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Welcome! Our blog focuses on environmental conservation, education, green living & wildlife rescue! We have put together links to resources, books and information to help you and your children learn more about these topics. Please feel free to comment on any items posted. Rate or review us on NetworkedBlogs (Facebook app) & Blogged. Tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter and other sites listed on this page. There's a banner & widget if you would like to include us on your webpage. All we ask is that you please keep any comments here G-rated for the kids!

NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

chives and scallions are grown - now what?

I had great plans. I was going to use my big, bold food processor to dice the fresh chives from the garden and then freeze a few jars for winter use. Great idea, right? Wrong. I tried three different blades, and none of them diced the chives evenly. This is what I got.

So.... I diced the pile by hand with a sharp knife, dropped the results into two small glass jars, labeled the jars, and placed the jars in the freezer. The good news: chives were done. The bad news: I still had a batch of green onions waiting for me.

I did these by hand.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

GreenSpot-On Wildlife Q & A #5

Welcome to the Fifth Issue of the GreenSpot-On Wildlife Q & A! Here is a question I recieved from a student at C. A. Frost Environmental Science Academy in Grand Rapids, MI along with my answers! Please keep the questions coming!

Question: How do you get the owls to eat their natural foods, like mice, instead of pellets and seeds?
Name: Jennah Age: 9 Grade: 4 School: C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy, Grand Rapids, MI

Answer: Well, for owls we have mice that we get from a company. Those mice are not alive when we get them, and we are able to keep them in the freezer. When we need them, they are thawed out and then we have to do what we need to, to get the owls or other birds of prey to eat them. A lot of the time the owls that we get in have some sort of neurologic problem and they are unable to swallow properly. Therefore, we have to often cut the mice into smaller pieces and remove the skin. Then we have to force feed them the mice. To do this, we usually use hemostats to hold the mouse parts and of course usually we have on leather gloves to protect ourselves.

That is all the questions I can answer for now. Unfortunately my computer is still on the fritz and have been unable to access the questions that are unanswered. My sister is going to send me those questions and I will try and get them answered for the next issue of the Wildlife Q & A!

Some of these animals are pictured in the slideshow on the main page. If you have children, are a student/adult or wildlife lover and you would like to ask a question about any of these animals, please send an e-mail to JRouse. Include the following information in your e-mail:

Question: (Question for JRouse)
Name: (First Name) Age: (Age)
Grade: (Grade Level of Student) School-City/State: (School Name - Location: City/State)

Up to 3 questions will be answered during each issue of the GreenSpot-On Wildlife Q & A, so it may take time for your question to be answered. Subscribe to GreenSpot-On's feed by Email to get the Issues & other posts straight to your inbox!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy season begins!

I came home from a week's vacation hoping to find a zucchini or two in the garden. The pretty green squash were still small, but I found a few other surprises: yellow wax beans, a handful of green beans, lots of lettuce, and one banana pepper! It's definitely time for produce fun.

My herbs, though, didn't make it. Remember the potential? The pot still looks like that. I think it was too wet or didn't have enough drainage, and the seeds rotted. Sniff. Sigh. What now? I bought three basil plants for $4 at the farmers' market, and picked up two different oregano plants at Home Depot. Yes, it's sad that I had to buy my plants and do it so late in the season, but at least I'll have a few fresh herbs to add to my cooking.

When the zucchini comes along en masse , I'll be ready. Lining up the bread pans already...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gardens and the never-ending to-do list

Gardening is a process. The to-do list never ends, and that's fine with me. It's not a precise science, either, and that appeals to the environmentalist in me. It contrasts with my high stress, fast paced job (public school teacher); I can come home from school and work outside, or play in the dirt, as my family affectionately says.

On a recent long holiday weekend, I felt fine going around the yard and finding out what needed doing.

First, the herbs. My long and narrow herb pot was going - or growing - nowhere. I'm not sure why. Bad soil? Too much water? Too much sun? No matter what, they're not coming up. I solved this by replanting - planting a little herb garden set that a student gave me in June. The plants will (hopefully) outgrow the tiny picturesque pots soon, and then I'll transplant them elsewhere. But for now, this is darn cute on my deck.

The chair was a curb find. A neighbor was throwing it away, so we picked it up and cleaned it up. it's rickety and missing two slats in the back - there's a reason it was in the trash - but it'll make a great flowerpot holder. Our eventual plan is a hole in the seat, just the right size for the geranium pot, and then I'll paint it. For now, it just sits on the deck making a shelf for the flowerpot and (starting today) the tiny pots of herbs.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Q & A

Sorry that I have been unable to answer other questions that I have received. At the beginning of the week I will have them answered and posted. Unfortunately, I have been having some computer problems. Again, try back next week and I will have all the answers posted!!!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Mistakes - and the courage to correct them

The road to you-know--where is paved with good intentions. In the case of my garden's Bunny Food section, my good intentions ended up with too little "pavement." I reuse boards from an old fence and old deck, stepping stone style, to create walkways. In my quest to plant more in the existing space, I made the walkways too small. That's the bad news.

The good news is also bad news. I planted two kinds of spinach, but only one came up. See the space between the parsley and the spinach? Weeds and two too-small boards, that's all. The good news is that left me space to put down a wider walkway. I pulled out the boards that held back the raised beds and placed them over the weeds and dirt.

Now I have more room to walk, more room to kneel while harvesting or weeding, and I don't have to weed or water the portion under the boards. The boards themselves will keep the bad seeds down. Next year I'll know better. For now, change is good. Parsley on the left, spinach on the right, stepping "stones" in the middle: it works for me!

Next on the to-do list: harvest lettuce (in the foreground). Salads, tacos, bunny food, or all three? By the end of summer, this lettuce will feed people and rabbits - the pets in the house, that is. You wild ones? Please be cute somewhere else!