I love the idea of have a vertical herb garden! It’s gorgeous
While I’m not sure that many people want to have a Wall o’ Herbs take over the backyard, I like to general idea of a vertical herb garden. It’s a more efficient use of space, and filling up a portion of your garage/shed wall with herbs would be a great design choice.
This, my dear reader, is one of my children. Lavandula x Intermedia ‘Provence’, a.k.a. a member of the Lavender family. If this little darling were to die, I would be heartbroken for A WHOLE WEEK, guys.
Don’t judge. That’s a lot for a plant.
This goes for all of my…
I’m really falling in love with everything that Smart Gardener posts. This “8 Reasons Herbs are Awesome” article is quite fantastic, especially #1: “They are pretty much why medicine exists.”
Follow these fine folks, but only if you want beautiful images of plants and vegetables, along with tips for how to grow, use, and/or cook them.
We’ve covered plenty of pedal-powered devices before, but here’s how to make your own bike-powered generator in your home.
Once I have the time. And skill.
For the extra-ambitious among you, here are directions for building a generator for your home that’s powered by someone riding a bicycle.
If any of you make this work, please let us know, as we’re interested in the results and efficacy.
The Best Way to Cook Zucchini and Carrots
One of our new favorite green / gardening sites provides this tasty recipe for preparing zucchini and carrots. I assume the recipe applies to yellow squash as well.
The merits of compost at Vauxhall City Farm
Before there were infographics, there were awesome hand-painted signs like this one helping you understand the benefits of composting.
Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and the scramble to find the perfect gift for dad is on. Finding a thoughtful gift shouldn’t have to be a hassle. There are a number of interesting and useful green gift ideas that would be perfect for dads who love environmental causes, as well as those who might be intrigued by what nature can do. Here are some fun Father’s Day gifts for the green dads and inspirational men in your life.
Gifts from Recycled Materials
Everyone sees the bins marked for recycling, but they may not realize where all those bottles and cardboard boxes can actually end up. Check out these two green Father’s Day gifts:
The Recycled Bottle Hammock
Does a hammock made from recycled bottles not inspire much confidence in the comfort it can offer? Don’t worry: this hammock is assured to be as comfortable as cotton. It is perfect for allowing dad to relax in the yard on a lazy summer afternoon. He can nap or read and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature around the home. He may also be intrigued to see how well items like recycled bottles and other post-consumer waste can be re-purposed.
Wine Barrel Chairs
For wine aficionados or those who enjoy having unique, stylish pieces on display, these chairs definitely offer a story to tell. Expertly crafted from salvaged wine barrels, these chairs make the perfect addition to a patio or porch. The environmentally conscious will appreciate being able to save some trees and those more interested in style will love the look they offer.
Everyone loves interesting and handy gadgets, and when they can incorporate green values as these 2 green gift ideas do, they can be inspirational as well.
This watch is perfect for businessmen or others who enjoy classic taste. It appears traditional, but is powered completely by the sun. A complete solar charge will keep the watch running smoothly for ten months, so making sure it gets enough ‘solar time’ should not be too much of a struggle. This is a great gift to show what the power of nature is capable of doing.
Energy Saving Plugin
Most people at some point have been scolded by their father to turn off the lights to save money. For those dads that might be interested in saving even more, this ThinkEco Modlet will help monitor energy usage throughout the home and shut off unused electronics and other plugged-in items. It is easy to use and quickly pays for itself. Studies have shown that this little $50 device can help homes save up to $200 per year on their electricity bills. That should appeal to both the dads who love saving energy and those who love saving money.
Many people do not realize that even their clothing can often be made more environmentally minded without looking out of style. Here are 2 great options for nice Father’s Day gifts.
Polo Shirt from Recycled Fabrics
This well-cut and stylish polo shirt should fit nearly any dad. As an added bonus, it is made from 50 percent recycled cotton and 50 percent recycled plastic, but it is a good gamble that dad will not even be able to tell! This is another great gift to show him how well recycled materials can be re-purposed while also helping to add some style to dad’s wardrobe. Plus, it’s made entirely in the USA!
These jeans are sleek enough to be worn for fun get-togethers but also casual enough to be worn around the house. The environmentally minded will love that they have been made from organic denim, while the stylish will love the perfect cut and great fit that they offer.
Everyone loves to eat, and your environmentally conscious dad is no different, especially on Father’s Day.
Many men believe that few things are better in the summer than lighting up the grill and preparing the perfect meal. Now, they can be given the perfect meat to get their meal started off on the right foot. Grass-fed beef has been shown to offer many additional health benefits over traditional beef, including less exposure to hormones in the meat and higher rates of nutrients such as Omega-3s and vitamin E. The meat lovers in the house will also enjoy that the meat is declared to taste better. The environmentally conscious will love that the meat was raised more humanely and is less wasteful than conventional methods. This may be the perfect opportunity to turn more people on to grass-fed beef.
Selecting the perfect gift for Father’s Day can be a challenge, especially when looking for a father who seems to have it all. Green gift ideas can offer him something unique and interesting and help him advance his own environmental causes or inspire him to learn more about the amazing world he lives in. Hopefully the above gift ideas can get families and friends looking for green Father’s Day gifts to help make the day truly special.
So, in Part 1 of this series, we discussed the best time to start your garden, while in Part 2, we provided a brief introduction on container gardens and indoor gardening, but let’s get back to the basics a bit and start with the humble seed!
You might have many reasons to want to start your garden from seeds. Perhaps you can’t find the type of plant you wanted at your local greenhouse. Maybe a friend gifted you some seeds from their amazing pepper plants from last season. Or you’d just like to go all-out and try your hand at growing your home garden from scratch.
Growing a garden from seeds a little harder than you think, and unless you’re a seasoned gardener, you can’t really go outside and scatter seeds around like Johnny Appleseed and expect a lush garden in a few months. There’s a bit of time and care involved in coaxing a seed from germination and into thriving. I’ll go over what did and did not work for me when I recently attempted to grow a few pepper plants from seeds.
Over the last decade the term “Upcycling” has been coined and worked into the discourse of sustainability efforts. It appeared in William McDonough’s book, Cradle to Cradle. It has yet to earn itse…
For those of interested in parsing the causes and effects of our products and how we use them daily and in the long term, I really like this explanation of recycling v. upcycling - especially the benefits and efficiency of both processes.
We recently examined the state of the wind industry in the United States over at the Bounce Energy Blog, but we wanted to summarize those 3 parts for our followers here at Project: Greenify.
In Part 1, we looked at how the industry got started by farmers at the turn of the last century needing electricity, got waylaid in the ‘30s by the effort to bring power lines to rural America, and then got restarted in the ‘70s as a response to the Arab Oil Embargo.
With Part 2, we learned how regulations and public sentiment began to encourage the growth of the wind industry as a way to break free of dependence on foreign oil, while the actual technology behind the wind turbines and electricity transmission really leads the way.
Bringing things to a close, Part 3 checks out what the industry will do with its technological breakthroughs to bring wind energy to the forefront of the energy industry in general, especially as it competes with natural gas.
Wind Turbines and Barbed Wire image courtesy of The Russians are Here.
Old School Wind Turbine image courtesy of Patrick Feller.
Wind Turbines on a Hill image courtesy of Rutlo.
Weather Balloon image courtesy of Air Resources Laboratory.
What are your thoughts on the growth of the US Wind Industry? Do you have wind farms in your state? Do you have an opinion on your local, state, or federal governments investing in renewable energy technology of this nature?
Like most busy moms, I don’t have time to sit and “tend to the garden” like I might want to do. But this lack of time hasn’t stopped me from having a successful, small garden, and this investment has kept me from running to the grocery more than once. If you feel you don’t have the time or the space to grow a garden (but you really would like to), here are some helpful ideas to make your garden grow.
Start simple by planting herbs. Herbs don’t need as much space or attention to grow. In fact, most herbs can grow in a container or pot on your deck, patio, fire escape, or other small space. Whatever herbs you decide to grow in your garden, just make sure to put them where they get lots of direct sunlight and water them only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Be sure not to over-water your herbs, as many varietals prefer dry conditions.
Grow what you will use. While some herbs look pretty, not all of them are useful in your family’s menu. Try items such as basil, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, thyme and sage, which are easy to grow in a small garden and can be found in many common recipes to add flavor.
Get your kids involved. Little helpers can save you time and help your garden grow, plus it’s actually fun for them. In my case, I found a small, kid-sized watering can in the dollar aisle at Target, and my daughter loves to use it to water the plants. Just be sure to have your kids water at the base of the plant and during cooler times of the day like earlier in the morning or late afternoon.
Grow Veggies in Small Spaces. If you’d like to step it up from herbs and help your garden grow some vegetables, but have limited space, we’ve got some ideas for you. Choose vegetables that grow especially well in small containers, like window boxes, as these can be placed just about anywhere as long as it is in direct sunlight. Stick to shallow-rooted items like radishes and lettuce, “patio” cherry tomatoes, and fennel. Also remember that vegetables also need direct sunlight and rich soil that drains well.
Opt for smaller varietals. If you would rather plant vegetables in the ground, but are still worried about limited space, there are a variety of options that are bred to grow in small spaces. By choosing any vegetable with the words patio, pixie, tiny, baby or dwarf in their name, it’s a good bet they will require only a small patch of dirt to help your garden grow. It’s important to remember that just because the plant is bred to be small doesn’t mean the vegetables will be small or yield less.
Small Backyard Garden image courtesy of Chiot’s Run.
Herb Garden image courtesy of Frankie Roberto.
Children Gardening image courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region.
Fire Escape Garden with Cat image courtesy of Kristine Paulus.
Do you have any ideas for busy moms wanting to grow vegetables with limited time and/or space?