There are so many things I feel I “miss out” on living in an apartment; yards, gardens, privacy, bbq’ing… Alas, a part of my spring cleaning goals is not only to actually get some cleaning and organizing done physically, but to do so mentally as well. So I am going to try to save my sanity (and planet a little) and bring those things to my tiny space.
So finally, finally, a project I have been trying to do for months now, I finally did. The luxurious, fantastical, worm “garden” is ready. I wrote a past post on how to make worm bins, but never actually had time to complete a new one for myself until recently. I will be picking up my worms from the Urban Farm at the University of Oregon tomorrow, and I am gonna put those puppies to work! I have realized that the majority of the “trash” I throw away, is food scraps I do not have a home for. I rarely throw anything else away, except for the occasional used up tube of toothpaste, etc. So I am hoping this significantly cuts down my walks out to the curb. The worms are also much less stinky and much more efficient at creating compost than anyone I could ever build outside my apartment as well. I think it will create just enough soil for my house plants and the few vegetation plants I will have outside. Hopefully those little guys like kale and potatoes though… because it’s going to be a little while before they get a taste of much else.
I also managed to use up a few of my egg cartons this week, sowing some basil, cilantro, dill, mesclun mix, and broccoli. I got these seeds from Seeds of Change, which seems to be a nice enough company (and the only organic seeds they sold at the True Value). My favorite company to buy seeds from is Territorial Seed Company: you know these people love their work and love spreading this great product strictly based on the loving, and sometimes erotic, descriptions of each heirloom vegetable.
Artful splashes of lilac and cream adorn these elongated, 4-6 inch long, oval-shaped eggplants, making them some of the most beautiful fruit we’ve seen. Not only is Nubia gorgeous in the garden, it’s an excellent choice for the grill or fried. Its mellow, refined flavor pairs perfectly with a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses,topped with tomato sauce. Delicious!
Princely refinement defines this outstanding, juicy, round tomato with its warm, rich colors and robust, full-bodied flavor. Originally introduced in Russia, this indeterminate plant performs quite well in cooler regions. Medium-sized fruit reach approximately 2 inches across with mahogany skin, green shoulders and florid, green and red striped flesh.
This company definitely focuses on keeping all vegetable varieties alive and thriving (instead of the typical beefsteak tomato and iceberg lettuce Americans “love”). Let me put it this way, there are 9 pages of tomato varieties and even 5 pages of beans in their catalog: venture, jade, renegade, royal burgundy, carson, soleil, capitano, painted lady… the list goes on.
I have Purple Haze carrots, Purple Top White Globe turnips, and Red Meat radishes from Territorial that I will be putting in the ground in the upcoming months. Oh yeah, I also made a little “DIY watering can.” Pretty simple: I have a million jars, I need one watering can, I used one of the jars and made it into a watering can by poking holes in the lid. Simple and effective!
The last “project” that I have been working on is growing mushrooms. This is something I absolutely recommend and is so easy! I bought, essentially, a hay bale wrapped in plastic with spores. It cost me about 11 dollars from the farmers market and I have gotten well over 2 pounds of white elm mushrooms from it already. All I have to do is spritz it with water in the morning and before bed and boom! mushrooms! There are other options for growing mushrooms too, which include “plugs”. Basically they are mushrooms spore plugs that you stick into holes in stumps. Just drill holes in a stump in your yard (or on your patio) insert the plugs, and wait. Cheaper and so much more fresh! Gotta love that.
The spring cleaning continues…. next up, DIY cleaning products.