Wednesday Wow: Happy,Happy, Joy,Joy!

Wake up Nature, it’s Spring time! I LOVE Spring! I do! It’s so (deep breath here…..) Renewing! It’s like a button in my mind and body that has been reset. Who doesn’t love  SPRING ??

Now just in case you said “I don’t,” let me sell it a bit more. See

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in spring, the trees share bright, new leaves on their delicate branches. The fields grow nutritious goodies and the entire nature says hello by  blooming!  Yes, even the grass kiddos!

Twitter has nothing over the songs the birds will tweet in the trees and bushes, ” joyfully announces: “Spring is here!

I was pregnant with Amen in this picture.

I was pregnant with Amen in this picture.

Ooh the pleasant, cool breeze brings the soft and sweet aroma of fresh outdoor fun with the children. Yes moms, it time to hide the handhelds and get outdoors! What better time to: 

  • Have a lemonade stand (Alex’s charity is good but make it more meaningful. After the sales, treat them & let them buy/make gifts to deliver to the hospital or senior living center.)
  • Enjoy a picnic (a great way to get kids excited about family time!)
  • Play in nature -garden, hike, etc.
  • Buy winter and fall clothes ( As stores make way for their summer clothing, winter clothes can be discounted more than 50%. )
  • Fly a Kite! Here’s a video- or go to this page for directions. It’s easy & I promise that you won’t break a nail.

Ready or not Spring is here! Are you sold on it yet?  I know you are.

Great things Always happen in Spring!

A few girl friends & I will build a seating area like this using wood pallets.

A few girl friends & I will build a seating area like this using wood pallets.

Noah doesn't like the camera.

This was taken at the RunWay For Fashion show at NC Dance Theater. It was Amazing!

Wednesday Wow: What’s in the Compost

In our home, food shouldn’t be wasted,dirt is vital to life and everyone can help compost . I just can’t say it enough! WE COMPOST!

I love the idea of saving money and reducing waste by composting certain food scraps and yard waste.We even get a little exercise in as well. Teaching these natural life skill to my children is important too.

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We have been composting since December. For the most part, its been easy, inexpensive and exciting to see how everyone can work together toward a common goal of seeing  this labor of love grow healthy and strong.

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Up until yesterday, I have been very proud of our compost bin. Everything was going well. The browns and greens  were beginning to break down and the kids were taking an active part in helping maintain and waiting to feel the “heat.composting3“.

Even my husband had began to respect my back yard operation. I loved all that rain we got the other week. It helped the compost and our water bill a great bit.

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 So much that I realized that I was getting too low on leaves (the browns). I did recall the helpful lady from the city saying that I could use ripped up strips of newspaper (not the sales ads) but I didn’t want to. So riding to the market I seen a huge 3 row pile of leaves & promised myself that I would pick at least one bag up. Two days later, I had it. I did seem heavy to navigate into the van, but I guess I was so eager to get it home that I paid it no mind. I was thinking  “OOOh this bag is huge-I scored BIG! ” Once I got home and my daughter asked to empty it. She came back to me and said “Mom, the leaves aren’t suppose to smell. I think you have a body in there!”

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Needless to say, I’m too scared to check it out. I’ve brought my newest table scarps in locally & saving it in a bag on the other side of the back door till I get someone to investigate it for me. My stomach is too weak to pitchfork any corpse, and I don’t want my kids to see death like that……YUCK!  I’m thinking the hopes of seeing this 3 ft, labor of love  turn into a dark, crumbly mixture of decomposed organic matter, to control weeds, provide nutrients to plants, improve soil and save water is now a pipe dream. Any tips? Can I save my compost, and look forward to making compost tea or should I call animal control to retrieve whatever had the bag heavy and smelly? Oh, the woes of a fresh composter……

New gardeners learn by by trowel and error.

-QCSupermom

I waste less-I compost Black Gold!

Compost is a soil conditioner, mulch and fertilizer all wrapped into one. It feeds the soil microorganisms that help plants stay healthy,  adds nutrients to the soil, and helps clay soil drain better and sandy soil  retain water. Plus, composting reduces your contribution to the waste stream by  recycling yard and kitchen waste into the world’s best soil amendment.  My Wipe Out Friend, Nadine once said-  Just dig a one-foot hole  in the yard and cover it with a board or bricks until it is full of organic waste. Once your hole is full, bury it with soil, and dig another one to keep composting all winter long. But it wasn’t tht simple. at least not for me it wasn’t.

I tried composting before. My husband idn’t appreciate it much. Everytime I collectedwhat I thought was a good supply, he threw it away. I got crush in spirit, but would keep trying, hoping that the next batch would be a winner. But they all would have the same results….in the trash!  finsi waste

See, we had a garden and I really wanted something good and affrodableto ensure our lots growth without any chemicals. As new family farmers we didn’t know much. I remeber hearing about compost and seeing these dirty looking bins at other gardeners lot at the community garden. Then I seen a posting for a free composting class and quickly secured my spot. I figured if I learned to do it the right way, maybe he wouldn’t trash my stash. Ok….fast forwarding to last weekend. Mary Kay and Shelly came to my house and  gave me the greatest gift ever; knowledge!

 

See what we did-1 5 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Built the composting bin.

For a compost system to work, it needs a healthy mix of browns and greens, moisture, oxygen, heat, and an assortment of decomposers which will turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient rich compost.

Winter composting also pays off by having a supply of organic material ready to  use for spring planting.
Position the compost station in the best possible place.  The sun and its warmth  are crucial to the composting process. Choose a place that allows the compost  station to catch full sun for as long as possible.

The two basic elements that make up compost are green garden debris (grass  clippings or old annuals) and brown garden derbis (dry leaves). Green  ingredients are high in nitrogen and brown materials are high in carbon. Adding  too many greens can make the pile smell bad. Do not add animal waste, meats,  oils, dairy, diseased plants, weeds that have gone to seed, or plants treated  with pesticides or herbicides to your compost.

Collect stuff: leaves and compost waste lie raw food. Not blood or oil based items.Over time, the materials in our compost bin will naturally degrade.

As you can see, everyone helped! We asked questions & listen to the answers and enjoyed the hands on workshop!

1. Should I cover it at all as it get cooler? I just read that -Insulate the compost bin.  This can be done easily by either gluing or stapling  insulating material to the inside of the bin.  An inexpensive insulator can be  made by simply using foam wrapped in black plastic.  The black plastic will heat up and the foam will hold the heat.

2.  When do I add soil to my compost pile?

Read more HERE!

Ever heard of a counter top compost column? I think it’s a great starter for kids.

and here –Nine Ways to Get Plants and Trees for Free.

 

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OK  ya’ll till next time!    …..looking for the STEAM!  QC Supermom