cut her nails, so to the vet every couple of months or so.  Then the teeth. Of course I am no expert on Bunny Orthodontics, but there were a couple of issues there as well.
Well Redeye lived to a fairly old age.
But I can't help think if her life would have been better had Sammy and Jordan not wanted a bunny. Or if I hadn't seen that damned hutch. And honestly Redeye never lived in the Hutch. She liked looking at me, the dogs and cats so much I never had the heart to make her move out to the hutch. Now if your child wants a pet and can take care of a bunny, then by all means get a bunny. But if they think it is just something that takes car of it's self, then please reconsider and go for chocolate.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sup(p)er Model

Television... The ultimate MEME; I am so ready for my moment in the spot light. To know I am loved by the camera and all the little people that got me here...

OK.. so maybe the camera don't love me, but that didn't stop me from reviewing three great restaurants in the Seattle area for an episode of Check Please NW on local PBS Station KCTS 9. (Ot airs Locally tonight at 7pm on KCTS channel 9 or after the air date here on your computer The show's host, Amy Penington is a local cookbook and gardening author and actually has a business of making and upkeep of urban farms. My fellow reviewers/guests Fieri and Katie, seemed to like my choice of restaurant- Hey Paison in Burien. Honestly- I could get used to the star lifestyle.... Taping day I went to the KCTS Studios, sat in the "greenroom" they did my "hair" (the hairdresser, he liked me the best- all he had to do was comb out my beard!) And got my make-up done- lots of powder on my head, even though the make-up artist was afraid of running out of powder!

"Rob,Why haven't we heard of this before now"?

Simple... I signed a N.D.A. (Non-Disclosure Agreement). So I couldn't talk! Here is the end result}

Check Please NW- The Rob Episode.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lit Critters

I love these lamps made by ABYU lighting... A little pricey for me, though. A little creativity coupled with imagination and one could make one of these upcycled critters of their own!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My name is Rob, and I am a food container recycling addict

LOL Reading Inside Urban Green yesterday, I found a post that read Yes, There is a cure for Food Container Recycling addiction. I have been spotted around town fishing used coffee cups out of the trash, as well as Big Gulp containers. I have no shame.
My name is Rob, and I am a food container recycling addict -
No That is not Rob- I am not that young, good looking, slim and I do not "play with my junk" as much as this guy!
Maybe after reading it I will attack some of the mountains of Food Containers around this house. See- all it needs is a 12 step program!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Improving SIP's

Very exciting- A few years ago there was almost no news on SIP's- now people are coming up with improvements seems like every day. Larry Hall is one of those folks- he came up with a watering method that doesn't use a bucket, (Saving more buckets for growing!) The cool thing about this design is I could see using it straight from one of my rain barrels to the gutter for irrigating. And since I will probably replace the plastic rain gutters on the garage this year, gives me an idea what to do with the old plastic rain gutters!

Here is what you need to build Larry Hall's self filling Rain Gutter Grow System! 
2- 10 ft treated 2x4's
1- 10 ft rain gutter and 2 end caps.
a mini float valve to regulate water
3 inch net cups (they are cheap!)
roofing screws

Read More on Larry's Rain Gutter system at INSIDE URBAN