Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Continued greening efforts

So I promised I'd blog about my green updates as well as my renewed dislike of plastic bags. If you really need convincing, go here to see what got my blood boiling. I had no idea that it cost so much more to actually recycle plastic bags than it does to create them. Plus they're made from a polymer that comes from oil, a rather hot commodity right now, so if we can use fewer plastic bags (or NONE), use less (foreign) oil, and go a little greener, where does the harm lie? I'll tell you all again that I get my bags from www.1bagatatime.com, and www.ecobags.com sell a variety as well, including small cotton bags that work for getting your produce and bulk items at the grocery store. That was my Waterloo for a while but I use the cotton bags now (they barely weigh anything on the scale) and feel much better. Plus they have organic cotton if you like.

On that note, DH and I finally cut the downspout so we fill our rain barrel with actual rain from the house drainpipe instead of drop by drop and tossing in the water I boiled eggs with. With the rain we've had, the thing's already overflowing. I wouldn't use it for drinking water, but it will water my garden and the lawn nicely. Yay!

And did I mention that my lovely garden became deer food? I came out one morning to check on the progress and found deep hoof prints and chewed off tomato and pepper plants! FYI: Deer do not like lavender, so that has remained untouched, and they didn't seem to like the onions or the basil, either. Thus I put up deer fencing, giving myself a foot of space around the entire garden. This means that 1) I can get in and have a foot of space around the garden to work, and 2) the deer cannot simply crane their heads over the fence and chew away. My sister C, the organic farmer, also suggested dried blood, which you can get at garden supply stores. Gross thought, but she pointed out that the deer, herbivores, dislike the scent so much that they won't go near the garden, so you just sprinkle it all around. I may try it; I'll let you know. I just can't yet get over saying, "Hi, do you sell dried blood?" at the store like I'm some Satanic worshiper looking to supply her bizarre rituals when all I want are some good beefsteak tomatoes.

I think I'll start the compost heap this week as well. I've got the particulars from C. and I can't stand throwing food in the garbage any longer. Any suggestions on a small container in the meantime, since I can't always run immediately out to the far backyard to put scraps in? Williams-Sonoma has a ceramic compost pail for $32, but if I can find something even less pricey, I'll take it. It's all about budgeting, people. Plus we did crazy yard work this past weekend and have plenty of twigs and bark to throw in. Our front shrubs are dead on the bottom, so DH and I (ok, mostly him) hewed them down and made them look a lot better. The end ones do look like ugly green ice cream cones, but it's better than overgrown, brownish-gray, sad branches on the bottom. It's really nice to take care of your own space, yes?

I'm off...DH doesn't feel well and I need to minister to him. Pictures of rain barrel and garden with its sad little chewed plants will follow!

2 comments:

Ouiser said...

woo hoo for compost. it was one of the first things we set up here because once you start composting kitchen scraps, you can't stop.

as for the small container, we have a ceramic pail, and i wouldn't recommend it. the stainless option or one of the plastic options at gaiam.com might be better. i don't know. before we got that, i used a big piece of corningware. that actually worked really well and totally contained the smell and kept bugs away.

sorry about the deer. m and i know that will someday be a problem when we retire to the farm, but for now, we're city dwelling gardeners. we don't even have rabbits.

good luck with everything.

GreenLight said...

It's funny - I JUST ordered an indoor compost bucket for that very reason. I got it at Clean Air Gardening - Compost Pail BKC2000 qty:1 19.99.

Weeeeeeeeeeeee! Compost!