Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Solar Martha

Our enclosed porch has a ceiling light with a pull chain dead center, which means the from either the outside door or the original front door you have to take a few steps in. Sometimes taking those steps can be a like a land mine littered with shoes, cleats, softball gear, kindling, and winter gear.  To solve this I had placed a few garden solar lights around on the floor but it was pretty much ineffective when digging through the shoe cubby under the window bench.
Thanks to a tip posted on Homesteadingtoday problem solved. Thanks W.A.

 Solar panel to charge my new & very stylish porch lighting system.

White Christmas lights in an icicle pattern for under $20 from Target. Fall swag from local YWCA tag sale last week for $3. Lace curtain was actually a tablecloth from Aunt Sally's for $2.
I'm really liking how well this repurpose worked out. So much so I think my kitchen needs a bit of solar lighting. Would hate for anyone to trip during a midnight fridge raids.

These are a few of my almost 9 year old garden lights. The one on the right still works despite it being having a more opaque solar panel than the other. Took an old toothbrush to them with a dab of cleanser. Seemed to help light output with the one that originally worked. New batteries installed in both.
All wiring seems to be intact with no rust noted.
Any suggestions ?
I just can't seem to let go especially since these were pretty pricey in the day.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

3Rs - Reusing/Recycling/Repurposed

K, here's my plan sss (short, simple, & sweet) - instead of the usual houseplants that don't put food on the table I'm gonna go with vegetables such as this hybrid patio tomato plant. Not the most flavorful but come December when we're craving a fresh tomato it will do.
I also have a very large planter filled with a 3 y.o. Rosemary bush, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, & Thyme, but I don't count it since it's just herbs.
The planter is a re purposed vacuum canister from a broken shop vac. Hubby drilled a few tiny holes in the bottom for water drainage.  So consider this also a post about reusing/recycling/repurposed (3Rs)
Note to self - remember NOT to shove it behind a stack of dry wall.

Anyone else had success with indoor gardening of veggies?

Back to stripping wood work.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Monday, October 11, 2010

Urban Orchard Part 4

This is the 4 in 1 Antique Apple Tree that we planted in April of 2008. Just an itty bitty stem compared to what it is now.

A bit out of control to say the least. DH has yet to train it into an Espaliers form. It is going on two years dear. As you can see the Strawberries that we transplanted from another bed filled in very well. It's a real pleasure to walk out the back door of the house and pick berries for breakfast in my robe. This was the only one of 3 Apple Trees that we planted that has fruited yet.

Out of 5 Golden Russets only 1 was brusied. Eatten with some of Yancy's Fancy Champange cheese. 
3 more Apples and it would be enough for a pie. It's a start.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Got Chips ?

Successful score on the Roma tomato hunt to a certain extent. The toms needed a few days in the sun before processing. As you can see the multi operational front porch also does duty as as a great sunny spot to ripen produce. My red headed step son is on guard duty or as my Mom would say he's living the life of Riley.
2/3 of this bushel worked into Zesty Salsa from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving - 34 pints plus. The plus went to a midnight kitchen raid after someone hit the corner bodega for chips.
Bushel cost $16 worked out to $12 for salsa, + $8 for a peck of green bell peppers, + $1 for 5 jalapenos peppers, $1.89 for onions. Had the remainder of the ingredients and my free canning lids I scored a few weeks back. 34 pints of salsa = 67¢ per pint.
The last 1/3 of the Roma's I ran through the Squeezo then drained the pulp in a cotton pillow case to remove excess water. Gallons worth sitting in the freezer. Waiting to see if I can score more canners before turning it all into sauce. 
I am giving some serious thought to not putting in a garden next year instead stressing bartering,foraging & gleaning efforts.
Only a few cups of diced hot peppers came from the garden. Dried cilantro was grown last Summer.

~~ pelenaka ~~