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Friday, May 13, 2011

An Eye Opening Post From One of The Yahoo Web Rings I Belong To

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GREEN THING

In the line at the store, the young cashier told the older woman that she should
bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the
environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained,
"We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today.
The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles,
soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed
and sterilized and refilled,
so it could use the same bottles over and over.
So they really were recycled.

But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs,
because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine
every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers
because they didn't have the throw-away kind.
They dried clothes on a line,
not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -
wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house -
not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief,
not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because
they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.
When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail,
they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it,
not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline
just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.
They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club
to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty
instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time
they had a drink of water.
They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen,
and they replaced the razor blades in a razor
instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus
and kids rode their bikes to school or walked
instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
They had one electrical outlet in a room,
not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And they didn't need a computerized gadget
to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space
in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks
were just because they didn't have the green thing back then? WOW!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

by Fern on March 25, 2011

Post image for How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

Good news and bad news. I had planned to film a short video showing you how to make a pallet garden, but the weather didn’t cooperate. I was stapling the landscape fabric onto the pallet when it started drizzling and got really windy. That’s the bad news. But I know I promised a tutorial today, so I took photos and have kept my word to share how to make the pallet garden. I tried to be as detailed as possible. That’s the good news. :-)

So keep reading my pallet loving friends, instructions on how to make your own pallet garden are just a few lines away…

Find a Pallet

The first thing you need to do is–obviously–find a pallet. I’ve had good luck finding them in dumpsters behind supermarkets. No need to be squeamish. It doesn’t smell. At least, it doesn’t smell that bad. ;-)  Don’t just take the first pallet you find. You’re looking for one with all the boards in good condition, no nails sticking out, no rotting, etc. If you intend to put edibles in your pallet, be sure to find one that was heat treated as opposed to fumigated with pesticides.

Collect Your Supplies

For this project, you’ll need the pallet you found, 2 large bags of potting soil, 16 six packs of annual flowers (one six pack per opening on the face of the pallet, and two six packs per opening on the top of the completed pallet garden), a small roll of landscape fabric, a staple gun, staples, and sand paper.

Get Your Pallet into Shape

Once you’ve dragged your pallet home, give it a once over. Are any of the boards a little loose? Is the wood chipping in places? Nail down any loose boards, and use sand paper to smooth down any rough spots.

Let the Stapling Begin!

Decide which side of the pallet will be the bottom when the pallet garden is completed and leaning against the wall. You are going to be covering the bottom, back, and sides with landscape fabric, leaving  the spaces between the slats and the top uncovered (you’ll be planting flowers in the uncovered spaces).

Lay the pallet face down. Roll the landscape fabric over the back. Cut two identically sized pieces that are long enough to go from the top edge of the back of the pallet and wrap all the way around the bottom, plus a few extra inches.

Hold the two pieces of landscape fabric together as if they were one piece of fabric. Fold over the top edge by one inch and center it on the top board of the back of the pallet. Staple the fabric into place near the top edge of the top board. Smooth the fabric out to the left and right and pull it taut. Staple the fabric down on the top, right edge of the top board. Repeat on the left side. Fill in between those three staples with one staple every two inches along the top edge of the top board.

When the top of the landscape fabric is securely attached to the top, back board, smooth the fabric down, and repeat the process along the bottom edge of the bottom board, except don’t fold the fabric under, leave a long flap on the bottom.

Pulling the fabric tautly along the bottom, fold the cut edge under, and staple the fabric down along the front edge of the bottom. Smooth the fabric out to the left and right and staple every two inches along the front edge of the bottom.

Now for the sides. Start near the bottom and fold the excess fabric inwards as if you were wrapping a present. Fold the cut edge of the fabric under and staple it down near the front, bottom edge of the side facade. Smooth the fabric out and place a staple every two inches along the front edge of the side of the pallet. The fabric should be taut but not in danger of tearing. Repeat on the other side of the pallet.

You should now have a pallet with landscape fabric wrapped around the sides, back, and bottom. Place more staples along the spine of the back side of the pallet, and anywhere else you think the fabric needs to be held down so that soil can’t creep into places you don’t want it to go.

Now for the Fun Part–Planting!

Bring the pallet close to wherever it’s final spot will be and lay it down face up. You’re going to plant it while it’s laying flat on the ground.

First slide the plants into what will be the top. Plant everything very tightly, you should have to practically shoe horn the last plant into place. Now that you have capped the top, pour the entire first bag of potting soil on top of the pallet. Push the soil into the pallet between the slats and smooth it out so that the soil is level. Repeat with the second bag of potting soil.

Push potting soil into the bottom cavity, so that there is a trench directly below one of the bottom openings. Plant six plants in the trench, so that they are very tightly fitted into the opening. Repeat with the other bottom opening. Now push the potting soil up against those flowers you just planted, making a trench beneath one of the openings in the second row. Plant your flowers tightly in that opening. Repeat for all the remaining openings.

When you’re done planting, you should have plants that are completely covering every opening (i.e. there shouldn’t be any place for soil to fall out). There should also be soil firmly pushed into every part of the pallet where there aren’t plants.

Caring For your Pallet

Now, I’m going to tell you what you should do, and I what I always end up doing (which is what you should not do). You should leave the pallet flat on the ground for a couple of weeks (watering when needed), so that the roots can start to grow in and hold all the plants in place. I can never wait though, so I always tip the pallet upright a few days after planting. Some soil does fall out, but it seems to be okay. But I think it would be better if you left it to settle and only tipped it upright after a few weeks. Do as I say, not as I do.

Water your pallet regularly, they dry out quickly. Pay special attention to the bottom two openings, they seem to be the driest. Fertilize with water soluble fertilizer added to your watering can (follow package instructions for amount and frequency).

Did I leave anything out? I’ll try to answer all questions left in the comments.



About Me

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~Nature is my Religion~  Eccentric, Atheist, Freethinker, Paganistic (minus the god/s)  Free Spirited Old Hippie-type, A Mediocre Artist & Jewelry Maker, Writer of Bad Poetry,  Lover of Whimsy, Thunderstorms, Books, cheap Red Wine & the unconventional. I  Seek a quiet life close to Nature and grow veggies and herbs, compost, day dream. 
'Veni, Vidi, Vixi'.  -translated-  'I came, I saw, I Lived'.  (Contemplations,  by Victor Hugo).