Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reclaimed Wood = Potting Bench: Going Green and Saving Green Part 2

Ever since my husband and I bought this house, we've made a concerted effort to be more eco-concious, and desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle. My husband and I have been working on a project up in the attic. We are turning the "attic" into usable space. We need to put in floors, and dry wall the whole 9 yards. My husband has been working on removing the old wood plank floor in the attic to get it ready for a new floor. The old wood is original to the house. 109 years old to be exact! We are replacing it because it's not going to support the weight of furniture nor people and we want to put in insulation under the floor.

The hubs wanted to re-use this wood so he carefully removed the wood and tried to salvage most of it.

He took the wood planks, planed them and sanded them. It was a lot of work! It has taken him a month to remove the wood pieces, and get them ready to make me... a garden bench!!

Isn't it beautiful? My husband is the best! Even though he works a full-time job, he's been working on this garden bench before work, on his days off, you name it. I love it, it's so perfect! Even more so, the fact that we could re-use / recycle the wood from the house and not spend a dime on materials, priceless!
I love green projects! There are not only environmentally friendly, they are economical as well!

The only money we spent was $10 for the circular barbeque grill replacement part that my husband put in for me to catch the dirt as I pot things. He used a jigsaw to cut a hole and fastened the grill under it. Neat right??

I found this potting bench that looks like the one the hubs made. Check out the price!! Wow, so expensive! Saving money and the environment feels awesome!

Oh, and check out the Tool Bench he built for himself out of the same reclaimed wood. Two pieces of furniture out of wood from our attic floors. Totally...Awesome!

Not for the faint of heart

Thank goodness I slice my tomatoes before I eat them. When I sliced into this Roma, there was a little surprise in there. And not a good surprise! This little wormy sucker bore his way through the tomato and gorged himself on a tomato feast! Bigify the photo to see the little beast!
Here's a side profile. I'm not sure what kind of worm or catepillar it is, but it grossed me out big time! Thank goodness I didn't accidently eat him. Ewww and ewww.

Monday, August 30, 2010

And the Winner Is....

I used Random.org to pick the winner of the 100th post giveaway. Out of 26 entries the winner was #1! The first comment on the blog! And the first commenter was Thyme2Garden! Congratulations!

Thyme2Garden, please email me your mailing address and I will send out your prize.
You can use the contact form here.

Thank you all for playing!

Today's harvest

I picked 2 more green bell peppers today. I realized that I am just not patient enough for them to get bigger or to turn orange / red. I'm growing 3 kinds of bell peppers. Green, Red and Orange. I never realized how long it takes for those peppers to turn color! This harvest is going to my husband's co-worker. They've been begging him for fresh veggies! :)

For more Monday harvests go to Daphne's Dandelions.


With the recent green heirloom tomatoes, I made a delicious egg and tomato sandwich. I just love the look of the green tomato sliced. Isn't it gorgeous? It's incredibly easy, just cook eggs the way you like them. In my case, I love fried eggs. Slice the tomatoes, add salt and pepper. In egg sandwiches, I love to add ketchup. A bit of lettuce on whole wheat bread. I still don't know what kind of heirloom it is, but it's delicious. A little sweet and tangy.
Find other Garden to Table recipes at Greenish Thumb.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Ooooh, eggplant parmesan is in my future. I saw these babies finally growing. I am so beyond excited! The plant is pretty small, so I wonder how large these eggplants will get.
Of the 10 plants, only 2 plants have baby eggplants growing on them. How frustrating! Hopefully next year when we amend the soil, we'll have a better crop.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Can't pass up clearance!

On the day that we went to Home Depot to look at sheds, I saw this sad looking Blackberry plant on the clearance rack. I can't pass up anything on clearance, especially plants. I always think to myself, I can save this. If the price is right, I'll swipe this. I got this price checked, $4, I'll take it!
I planted the Blackberry plant and it already is sprouting some new leaves. Awesome! I wonder how long it would take to start bearing fruit.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dreaming of a new garden shed

Last month I was in Home Depot to look at gardening sheds for ideas. All the wooden sheds at Home Depot are super cute, but at $3,000+ a pop, wow, it's pricey. Funny, I didn't take any photos of the entire shed, but bits and pieces of what I liked. Isn't this window, shutter and windowbox just adorable?

I saw another shed that was also a greenhouse. On half of the shed roof, they had plexiglass windows to allow the sunlight in. What a novel idea. I so want this in my garden shed!!

As we looked around, the hubs said he's going to build me one if I design it....(Big big smile) Have I ever mentioned on this blog how much I love my husband? I would like for us to try to build one for not only less than $3000, but one that is also "green". I'm looking into seeing if it's possible to maybe use reclaimed wood for the framing, recycled windows, recycled furniture etc. You get the idea. It might not be possible to do all recycled items but as much as we can would be great. It's not only wonderful for the environment but great for our pocketbook too. I already have this old glass door that we found in our attic that I plan to use. Isn't it just beautiful? We are guessing that it might be original to our house. I don't know, it's a guess. Our house was built in 1901 and this door is solid wood!!

I'm hoping to start this project next year, but who can wait that long?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Award for the Best Plant in the Garden

I got some really nice comments about our yellow habanero pepper. It definitely gets the award for the best plant in the garden because this habanero plant is a GIANT! Here it is on the left, on the right for comparison is one of the bell pepper plants. The habanero plant looks like he could eat poor little bell for breakfast!! It's enormous! The habanero was a sad little plant when we put it in the ground. It was a plant we kept alive since last year and was always in a container on our window sill. When we put it in the ground, it was so happy it quadrupled in size! We didn't even use any fertilizer, only organic compost! Nice.
Here's a closeup of one of the peppers. We've been using the peppers in our sweet dill pickles! Adds a nice kick!

Here is a closeup of the bell peppers growing! Aren't they beautiful? At long last, they are finally growing! I was so shocked how slow these little guys grow. I mean like watching water boil!

Tomorrow is the last day to participate in our 100th post giveaway. To be entered, post a comment here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomatoes, two kinds + one spicy pepper!

Romas are still coming in at a steady pace. We also got 2 more green heirloom tomatoes. I'm not sure what kind of heirloom these are, but they are really tasty! We also picked a colorful yellow habanero.

This little fellow is sooooo spicy. I am so amazed by this plant, it keeps producing beautiful peppers!

My little harvests make me laugh, because it's pretty sad and small compared to others around the blogosphere.
Check out other Harvest Mondays over at Daphne's Dandelions.


I'm anxiously waiting for the beets to be ready to be picked. My favorite way to eat them is cooked with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Yum. Beets hurry up so I can eat you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mashed Potatoes: Two Ways

How are you cooking up your garden goodies? Greenish Thumb is hosting a Garden to Table Challenge. Check out what other bloggers are cooking.

Here's what we are cooking this week. I finally cooked up those potatoes I dug up. We grew these beautiful Yukon Gold potatoes and I knew I wanted to make mashed potatoes. The color of these potatoes are golden and so yummy looking.
Totally simple and completely delicious. A little bit of milk, butter, salt and pepper. Yukon Golds have a buttery taste already, so you don't need to add much. The flavor is outstanding!

We had a lot of left over mashed potatoes so the following day, I made croquettes.

To make potato croquettes, you take the mashed potato, roll it into balls and flatten them into discs. It's not necessary to flatten them if you like round croquettes. Dip into egg, and then some seasoned bread crumbs. Note: I sometimes add cheese in the middle of these croquettes, it is divine!

Cook in a skillet with some vegetable oil until golden brown. No leftovers this time around!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dahlia the size of a human's head?

I'll be the first to admit it that I always fall for the marketing on packaging. So when I saw this Dahlia package at Lowe's this past spring, I had to try it. On the package, there was a picture of a Dahlia the size of a child's head! They call it the Dinnerplate Dahlia.

Here it is finally in bloom! I should have photographed it next to my big head to show you that it's not the size it said it would get to. Definitely not the size of a child's head. It's probably more like a size of a softball. Oh well, at least it bloomed!

Does anyone know, should I dig up these bulbs before winter and replant them again next spring? Or should I just leave them in the ground? It doesn't say on the packaging.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Broken Hose

We bought 2 of these 100 foot heavy duty hoses at Costco months ago, and already we've had to repair it twice. Somehow the hose has sprung a leak on 2 separate occasions. This really quite pisses me off because 1) they are brand new hoses. And 2) we bought these particular garden hoses because it said "heavy duty" on the label. Thank goodness for these hose repair kits, at least we can fix the hole rather than throw the hose away. (sigh)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My First Bell and 100th Post Giveaway!

I was so extremely excited to pick our first green bell pepper! It's a beauty! It's funny, I don't even like green peppers but the hubs loves them. I only like the sweeter bells, red, orange, yellow. We have red and orange bells growing too, but they aren't ready yet. Anyone know how long it takes to turn color?
It's also my 100th Post! In celebration of my 100th post, I'm having a little giveaway. The prize is an assortment of seeds, and a Sierra Club notebook, it's a great garden journal to keep track of your garden. All you need to do is comment below and I'll choose a random winner. It's that simple! Enter by August 25th 11:59pm EST.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Our strawberry plants have been sending out runners like crazy! Which for us is a good thing, because we lost some of the plants in the heat waves we had. I just love this photo, looks like an aerial view of state highways! LOL. Click on the photo to see a close up view!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The award for the slowest plant in the garden

The eggplant has finally started to flower! I planted 8 eggplant plants in the spring and they have been growing at a snails place. They have been taking their sweet ole time. When I saw some of the plants flowering, I was smiling from ear to ear.

Not all the plants are doing well though. This one is so small still. It literally has not grown at all since I put it in the ground. Not sure what's going on with it.

Go away BER

Blossom End Rot really bummed me out this summer. Every single tomato plant suffered from it. Even the tomatoes that weren't Romas. (sigh) A couple of weeks back, I decided to collect eggshells and crush them to sprinkle over the soil of the tomato plants. I think it helped a little.

Finally, we harvested some tomatoes with no sign of Blossom End Rot. However, so far we've had more fruit with BER than without it. It was so disappointing! Next year, more varieties of tomatoes for sure!!

Check out other Harvest Mondays at Daphne's Dandelions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thieves in the garden

The other day I went to water the garden, and I noticed that something pulled this pepper seedling out of the pot! What the h***! There is a thief in the garden! However, they must have not liked the taste of the pepper leaves, because the plant was left right next to the pot! Hahahahhaha! Serves you right! I stuck the plant back into the pot, and hope it continues to grow. I'm not sure if it will since I don't know how long it was out of the pot.

I wanna be chopping broccoli!

I've been watching my broccoli plant since April! It still has yet to produce one crown of broccoli. Everytime I go out to the garden to check on it, I always have this Dana Carvey song in my head. Do you know that song? He did this skit on Saturday Nigh Live, and it's so funny. However, 5 months later and still no "chopping broccoli" for me. What's going on Broccoli plant? Why are you not growing any crowns?
I found part of the "chopping broccoli" song on YouTube in case you've never heard it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fall Snow Peas

I planted our fall crops this week! The snow peas were looking good, and it went into the garden! These grew sooo fast! It germinated in about 3-4 days! Amazing!

Our First Heirloom!

What an exciting day in the garden. I picked our first and second heirloom tomato. I'm not sure what type of tomato it is, since we bought this heirloom rainbow blend variety pack from Burpee. In the pack contained, Bonny Best, Brandywine Pink, Golden Sunburst, Black Krim, Evergreen, and Djena Lee's Golden Girl. I'm guessing that it's the golden girl because the tomato was starting to turn a bit orange but slowly... When I sliced these tomatoes and tasted it, the flavor blew me away. It was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. What everyone says about heirlooms is right on, totally tastes better than any tomato I've ever eaten!! When I read around the garden blogosphere about gardens that had 40, 50, 60, 70+ tomato plants, I was perplexed. However, now I finally get it! There are so many different varieties of tomatoes, and now it's my quest to try each one! Hahahahaha! I just can't wait to grow more next year! Another new addiction!

20 cent seed packet

This past spring, our grocery store was selling these 20 cent seed packets. I love zinnia's so I thought I try it to see if they would germinate. What have I got to lose? It's only 20 cents. Well looky here. To my surprise, we got some really pretty blooms!

I was shocked, this one plant kept growing and growing.

It's huge!! This is one plant, and it's like the size of a small bush! Go figure!
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