Organization, Thoughts, and Ideas

While organizing my favorites, the web kind, (which mind you is a chore because if I did it to begin with it wouldn’t take hours). I started to think why didn’t I do this to begin with. Because of the type of person I am. I am one to get interested in something and just start the focus on that. Like now I am supposed to be organizing my favorites and decided to blog about it instead. Funny I know but I am just an idea type person.  But I couldn’t stop myself.

SO anyway I was going through them and came across several sites on Being Frugal and Green and though I should share these others might like to know about these amazing places I found on the web while doing research on one thing or another. (Which by the way is always funny because my mind goes so many different directions I even have a journal so I can go back over those ideas that I have and see if someone has done it better or perhaps I can take some else’s idea and make it better.) Which I recommend to everyone; I even tell my children if they think of something write it down you never know if you idea is a good one until its thought out and wrote out.  So check out these places

Also if anyone else knows of fantastic places on the web please share… ALWAYS interested.

http://ana-white.com/  DIY furniture place

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/photos/7-things-you-can-make-instead-of-buying/cleaning-supplies  this explains it self

Easy Recipes for Natural Homemade Cleaners

GOOD Instructions: How to Spring Clean With Nontoxic Home-made Products – Environment – GOOD

How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit | Care2 Healthy Living

Seven Surprising Uses for Baking Soda – Health – GOOD

An Oregon Cottage: How To Clean And Care For A Cast Iron Pan (Or How I Learned To Love Cast Iron) I have several and my hubby still doesn’t take care of them right *shrug* I try but I just put them away so he doesn’t rust them

Mauby’s: Re-usable Produce Bag Tutorial

Heating Pad Tutorial | The Green Wife

Dollar Store Crafts » Blog Archive » Make Reusable Swiffer Covers

Frugally Sustainable A good blog I love to read

In Between Laundry: A Year of Sugar Scrubs – 24 Original Recipes

How to make Hand Cream. Homemade Hand cream and hand lotion recipes I make my own recipes usually with just oils and beeswax and essential oil lavender. 

Homemade Lip Balm | FIMBY this is what my lip balm looks like basically.

Make Chalk Rocks and Homemade Chalk Board Paint – The Idea Room

Fabric Storage Boxes (per your request) | Make It and Love It

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/12/homemade-creative-play-gift-ideas.html

http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/09/10/10-recipes-everyone-should-know-how-to-make/                I tend to agree everyone should know how to make these recipes..

For Women ONLY area unless you really want to know Men!!!

Homemade Sanitary Pads | Hillbilly Housewife Yes I actually use these during my spotting times. During the heavy times I use a regular sanitary napkin because if I don’t it is a mess I am a really heavy bleeder for two days its almost like hemorrhaging.

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New Facebook interface

https://www.facebook.com/GreenWiccan

Since I seem to be on face book more than here I decided that it would be nice to do a group of sorts. Hope you all join me.

On Layer Gardening

Okay So I am an avid layer Gardener. I have only been using this method for about 2 years and so far I have to say I love it.  I have been using Manure from the cows  and horses in the area, grass clippings (mostly), leaves found at a neighbors yard, newspaper ( about 20 sheets cover well and then layered over each other to smother weeds),  compost, then another layer of either leaves or grass.  Sometimes it is just newspaper and grass clippings to which I then punch a hole in pat down the grass clippings and plant my plant works really well when bone and blood meal are added for nutrients.

I am still trying to figure out the crab grass and how to get rid of it but otherwise it works (mostly because It comes in from the sides of the yard or walk ways I haven’t covered yet).

On to plants, planting, and bug control

Okay, So this year I tried really hard to grow from seedlings I even started weeks ago. Yet,  to my horror and anguish I lost the cheap little green house I was using that would have helped me out greatly.  I lost many seeds, not just to the greenhouse blowing away but I also lost some to freezing temperatures(frost) and to my inexperience. I have had to buy my plants. And it is impossible to find plants that haven’t been treated with insecticide and/or fungicide and chemical fertilizer so I don’t try. I do plant seeds that are big like squash, watermelon, pumpkins, corn, beans, cucumbers, etc these seeds are really easily germinated and well I can do it with little fuss. I hope to try again with a green house but who knows when I will be able to get the money together to do so.

I do however practice companion planting. This is planting plants next to other plants that either attract beneficial insects or the bad bugs. Some can also sometimes kill harmful things such as nematodes (marigolds) or can actually kill the bug(pyrethrin flowers), or even attract bad bugs so as they stay off of the plant you want to keep. Many can enhance growing such as putting beans with corn the beans add nitorgen to the soil that the corn will need and adding pumpkins (the three sisters). The pumpkins shade the ground to keep out weeds making them easier to manage. You can also plant plants such as dill and parsley to attract butterflies (monarch to your garden). This takes a lot of research and I suggest people do this it helps  with the balance of bag to good bugs.  You must remember though not all plants like each other some will even  cause the death or stunted growth of some plants. So experiment use info from others but try this out.

Sometimes though the bad bugs tend to eat everything in their site till there is nothing left.  Which happened to be last year with a beetle I never encountered before. It was like all of a sudden they hatched and they hatched in such numbers that they where eating everything. I am still not sure what Type of bug they where and I could only make an educated guess as to them being a striped cucumber beetle.  I had to get pyrethrin spray and kill as many as I could but they decimated my tomatoes and pepper crops with numbers over the night before I found them in the morning.  This year I am more perpared since I also got tomato horn worms , cabbage lopers and such I am going to use Bacillus thuringiensis Which is excellent for killing  Caterpillars be careful when spraying so as not to spray other butterfly caterpillars in your garden and read the directions it works better overnight. I also get milky spores and beneficial nematodes to kill some bad beetles larva and beetles themselves.

I have thought about get certain types of beneficial insects and putting them in the garden from a catalog but I don’t think that would be a efficient use of my money being that insects are rather wandering and my garden is not enclosed to keep them in. Not to mention that during certain times of the year they may be without food.

Some helpful books are Rose love garlic, Carrots love tomatoes( my favorite), Great Garden Companions.

Some helpful websites with charts.

http://www.seedsofchange.com/enewsletter/issue_55/companion_planting.aspx

http://www.organicgardening.com/sites/all/themes/zen/og/pdf/companion.pdf

http://activities.byui.edu/married/pdf/Companion%20Planting%20Guide.pdf

http://www.hpfb.org/uploads/com_plant-chart.pdf

http://peaceofpreparedness.com/Resource%20Library/Gardening/Companion%20Planting%20Chart%20for%20Vegetables.pdf

http://www.yellowtractorprogram.org/files/veg_plant_guide.pdf

and many many others

Organic Gardening all about compost Part 3

Black Gardeners Gold.  Composed of everything Vegetable, herbivore manure(horse, cow, etc.)  and minerals. This is all your kitchen scraps, excluding meat and fats(including vegetable oils), and all yard waste except sticks and branches that haven’t been chipped plus if you have cows and such they add their nice pooh.  Many books and people suggest it be a combination of green and brown or as I say fresh and not fresh(dried out) Me I don’t really care about how much of each I put in there as long as it all gets in there. Some say that it needs to be air aided by poking holes it it with a tine or turning it you can do that too. I think it is just more work  for the same result although It may make it decompose faster. Me I just throw everything in it during the spring and summer months and right before I get ready to plant I pull everything off the top of a portion of an area ( mind you my compost pile is really large about 6 feet by 8 feet) and dig right in all the rich brown compost underneath that looks a lot like soil(which if you think about it is except it has a little extra organic matter and mineral matter from the egg shells and other stuff you throw in). Then I will put down a thick layer of either cardboard or newpaper (which keeps out the crabgrass which if it gets half a chance will over run the compost pile and then you have weeds in you beautiful Compost) and pull the uncomposted stuff back on top.

Compost should never smell bad  so if it does add more brown matter. This will cut the smell making more of a balanced pile. I know I wouldn’t want to work in my garden if all I smelled was something rotten it would turn me off to even want to be there.  SO if you have this problem most likely you have a lot of fresh ingredient such as cow manure fresh from the cow. Or sometimes it is just really soggy because you placed you pile in a area that floods during the rains and doesn’t drain all the way which means you probably need to fill that area with dirt from another area or need to build up the area by putting down bricks, a small concrete slab or rocks to help with this problem.

Native Worms love this stuff I always find babies in the compost. They also contribute there manure to the pile and contribute to the decomposing community that is trying to establish itself inside all that matter..

In April my pile has been know to heat up which I think is because of the rain and if you are like me because of all the grass clippings.  Sometimes I wonder if the pile will burst into flames it gets so hot in the middle from all the microorganisms breaking down the matter added to the compost.

So just remember to add all organic matter except meats and fats and your compost, water it occasionally during dry months. And you too will have a rich and beautiful compost to be used in the garden either as compost tea or around your vegetables and plants.

I hope you will stay tuned to my next segment on Organic Gardening.  And don’t hesitate to ask questions. I will do my best to answer them, because this a simple version of what you can do.

 

Organic Gardening Part 2

Soil. Yes I said soil not dirt. We have to build up our soil so that it is healthy. Humm… What do I mean by healthy? This is something that has perplexed me for sometime, but knowing myself well I knew I was just making it hard and difficult. So I stepped back and analyzed this from a more observational stand point and broke it down so that I understood what most people wanted me to understand.

What is soil? It is Organic matter (leaves, grass clippings,), microorganisms (nematodes, worms, fungus, bacteria,) and minerals (calcium, metals, and so forth). In a base such as clay, silica(sand) and silt. When put together and not disturbed for a while it forms soil. Which is really healthy for plants.  Oh I know there are some organisms that are not really healthy for plants but those can be beaten down in a way with planting certain plants such as Marigold(which kill certain nematodes), and other plants that help bring in nitrogen fixing organisms(BEANS).

I try to think of soil not being disturbed so how you might ask do I take care of the weeds.  Well one I pull them I know that disturbs the top layers but not the under layers. I don’t till because not only does that compact the soil making it harder for plants to grow their roots out it disturbs the community I am building in the soil. I take the approach of the forest gardener or lasagna gardener. I heap more organic matter on top the soil add a few things to amend it like bone and blood meal(made from dead animals I know but it is more organic then most fertilizers and adds calcium and phosphorus that tend to leach out of soil that being used by plants at the moment. )

So what is a forest or lasagna garden you ask.  Well to me it is Newspaper thickly applied to smother weeds (remember no tilling) then grass clippings, leaves, compost,  more clippings and leaves newspaper over this and finally more leaves. This left to sit for a month or two to compact it down then I plant in it. No muss or fuss.

So stay tuned for more information on Organic Gardening.

Organic Gardening

Okay so lately I have been reading up on how to Garden organically. It really isn’t that hard until you realize like me you live in an area that weeds are hard to keep down. Crab grass grows rapidly and is hard to keep up with unless it is covered up with landscape fabric and/or cardboard boxes even then it will have to be pulled from the garden paths that are covered by wood chips in.  Then there are the bugs. I don’t mind bugs there are good ones and bad ones but usually bad ones over take the garden. So I have been looking at the different ways to keep the bad bugs down and out of the garden and attract the beneficial bugs.  So I have compiled my knowledge and that of many other people to tell everyone newbies and oldies about different ways to Garden Organically without pesticides/ chemical fertilizers. I am going to make this a segmented piece. So watch for posts.

Oh well!!

Well I should not have bought the greenhouse and I really regret buying it now.  So if you go to Atwoods and see a walk in greenhouse don’t get it The plastic pieces break during high winds even with extra reinforcement . They are cheaply made really expensive (because if they blow down you lose everything you put into it). I was really inconsolable when it first happened and I became incoherent and depressed for several days. I felt as if my heart broke. Because the main reasons I bought it was so 1. I would be out of the weather in a warmer area to start seedlings. 2.I was trying to provide fresh food for my family and seedlings are very important to that cause it wasn’t just my immediate family I was trying to provide for it was all my sisters, my brother, Dad and Wife, and my various Uncles and Aunts. 3. This would have also been a great year to  give to a local food shelter any food that I know I wasn’t going to eat or given to family.4. I love gardening it soothes my soul.  5. I was planing on a flower garden this year because I have a lot of unused area that would have made it nice.

I have a large family they don’t all live here where I live but there is still several people that I live close to and the vegetables would have saved a bunch of money. So I am back a square one with the green house and will have to build something rather sturdy and expensive that I can hardly afford but perhaps I can sell some seedlings to help pay for it not to mention vegetables at the farmers market in town. My husband said he would help me. Now I just have to get my stuff to do it. It will take me a while but at least I will have one.

Gardening In February

I know I haven’t been keeping up with the gardening but I have to tell you I haven’t really done much and really should do more.  So I am trying my best to get into the spring of things.  In January I put up my 1st green house which isn’t much I bought it at Atwoods in Claremore. It is one of those little cheap $100 Push together pole  and throw over the plastic sewn cover walk in types. Which I don’t think I would buy again. May not last very long one of the pieces already is broke and another is weak because of a hole in it that isn’t supposed to be there but I though I will fill it in with putty or something, it still had to be put someplace not load bearing. So far haven’t put any seeds in it too cold not enough heat at night for the seedlings to survive.  It also needs a fan put in it. Have been filling containers of water to place in there to conserve heat  and moved my potting soil and other tools inside so that I can get to them I think I will put a container in it to hold all my stuff that isn’t plants.

I started to go into the garden and fill in many beds. There was a bed I was going to use for a cold frame well I  wasn’t able to finish it due to the fact that I didn’t have everything I needed on hand and the car kept breaking down so all the money went to that last fall. I think that next year I am going to try something that will make it a bit easier to handle using 4 bales of hay that I can move around to fit the windows I have.  Also build a frame for those windows so that I can place one or more of those openers for greenhouses in it to let out the heat during the hotter days.

I went through all my seeds. Cataloging what I have and writing down my wants and needs.  So here soon I am going to start the seed flats for the seedlings.

I have also started pulling everything off my compost pile to get at all the rich material underneath to put in my beds. Also last year we found a person whom had so many bags of leaves I though I was in heaven and I am placing those on top of the bed to bring in my lovely beneficials such as worms, and fungus and bacterial that will make the soil healthy.  This may also help with some of the pests and it may not. I had such a problem last year with these little yellow and black beetles I just wanted to throw my hands up at everything. I actually had to bring in an organic based pesticide to kill them off they where eating everything from my tomatoes to the peppers, potatoes and other vegetable and even the marigold they wouldn’t touch the onions and I thought I had a way to combat them but no they just kept eating.  I had them in such numbers that I was stepping on them and they decimated several plants that I had to pull out after trying hard to save them.  Also did you know that the humming bird moth is actually the dreaded tomato horn worm Caterpillar . Such beautiful creatures and good pollinators to destroy a plant I  want to eat. Having to go out there everymorning to find these things and pluck them off and kill them. I think this year I am going with a bacteria BT to be exact to get rid of them.

But I am going to keep everyone more informed about my garden. So watch for future posts and pictures.