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April 13th, 2009

09:59 pm - Miracle Gro
I poked around on Google, but other than some unsavoury looking lawsuits I didn't see much of what I was wondering about. I was given a box of miracle grow (opened and slightly used already, from someone who decided they were done with developing a green thumb for the time being.) and I know from childhood that it works quite well. However I was wondering how it is looked on by the green community. Evil? Semi-evil? Dr. Evil? (not the best, but ultimately won't kill you) or just not as good as natural?
Safe? Unsafe?
Disturbingly corporate?
Not bad as a product, but company is rotten?

I look forward to any input anyone may have.

Extra: I an apartment-gardening, and have roommates that looked at me with shock and horror as they put the kibosh on any worm-compost ideas. I have used the box I was given pretty sparingly, less than a fourth of a teaspoon in an old motts apple juice container that I use to water plants. I have a variety so I am afraid of over-fertilizing.

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April 7th, 2009

09:42 pm - Secondhand Appliances
There are a couple of household things that I would like to get, nothing essential but fun things I would like to have. Things like a waffle iron, a crockpot, a dutch oven, a toaster oven. What i was curious about though, is what is better bought new/lightly used, and what is pretty reliable to get at a thrift store. Some things seem like they are fine to get at thrift stores and other things seem better when bought at garage sales or handed down where the person is more responsible for what they are selling and they can actually assure you that it works or tell you its quirks.
I don't know if this exactly makes sense, but I guess basically what I am asking is: What are the most reliable (and least likely to be secretly gross) appliances to buy at thrift stores? What is the worst (or makes you the most nervous)?
I'd really like to buy used rather than new, and that is how I get plates and pots, but something about appliances reminds me of buying used underwear. Maybe it doesn't make sense.

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February 27th, 2009

05:42 pm - Very, very small cow
Momma miniature cow No. 1 has thwarted my plan to name her baby Sir Loin by cunningly having a heifer calf instead of a bull calf. Less cunningly, she has chosen to have it the day before a snowstorm. Good one, Momma cow.

extreme cuteness alertCollapse )

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February 22nd, 2009

04:15 pm - My miniature cows...
... let me show you them.

I have cows. Miniature Dexter cows. They are pregnant. One of them is *very* pregnant; like, "please don't have this calf in the trailer on the way home" kind of pregnant.

Here they are, playing "Let's get as far away as possible from the two legged predators who want to EAT OUR BABIEZ!!" in their new pasture:

clickie for piccieCollapse )

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February 9th, 2009

08:04 pm - Creatively green art, architecture, and gadgetry (articles)
I enjoyed reading about some of these interesting creations. Some are frivolous, gross, or not especially useful, but I still have to admire the ingenuity behind them.

Recycled art projects and architecture, including a Buddhist temple made of old beer bottles (really beautiful!)

Creatively Weird Green Gadets, including a human-powered ferris wheel (probably not the safest idea anyone ever had, but wow)

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January 7th, 2009

10:17 pm - Need YOUR input: Really easy sustainable action for disabled, ill, or overworked people
What sustainable actions do you do that take practically no effort?

I want to come up with a list of super-easy sustainable living techniques for people who find it difficult to do the more labor-intensive things for one reason or another.  I'm talking about the disabled or chronically ill, people who care for elderly or sick relatives, single parents working 2 jobs, etc.  They barely have the energy to walk across the room, much less hang the laundry to dry or build their own greenhouse.

I want to make a list of all the things that take almost zero effort.  PLEASE help and add something, even if you think it's really obvious.  We all know a few basic ones like turning off lights when you don't need them, shutting off the water when you're brushing your teeth or shaving, taking shorter showers, using reusable cups and shopping bags, and unplugging appliances when you're not using them. What can you add?

Here are some of my suggestions:
-If you use electric gadgets (for instance, someone with Raynaud's disease who uses an electric blanket to stay warm), experiment with your usage to see exactly how much you need. 
-Are there low-tech gadgets that can help you?  My mother-in-law can no longer knit with both hands.  However, she bought a circular knitting loom, which is very easy to use with one good hand, and she now knits great reusable shopping bags from recycled plastic bags. 
-Container gardens can be easier to maintain than a traditional garden.  If you have issues with lifting, ask a friend to help with that part.  I loved the illustration in my "Square Foot Gardening" book that showed a woman in a wheelchair who had set up a square foot garden bed on a piece of plywood balanced on two sawhorses.
-If you aren't well enough to walk or bike places, and if the bus isn't an option, see if you can carpool.  If you work, will your boss let you telecommute sometimes? 

In particular, I would also appreciate ideas for parents of small children, as well as low-cost ideas.  For instance, using an organic produce delivery service is a great idea, but many people don't have the extra money to do it.

What can you add?  Feel free to post this on other communities and forums,or to ask your friends and family and put their answers here. 

(Please remember to have compassion when you answer, thanks)

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December 5th, 2008

12:06 pm - keeping the heat in the house
low cost, low-tech, reusable window insulation systemCollapse )
Current Mood: working
Current Music: Brent Lewis, "Scratch My Hide"

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November 24th, 2008

09:40 am - Solar Power and Cemeteries

Spain is generating solar power by putting solar panels on the roofs of mausoleums. I like this idea!

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October 30th, 2008

10:02 pm - Transition Towns
My local Transition Town group is great!  I'm networking with local people who are interested in sustainable living and sharing their skills, participating in discussions, taking classes, etc.

Maybe you'd like to start one in your area:  http://www.transitiontowns.org/

Here's what my state's site looks like:  http://transitioncolorado.ning.com/

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07:51 pm - My garden sucked this year, but I'll remedy that next year
I haven't posted a project update in awhile.

My garden tanked this year, mostly.  Planting season was disrupted by a death in the family, and now I know the value of being extremely prepared as early as possible.  My experiment with Square Foot Gardening worked just well enough to see the potential if it's given proper care next year.  Next year, I won't have to build the beds, buy the mix, or raise the trellis and can focus my experimental urges on my permaculture bed and container garden. 

I did get some tomatoes, herbs, and malabar spinach.  The malabar, now indoors, is growing like I've given it steroids.  Hurray!  Grow, my tasty little plant, grow.  I hardly want to eat it because it's so pretty.

Since winter is coming, it's a good time to focus on education.  Here's what I want to do this winter:
-read a few permaculture books
-learn how to propagate from seed and from cutting, since I apparently don't know how to do either!
-continue vermicomposting so that maybe I won't have to buy any compost next year.  Maybe I should start a second worm bin to help with that. 
-build a cold frame for early spring greens
-figure out how on earth I'm going to start my seeds indoors without the cats chowing down on the tender seedlings.  I don't have a good space for this.
-think about which watering system I could use, and a more consistent shade system for hot days.  yarrowkat built her own clay ollas and said they worked wonderfully.  Since I'm using raised beds that aren't very deep, I'm not sure if it would work but I love this low-tech option.

Okay, I should stop there and not overwhelm myself.  Oh ok, one more:  I wonder if I can get over my girly aversion to hammer and nails and build myself a small compost bin (no worms).  I tried composting in a plastic container last year, and it kind of sucked.  It wasn't the right dimensions and things got wet, so it started to stink.  Time to build a real bin out of wood.  I've thought about buying one of the fancy ready-made bins, but I think I ought to try DIY first.

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