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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, November 23, 2009

Being green when the ground is - brown

My herbs moved inside. The basil died, the rosemary is fading, and the oregano is stretching toward its sole source of light, the bay windows on the south side of the house. Meanwhile, I'm planting another type of idea: reusing holiday cards.

Armed with last year's cards and a few pairs of craft scissors, I attacked. Scraps to the recycling, potential tags to the tag box, and we're set for another year. This is the kind of repurposing that both feels good and looks good. I haven't spent money on tags since we were married 25 years ago, and the packages always look great.

Now it's on to the presents - I wonder if anyone in my family will get me the Aerogarden I've suggested?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rake, rake, rake.

What to do with the leaves after raking? Well, we could have raked them into the street like the rest of the city does. The crews pick them up, drag dump truck upon dump truck full of leaves to the brush dump, and pile them up to become mulch. City residents can then bring their buckets and trash cans and fill them with mulch for free. I've done it in the past, and I'll do it again I'm sure.

But me? Daisy? The author of the family blog Compost Happens? I choose to keep my leaves in my own yard, giving my garden a warm blanket for the winter. The snow will arrive, sooner or later, and insulate the leaf pile. Eventually, the entire thing will either get tilled into the plot or decompose - or both.

The rest went on top of the new tomato plot - the one featured last week. We made it a little bigger, spread leaves and mulch on top, and settled the picnic table on top to help hold the leaves and newspaper/ cardboard barrier down until snowfall.
The trees, by the way, the silver maples that drop hundreds of leaves on my yard, do not even belong to me. They're in the yard behind ours, dropping helicopters in the spring and leaves in the fall. Some day maybe I'll plant a tree of my own -- or not. I get plenty of the benefits and the workload right now.
I'm participating in National Blog Posting Month - NaBloPoMo - on Compost Happens. Stop by any day; I'm posting daily for the month of November!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn: time to plan for spring

We're planning to move the tomatoes next year. They need a location with direct sun, enough space to grow, and far enough from the peppers and other plants that the tomatoes don't steal their thunder, or sun, either. Our solution: a new plot, just for tomatoes. I'm trying something new, or new to me: the lasagna style preparation.
The first layer goes over the grass; layered newspaper or boxes. I chose boxes. Flattened out, held down by boards from an old deck, they'll make a fine base for the new tomato home.

The next layer: glass clippings, mulch. If I'd spread these a few weeks ago, they'd have been the last grass clippings of the season. Between parent-teacher conference preparation and a nasty chest cold, I didn't get outside for a while. That's fine; the mulch that was grass a few weeks ago will do a fine job.

I had to stop there. Due to the still lingering cough (see above), I had to stop after spreading mulch. My next layer, when I get the time and energy, will be leaves, raked over to cover the mulch. The new plot will winter that way, the layers killing the lawn beneath and insulating the future garden soil at the same time.
Come spring, I'll have a decision to make. To till or not to till? I'm tempted to say not, and build up a raised bed instead by piling soil and compost on top of what's already prepped.
Check with me in April. I'll have a decision by then!