Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our first harvest: Lettuce!

Not enough for a salad but enough for sandwiches and they really were yummy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Do Not Mail - Going green by getting rid of your junk mail

The average person receives about 41 pounds of junk mail every year. While most of us recycle the junk we get, there is a better way of getting rid of the mail before we get it - simply having them not send it at all.

I have discovered that there are many different ways you can go about this. Some make you pay others do not. I prefer free which in these examples may not completely be the case.

www.donotmail.org has you sign a petition to create a national registry for the do not mail campaign. In the meantime you can use their tool to create a pre-printed pdf that you can print, stamp and send to many of the companies that are responsible for filling your mailbox with junk. It's not completely paper-less but that's why you sign the petition - so there will be an online registry one day.

DMAChoice.org is the Direct Marketing Association's website which can help you get rid of even more junk. Once you register you can chose what Catalogs, Magazine Offers, and Other Mail offers you receive. You can stop them all or pick and choose the ones you want.

It's a step in the right direction for many of us 'recyclers'. Now you'll have more time to toil in the garden instead of sorting through the junk.

Veggie of the Day: Radish (Raphanus Sativus)

Believe it or not, it wasn't till about two months ago that I had eaten a radish. (there is of course a high likelihood I've eaten them before but just not been aware of it or taken the time to taste them) Anyway, surprisingly, really liked them.

So partly because I liked them, and more because I really wanted a photo of me pulling a huge bunch of big round radishes out of the ground (definitely going to be posting that photo when it happens) I decided to throw some Radishes in the garden.

One of the first veggies we planted to sprout were the radishes. Here are some factoids about those pretty red roots.

Type: Cherry Belle Spring Radish
Brand of Seed: Botanical Interests Organic Certified
When to Plant: Plant during cool periods of spring and fall
Days to Emerge: 5-10
Time till Harvest: 24 days
Other notes: Good for Container gardening, Full Sun/Part Shade, Water when dry, plant near carrots
Our Experience: We planted 3-5 seeds in holes 1/2 inch deep at 1 inch apart. As the radishes have sprouted at least 2-4 of the seeds in each hole were successful. Once the second set of radish leaves appear it will be time to thin the radishes by pulling out the root of the weaklings, cutting the greens at the soil line, or digging all seedlings out and replanting individually (though this risk shocking your seedlings). At two weeks, today was the first time we saw the second set of leaves. Will tackle thinning tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lawn Mower Exchange Program

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has a wonderful program designed to take gas polluting lawn mowers off our lawns.

The program allows you to register to receive an electric lawn mower at a discount in exchange for turning in your working gas powered lawn mower.

Every year the AQMD has a limited supply of lawn mower units available for the program. This year we were lucky enough to register for a Neuton CE 5 which is going to cost us $100. The unit retails for $389 so this is clearly a great deal.

This year the program offered three models - the Neuton CE 5, Neuton CE 6, and the Black & Decker 24V mower. The CE 5 was $100 and the CE 6 and B&D models were $160 (they retail for $489 and $399 respectively). A great deal for sure.

Unfortunately this years' supply of 4,000 lawn mowers has be budgeted so you'll have to wait until next year to get yours. You can sign up to receive an email notice next year by going here.

For more information about the program you can go to the AQMD website.

Kellogg Brand Garden Soil & Rebate

In an effort to actually grow something in our garden we had to build a raised bed as our dirt patch (aka backyard) was not going to cut it.

Once we built our bed we had to decide what to fill it with. After searching around and price shopping we settled on Kellogg brand Garden Soil. It's rich in all natural, organic materials including kelp meal, worm castings, bat guano & natural forest products.

It comes in a 3 cuft bale for about $7.33 at Lowes. The best thing about it for me was the $10 rebate Kellogg is offering until the end of the year. Basically you get $1 per bag, limit 10. So you need to purchase at least 10 Kellogg branded products, fill out the form and they will send you up to $10 bucks.

We didn't know about the rebate before purchasing but were very happy to stumble upon it after the fact.

Here is the link for the rebate. (an online form)

Alternatively you can use this pdf printable form.

Spring: Sofa's Sprouting Streetside

So if you live in a big city you know that spring means that sofa's, couches, etc. start to sprout on city sidewalks. Having attended UCLA I remember quite a few sofa burnings in my day.

Well if we're going to clean up our cities, sometimes it takes us being a little bit proactive and helping keep the streets clean. Did you know the city of LA will pick up pretty much anything if you just let them know its there? I'm sure many cities have the same program.

Here's a convenient link.

Just type in John Doe for your name if you like and the address where the illegally dumped items can be found and in just a few days they will be gone!

Remember it all starts with just one person!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Whole Foods Reusable Bag

So Whole Foods was doing a giveaway through Sunday of a reusable bag. And I was all bummed cause I didn't realize it had ended, but I decided last night on the trip to whole foods to give it a try anyway. And guess what they still gave it to me! In fact we had printed 3 coupons and they gave us three free bags. So here is the coupon, print it out give it a try. You have nothing to lose and might get a free bag! Apparently I am my mother's daughter cause I can't pass up anything free.