Our weekend was filled with a road trip to the desert. We saw all kinds of cacti, and all kinds of golf carts. There were trees with green bark, and grasshoppers with foot long legs. It is a part of the country we are not as familiar with, but thankfully, these signs gave us some useful tips.
If you are going into battle, you need the proper armor. If you are going to spend a bit of time outside, you should be dressed and ready for it! Here are some basic essentials for spending a morning doing yardwork:
1. Staying well hydrated is common sense, and helps keep you cool. I like a cup with a lid and straw, so I can feel more sure a stray bug or something isn’t swimming around in there. 2. Most of the time, I wear a watch. Its easy to lose track of time, and if you need to be showered and somewhere else later, you’ll be glad you wore one.
3. I’m a fan of hats. They keep hair out of my face, and make my crazy hair a little more manageable. I like baseball hats, or big floppy garden hats, and braids. 4. And finally, a good pair of garden gloves. My fingers still tend to get sore and I occasionally get a little cut, and I can only imagine what my hands would look like if I didn’t wear gloves.
Optional essential- bug spray. Mosquitoes can be nasty, but I kinda hate bug spray, so I try to go as long as possible without it. Wearing long pants and sleeves helps a lot.
What is your go-to garden gear?
The unknown is one of the most terrifying things in the world. Possibly because we can’t see it. We are in the dark. Reaching your arm into a bunch of plants to clear them out is pretty scary. Who knows what is living in there. But we learn from Dumbledore: “You know happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”
So instead of being paralyzed by the thought of weird bugs flying out at you, let’s turn on the light.
The secret is to start on the outside, and just start cutting what you can see. It will start to thin out, and you’ll be able to see more and more.
As you see more, you will feel a bit more comfortable with pulling and clipping, and you can work your way down to the base and roots. It will take some time, but you can do it!
Our rock path was our first big outdoor improvement. This was once bare dirt, turning to mud in the rain, and dust in the summer. Now the path has a rustic charm that looks like its been there for centuries.
Here’s how to make one of your own!
You will need:
- Rocks (we got ours from a local quarry)
Our rocks are set into the dirt a little bit, so they are flatter to the ground. To lay rocks this way, you will need to clear some of the dirt away with a shovel, making the ground as even as possible. We tried to do this in large areas at a time, to be more efficient.
Next, you can lay the rocks down in a pleasing arrangement, much like rock tetris. For each rock, you will need to customize the hole depending on any rock surface irregularities or depth differences. Add dirt in some places, or remove some in others.
After you are satisfied, fill the area around the rock with leftover dirt, packing it around the edges.
Repeat one million more times, and you will have a path!
We harvested these carrots fresh from the organic section of the store for less than a dollar. Cheaper than even the dollar store.
Much like our green beans, these carrots will be made naturally into super foods by bacteria. More like they grow and develop into their natural super abilities, like Professor X, rather than being injected with something to become super, like Captain America.
I have been on a hamburger pickle chip kick, so we cut them into slices, as opposed to matchstick pieces. These take approximately no time to make, besides the waiting. There is the waiting time after you sprinkle salt on them, and then the waiting for the bacteria to pickle them part.
But after you finish waiting for them, they will wait for you to eat them in the fridge for months. So at least they reciprocate. Make this delicious snack today, and you will be able to eat them in like a couple days from now.
3 organic carrots
about an inch of ginger (or to your taste)
One garlic clove (or to your taste)
about 1/2 tbsp sea salt
1. Cut carrots into slices. Slice up ginger. Smash garlic clove and cut in half.
2. Put carrots, ginger, and garlic into a bowl. Sprinkle the salt on top. Using your hand, mix up the ingredients. You can kinda be rough on the carrots, to help the salt soak in.
3. Wait about 5-10 minutes for carrots to start looking juicier. They will start to look kinda wet.
4. Pack the carrots into a jar, and pour any remaining liquid from the bowl on top of them. Fill jar with water to cover the carrots.
5. Leave jar on counter not in the direct sun for a couple days. *Gently put the lid of the jar on, do NOT tightly screw on. The organisms preserving the carrots will create gas that needs to escape, and you don’t want an explosion.
6. Keep tasting until they are pickled to your taste, a few days to two weeks, depending on temperature. When you like them, put in the refrigerator, where they will keep for a couple months.
Great for a snack with some more pickle chips!
After the great tree falling incident of April 2014, we are very aware about the health of trees. Early in the summer, we noticed a groot-like vine creeping through the trees, growing stronger by the day. Thankfully, we made some strategic cuts that were able to stop it, but it still left our tree a little funky looking in some spots. You can see the traces of its crispy dead vine body up in the leaves.
But due to its groot abilities to re-grow, the vine creeps through our side gate, once again asserting its power, slowly trapping us inside. The vine holds on tight, the tentacles very firm in their misguided convictions.
Super hero gate defender to the rescue. After a few snips, our freedom will be restored.
Every once and a while, we like to give the houseplants a proper bath. They get that inside dust/cobwebby accumulation over time, and they need a nice shower to clean up. It was fairly cool today, so we lined them up on the porch for their bath time. I like to separate them into sections for most water to least water, so they stay happy.
To give them a bath, you just need a hose and sprayer. Set it to the gentle garden rain setting.
Wet plants have the best colors. After you get them sufficiently watered/clean, let them soak up some rays and dry off in the air a bit. Fresh air is good for everyone. Then bring them back inside, and enjoy your nice, clean plants.