Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weed Wacking!

This is just a quick entry. Maisie had commented that I could lay down newspaper to help kill off the weeds. I've started to do that - I have a massive amount of grass/clover in my flower beds and some is easily accessible (not entwined with the perennials) so I have begun to do this. I read that 2.5cm is the amount to lay down and when it all decomposes its also good for the garden. I've not put that much down yet, but will. I'm also going to lay it on top of my veggie garden to keep the weeds from coming back and to help next years crop. I gave up on planting this year - I don't have much time to grow anything and i can't find any seeds.

A note for next year - buy seeds in June, stock up the late planting ones then before the stores send them all back to the seed companies. (I read that tip in a magazine) It's a good one, I think.

I'm going to spend my winter poring over magazines and catalogues (from the library of course!) and making notes and lists for the garden.

For now, I'll just enjoy what I have. And since I broke my toe last night, that entails just watching it for a couple of weeks as I can barely walk! That's good for my consumerism needs - I can't shop, and that's kind of green, too!

This weekend I will rest and ice the foot, play with my son, and probably sort baby clothes for the new baby - keeping what I want and putting the rest aside for the garage sale we hope to have next weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My new home - a greener place!

Well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve written. We moved into our new home on August 16th and have been crazy busy since a couple of weeks before then. But now we are settling in. It’s been fun to put things away – and I’ve also let go of even more things – the garage sale pile is growing! I’ve even decided to part with some things I’d never thought to let go of. Ebay and I will be making friends this weekend, I think.

I’ve got books and teacups and all kinds of things togo. I’m impressed with myself! I just have to get past the fact that some things aren’t ‘in’ right now so if I sell them, they won’t bring as much as they should. I can’t decide whether or not to wait a little on them. Hard choice – as sitting in a box they do nothing for me and someone might really enjoy them – and that’s a good thing!

So – I’ll bet you are wondering what type of green stuff I have been doing. This is a green blog after all! Here’s a run down of what I’ve been up to and the little green things I’m trying to accomplish.

First off – let’s say that having a yard is an interesting change for us. But I’ve already got it in for the weeds! And do you think you can buy an eco friendly weed killer? No way! I understand there are a few things that are made from high acidity vinegar – Burnout is one of them, but it’s not available in Canada so that’s out. I’ve begun the battle with a shovel and a little hand spade. So far I’ve reclaimed the veggie patch and a little bit of the front garden. I’ve poured boiling water on the weeds in the cracks of the driveway/sidewalk and even made up a concoction from vinegar/lemon juice/salt/dishwasher detergent that will hopefully eradicate them. I just don’t’ want to use herbicides as I don’t think it’s good for the dog or my son.

I’ve acquired some strawberry plants from freecycle, as well as some drip hoses that will be of great use in my garden. And my garden has some nice solar lights in it. I plan on getting some more of these to brighten up things at night. I’m also continuing to save my eggshells to help keep down slugs and things around some of the plants and to help feed them. I had bought some goldfish for the little pond to control the mosquitoes, but they seem to have disappeared. I think maybe we have raccoons or a smart heron. No more goldfish until I find some kind of grate to cover it with.

We have garden waste pickup here, so I’ve been pulling the weeds and putting them in the bin. And I went and picked up extra blue bins and bags for the paper stuff so I can recycle. I’m also keeping a separate bin of things my community doesn’t recycle as I can take these to my parents or sister’s house to be picked up there. (milk cartons and certain numbers of plastic)

I freecycled all the leftover wrapping paper, boxes and bubble wrap – that went quickly and I’m glad it’s being used again for someone else’s move. We are continuing to recycle all the newspaper I used. I’d taken it from the recycle bin, so it got a second life helping us move.

I noticed when unpacking all the cleaners that I am now pretty much down to the natural cleaners – aside from a little windex and the last of the fantastic, that’s all I have. I knew the change would occur over time as I used up the old stuff – and now I can see it!

We have a programmable thermostat so I’ve set it to ensure the furnace doesn’t go on during the day when we are not at home. There were a couple of evenings/mornings it was chilly so we turned it on. I’m going to get someone in to service it so that it runs at its best. We also had issues with our dryer, but I had my trusty repairman come out (if you live in the lower mainland – it’s Cosmos Appliance – he is awesome and reasonable, too) he fixed it up and it should last a few years now. I’m glad as a new dryer wasn’t in the budget just yet.

I’m currently looking on freecycle/craigslist for a cutlery container for our dishwasher (ours isn’t in good shape) and we broke the crib so I’m looking for a rail for it (just in case someone broke a different part of the same crib) I did buy a new one right away, but it would be nice to salvage two broken ones to make a whole one. Less to the landfill that way.

We’ll be gardening and setting up over the next few weeks as we continue to get acquainted with our new home. We’ll be putting film on the single pane windows as the temperatures change, and making sure that all the weather stripping/caulking etc. is done. Lots of little things to do! And I really want to plant some radishes this weekend if I can find some seeds. So far no luck with seeds – seems everyone is done with them. But I’m still trying!

That’s what I’ve been up to. I’m hoping to be able to be more current now that we’re settling in. I’ve got so many things I want to do and I’d like to share with you how it all goes.