Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Simple green Ideas

With technology advancing at an ever increasing rate, so many things become obsolete so quickly.

The old gramophone became the record player that became the tape deck, that became the CD player…

This obsolete technology is just waiting for ideas, just waiting for a new life.




Got one?

The use your imagination.


Keyhole Gardens

First made popular in Africa, keyhole gardens are catching on in Texas and other hot, dry places. Keyhole gardens hold moisture and nutrients due to an active compost pile placed in the center of a round bed. Although most helpful in hot and dry locations a keyhole garden will improve growing conditions in just about any climate.

From a bird’s eye view the garden is shaped as a keyhole. A notch is cut into a round garden bed, the notch makes for easy access to the center compost well.

The notch allows access to the heart of the garden

The notch allows access to the heart of the garden

Source of text and image: Inspiration Green Go there, read more, see more

I have never heard of this gardening technique before, what a wonderful idea if you have space.

Composting, irrigation and garden, all in one.

Change the World Wednesday – 21st Aug


I don’t need one of these, I have a bladder

*Looks at clock* 2am!

I am insane, yes this week I needed an early morning pee, earlier than normal.

One of the problems of getting old, your bladder loses it’s clock function.

So one tends be up at all hours, bladders don’t have any respect.

It’s a good thing my split days have finished, so I get to sleep in when & where. Time is again mine.

I had another sign that I am not getting any younger. Saturday night, I got dizzy lost my balance, and again more seriously on Sunday morning. My neighbours took me to a local medical centre where I got a jab in the bum and some pills and told to rest.

What’s this ‘rest’ thing? Teachers don’t just ‘rest’. If teachers just ‘rested’ whenever they wanted, the world would come to an end. I went to work Monday night, dopey but I managed to teach without falling into an undignified anamorphic heap on the floor. Although, I nearly did last night because my pill taking got out of kilter with my teaching times. Lesson learned; take pills to work.

Last week, I wrote about my modest garden and preserving. I snapped a few photos for you.

Tomatoes are ripening

Tomatoes are ripening

Already eaten one, made two lovely salad rolls, another is in the vege stand and I am looking forward to making a little ketchup.

You can't see them, but there are little peppers growing

You can’t see them, but there are little peppers growing

Just look at all those little white flowers, each one will become a robust red cayenne pepper.

Modest at the moment

Modest at the moment

But I have already plucked and used some of my parsley.

Click on the banner for the full post

Let’s get on with this week’s CTWW.

Canceling Subscriptions.

Cancel magazine subscriptions. Instead, read magazines online or at the library. Have any old publications sitting around your home? Donate them to libraries, medical/dental offices or recycle them.


OR …

If you don’t subscribe to any publications, get your name off catalog and junk-mail lists. Check out Catalog Choice, National Do Not Mail List or contact companies and ask that they remove your name from their mailing list or ADD your name to their “do not mail” list (whichever they use).

Okay, well, this one is easy. I don’t have magazine or newspaper subscriptions. ALL my reading is via the net. I work on the basis that if it’s not on the net, it’s not worth knowing.

I don’t get junk mail from companies, that’s rare in Brazil, but we do get little fliers (A6 size stuff usually). If they are on plain paper, they get tossed on the compost as I walk past (‘ashes to ashes’ theory); if they’re glossy, they go in the rubbish; if they are bigger supermarket fliers, they go back to the supermarket.

Problem solved, challenge met!

The world still needs real books

The world still needs real books

I do like books, though. If I had access to books in English, I would buy them (secondhand). I just love the feel and the smell of paper. I have read one novel on the net, and didn’t like the experience; there is something cosy about curling up with a book in bed for that twenty minutes before lights out. Laptops, etc, just don’t cut the mustard, they’re not comforting like a real book.

Just a language note here. I mentioned “books in English”, I can read books in Portuguese and Spanish, but because they’re not my first language and I don’t have the same intimacy in the other languages despite being proficient in both.

The world does need books. Electronic means for recreational purposes is just too stark and sterile for an old romantic.

Simple Green Ideas

I am sure that some of you have a wreck, a clunker, or an old car stashed in the yard. Something that has seen better days and is too old to sell, the wreckers want to charge a fortune to tow away, so you’ve just left it there.

Try this…


Get some more mileage from it.


Change the World Wednesday – 13th Mar

boxHarking back to last week, where we had to find an alternative use for anything before we finally decided to trash it.

While the idea is impractical now because I am a recycled bachelor, it was different when I had a house full of kids; four to be exact. They were often joined by friends around the neighbourhood.

No playdates here. In Brazil the kids roll up to the gate, “Can X come out to play?” Or you might be feeding the kids breakfast and simply see a strange face next in the line for a cheese toastie; so he/she got a cheese toastie and ran off to scoff their prize on the veranda with our kids.

Trash toys littered our yard

Trash toys littered our yard

On the veranda we had a large cardboard box. This box was the recipient for anything that ‘might be useful’. Things like polystyrene meat trays (washed), old pens, bottle tops, corks, toilet roll centres, skewers, matchboxes, other small containers, broken toys, lost Lego blocks, etc. In fact anything went into that box and not in the rubbish.

A wet day, or simply a boring one, and our backyard was littered with toys made with imagination and stuff from the junk box.

But now, of course, the omnipresence of kids is no more, so it becomes impractical.

I still save the plastic squirt bottles of washing up detergent, wash them out and when I have a few, I fill them with water and give them to the kids in the praça on a hot day. They have a ball. Sometimes, I do the same with the 2lt bottles of soda, punch a hole in the cap, and presto! They’re so much cheaper than these squirt guns, and just as much fun.

Now sadly, I hover momentarily over the trash can with a useful box in my hand, and reflect on how it could have been used; what miraculous idea could transform it into 10 minutes of fun, then throw it away because those days are gone.

Click for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

This week develop a strategy which will ensure that you and your family enjoy local produce next winter. Need some suggestions? Plan a garden with preserving in mind. Consider freezing, drying, canning, etc. and start gathering the items/tools you’ll need to accomplish it (don’t forget to check thrift stores, Freecycle, etc. for things like canning jars, dehydrators, and other items you might need). Visit your farmer’s market and learn about the items which they’ll have available and when they will arrive for purchase. If you are a member of a CSA, talk to the farmer about your goals and see how he/she can help. This week is all about planning with the goal of having local produce on your plate next winter.

Well, I don’t do strategies. Strategies are for normal people. I am not normal! It’s boring! Besides, I am too impulsive.

Pickled beetroot

Pickled beetroot

I have a gardenette, it doesn’t produce a lot, but I use it. I do preserve the cayenne peppers in olive oil, you dribble that on your meat and it’ll send racing for the ice-water.

While I don’t grow things like onions or beetroot because my garden has no depth for root things. I do buy them when they are cheap. I pickle both, and often have assorted jars in my fridge; some I even give away to neighbourhood friends when I have surplus.

Sometimes I simply take a jar of pickled onions to the botequim and share along with the beer.

Freecycling, I talked about last week. The saved drinking glasses from requeijão went to my ex’s yesterday. I finally got to deliver the 2nd-hand PC for the kids, and I got a ‘new’ TV. My ex had another, and gave me the old one, an LG 29″, yay for freecycling.

So while I don’t do strategies and farmer’s markets do not abound in Brazil, I do do a bit that qualifies for this week’s CTWW.

As my fridge doesn’t currently have pickled onions or beetroot, this post has given me the incentive to put some up.


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