DIY

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Do It Yourself

Why I Garden #3

Indian Popcorn on the stalk

Indian Popcorn maturing on the stalk

Public Lands Day 2007

Public Lands Day at Cochiti Lake with BSA Troop 53

I hope everyone enjoyed a part of our incredible public lands on September 29, 2007 - National Public Lands Day. My fiancée and I joined up with Boy Scouts of America Troop 53 from Santa Fe, New Mexico at Cochiti Lake Recreation Area. Park Ranger Greg Carpenter arranged all of the tools and materials and we helped build a wall to enhance the Pay Station and Information sign leading to the Boat Launch at Cochiti Lake.

A Dark and Starry Night

Santa Fe City Lights at Dusk

Do you remember when it was dark at night? I mean REALLY dark. Step outside your door an hour after sunset and you'll see what I mean. Between the neighbor's always-on security lights, the glaring streetlights, and the 24 hour stores around the block the night time sky isn't all that dark anymore. If you live in a city or even most towns it has become difficult if not impossible to see most of the stars anymore.

Why I Garden #2

Purple Aster

Purple Aster - Aster Bigelovii

Why I Garden #1

Delicata Squash, Amish Paste Tomatoes and Purple Pod Beans

Delicata Winter Squash, Amish Paste Tomatoes and Purple Pod String Beans.

Native Sun(flowers)

Sunflowers - Helianthus annuus

When I first moved into my home the front and back yards were a mess. Other than (thankfully) a few trees, both the front and back yards were barren. My new home featured a landscape of bare dirt, rocks and a few weeds. The realtor offered to get the seller to pay for a load of gravel to spread in the front yard, but I said no. Crazy? Perhaps. I just can't stand gravel-scaping in lieu of actual plants. So, instead of covering up the problem, I started planning a native and xeric landscape around my home.

Use a Reel (Real) Mower

Reel Mower

I am in the process of establishing a native grass (buffalo and blue grama) lawn in part of my backyard. Beyond the weeding of undesired plants and occasional watering I have been reintroduced to mowing after several years. Because I'm working to reduce my ecological impact I decided to go with a Reel (not "real") Push Mower. As I am the power for this mower it needs no fuel (other than a good breakfast for me) or electricity to run. Well, after a few weeks of mowing I can tell you about the pros and cons of using a reel push mower.

Line Dry your Clothes

Clothes Line

This idea is so simple that it didn't occur to me until I moved in to my current house. I had used a clothes dryer for years out of habit and inertia until I moved into a home with a clothes line. After buying a package of clothes pins I was ready to dry my clothing the simplest, cheapest and best way I have found yet. Of course, my grandmother has been drying clothes on the line since before I was born, but some things are rediscovered by each generation.

The advantages to line drying clothing are straightforward and numerous.

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