Monday, October 12, 2009

No Impact Project

I just signed up for the No Impact Project, which over at the Huffington Post. I've been following Colin Beavan's blog No Impact Man for the last year or so, and when I saw that he was helping to encourage a No Impact Week I figured it would be a great opportunity to do some of the less-impactful things I've been meaning to do!

The challenge is a week long and each day focuses on a different area of Impact:

Sunday: Consumption
Monday: Trash
Tuesday: Transportation
Wednesday: Food
Thursday: Energy
Friday: Water
Saturday: Giving Back!
Sunday: Eco-Sabbath

Here's a link to the No Impact Week Guide:

Pipe dreams (or nightmares)

I had an exciting weekend as far as home improvement projects go this weekend!


  • I accidentally uncovered a huge pipe that I mistakenly dug out of the ground..

  • Planted 3 blueberry bushes
  • Planted 5 raspberry plants

  • Put some decaying leaves in the compost bin to add some "brown"


  • Painted another coat of red in the basement

So projects are coming along nicely! If anyone is looking to get local(ish) plants and you live in the lower penninsylua, Hartmann's Plant Company is local! I don't know if they're very into organic practices (at all) but they are at least plants grown in Michigan. Sometimes you have to pick and choose! Here is their website:

I found out that they sell Wild Ginger plants which is WAY exciting because that's what I want to use as ground cover in the Pit of Despair! I've been looking for it, but I couldn't find anything that was grown in Michigan!

Woo! :)

Making progress...

Monday, October 5, 2009


Well, the applesauce turned out well! As usual, we severely underestimated the amount of applesauce that half a bag of apples makes.

Oh well!

We got two quarts of out it.. not that bad. We still have a half bag to do tomorrow, as well as 3 pie pumpkins. I think I'm going to make homemade pumpkin pie filling and then freeze it for my Halloween party! That way I won't have to be baking pumpkins and peeling them and food processing them on the day of the party haha!

mmm mm applesauce!

the Grape Jelly Debacle

So grape jelly..

Not so easy to make. Of course, when canning, Ashley and I never follow the directions to a perfectly. In fact sometimes we are quite liberal with our canning freedoms. But that is completely beside the point!! ..right?


We didn't have a cheesecloth, or a jelly bag thing or really any of the technical items needed to make jelly. But we did have concord grapes! So now we have grape soup-juice. But we're hoping if we magically let it sit overnight and try to boil it some more, that it will turn into jelly.

I think that sounds probable.

This is why I should stick to cooking. You can make shit up when cooking, and things still turn out pretty good usually.

We ended up making some attempt at jelly, and then I showed Ashes how to make my not-yet-famous-Butternut Squash soup. But it's really more of a stew. Basically you throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and then it tastes good. See- that works with cooking! So we cooked 3 pints and 1 quart of that.

I'm also cooking some apples now that will eventually be applesauce! a huge vat of applesauce.

yummm! Hopefully we'll have a few quarts of that. I might run out and get some pint jars. I just don't think a quart of applesauce is too practical. I'll never eat that fast enough before it spoils.

BUT a really exciting thing was that now that our compost bin is set up, we could compost all of the food scraps from canning!! See below:

Apple cores and peels, grapes skins, grape seeds, the ends of the squashes, etc. Very exciting. Before, all that stuff just went into the garbage! Now it can go back into my garden.... eventually.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Good morning!

So- I ended up getting some flowers and mulch on Friday. I always have the problem of perceiving accurately how many plants I need to fill an entire area. I always end-up buying about 5, and most of the time 5 plants is like nothing when it comes to a garden. But I was trying not to spend a ton of money, so I ended up being conservative Friday as well. I got:

2 Wild Bergamots
5 Rudbeckia
2 Foxglove Beardtounges
2 Golden Alexanders

I planted some in the back garden, and added the foxglove beardtounges and some of the rudibeckias to the front garden. Also got mulch, but got way less than I needed, of course. So will need to venture out and get some more- weeds are growing like crazy!

:) Here's who I woke up to this morning:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Last planting of the year

Tomorrow I am stopping by the Recycle Ann Arbor to pick up some mulch for my garden!!
I think I'm going to get 2 yards of mulch, which is just $30 at Recycle Ann Arbor- great price! They said 2 yards is about 8 lawn bags full, which should do me for the fall at least. I'm going to cover an area that Mike cleared over the weekend, behind that crazy fence-full of waist high plants that used to fill our garden space.

Then I am stopping by the Native Plant Nursery to chat with Greg, who owns it, and to buy some plants for that back area. I am psyched to get a whole little area done(ish)!
The plants (pictured above) are some of the ones I'm going to get. New England Aster, Wild Bergamot, and Echinacea! It's shaping up to be a very purple garden from the looks of it! :)