Mrs Green’s six stories on Sunday

Filed in Blog by on August 9, 2009 7 Comments
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grow basil in compost for best results

grow basil in compost for best results

One of my favourite posts of the week!

I love the excuse to share reducing, reusing, recycling and composting stories from around the internet.

All of which are guiding us towards a zero waste future.

Let’s take a peek at this week’s stories

Green garbage project

I’ve found two more garbloggers, over in Dallas!

Amy and Adam, describe themselves as an ‘average’ American couple. They live with their dog and two cats.

Their aim, as from July 6th 2009, is to go a full year without producing any landfill waste. Sound familiar?!

I’m hoping to catch up with them over the next couple of weeks, so you’ll be hearing more about them.

Go and give them a cheer at The Green Garbage Project.

10 uses for old sweaters

Over on Eco Salon this week there are 10 uses for old, unloved, stained or outworn jumpers.

You’ll find out how to unravel the yarn and make some great new items including stuffed toys, a pet bed, and a mobile phone holder.

It might be just the inspiration you need to start making some early Christmas presents!

Read Operation Old Sweater: 10 Great DIY Rescues for ideas!

Kristen’s compost

I love Kristen’s post this week about compost.

For the first year, Kristen was able to use her home made compost to grow basil.

She’s taken some fantastic photos of basil grown in her home made compost compared to basil grown in regular soil. Kristen also reused some old pots as plant pots.

Go take a look at her Something very exciting happened here in July post and it will convince you to start your own compost heap!

Nude food challenge

I discovered a great blog all the way over in Australia this week.

One of the writers, Julie, has set herself and her readers a ‘nude food’ challenge.

She is asking us all to pick a day when we eat packaging –  free food.

It’s great to see other people doing similar things to us and we hope she gets lots of interest in her blog!

Find her first post of the week New challenge: nude food and show her your support.

Putting an end to junk mail

Have you ever been inundated with junk mail?

Ever had a company who just can’t take No for an answer? (Viking Direct I hope you are reading!)

Robert, over at the Stop Junk Mail site wrote a post about a couple in Middlesborough who were troubled by the insurace company Saga. They kept sending out junk mail despite requests to stop from the couple.

Robert has put together the definitive way to stop companies sending their junk mail to you with his Data Protection Notice. You’ll discover what to do, how to do it and some sample letters.

Bookmark it, as you’ll never know when you might need it.

Recycle your teaspoons

I love this idea from the fabulous “Things your Grandmother knew” site.

When I sorted out my kitchen, I took a big box of cutlery to the charity shop.

I mean, how many knives, forks and spoons does a family of 3 really need?

Now I’ve found this funky idea for reusing your teaspoons as curtain tie backs!

Have a read of “Curtain tiebacks from teaspoons” to find out more.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Kristen’s preference for home compost over soil is exactly right. I tried both types for early efforts but chose compost and have had decent success for a first year, with now 9 pots to contacts, and 4 at home. Today for instance, I nipped off 4 sets of leaves, each with 4 leaves. Another older leaf was removed to allow new buds to grow freely. The freezer now has many leaves ready for cooking. The last sets of leaves will be dried for winter and spring.

    The occasional insect has enjoyed a section of the upper leaf surface, with a small rectangle removed. I see this as an appreciation of Sweet Basil, rather than a pest situation. Hopefully, it will remain a minor factor.

    On the subject of eating, ox liver has proved to be a regular meal option every week. Emboldened with some success on the ‘cheaper cuts’ front, tripe is my next target. I have older family horror stories about this meat type but will test the truth about it. My butcher has to order it in for the next purchase. He also mentioned the slow cooking of hough, which looked a lean joint. It will be worthwhile to cover the whole issue, including pig trotters and unusual things, like pig’s head. Brains tissue is not on the agenda after the mad cow experience.

  2. Steven Mandzik says:

    John – I read that one too! Thanks Mrs. Green for some great links 🙂

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: 😀 your experimentation with meat is, erm, fascinating. Remember not to invite me for lunch., No, seriously I think it’s great you are prepared to try these things; and I’m sure you’ll find some new favourites.
    Good to hear the basil is still growing well and you’ve started to preserve some.
    How did you freeze it? In ice cube trays with a little water or some other method?

    @Steven Mandzik: You’re welcome, Steven; how is your own zero waste challenge going?

  4. John Costigane says:

    @Mrs Green: Hi Mrs Green, I agree that some of the cuts are a bit off-putting but the idea is to use as much of the animal’s carcass as possible. It makes to sense to waste nothing and promote cheaper cuts, with cooking ideas, for struggling families. The butcher has an advantage over supermarkets in this extra range of cuts and our efforts should help their businesses. Cooperation with Zero Waste businesses is very worthwhile.

    The basil is doing well and cutting/ freezing will boost growth, with one new leaf pair almost full-size after just a few days. The season will end sometime so trying to maximise new growth is the best way to proceed. Freezing is simply storing in a small tupperware container. I have yet to use a frozen leaf but they will be used after season’s end. The final cut leaves will be baked then as well for dried basil. It is still a learning process and I wonder if the indoor location will extend the plants’ lives, especially with some central heating help.

  5. John, you are far braver than me when it comes to the, um, not-so-typical cuts of meat. lol I think I’d rather go vegetarian, myself.

    I’m thinking of trying to keep some basil growing indoors over the winter. I just don’t know if I have a spot that gets enough sunshine.

  6. John Costigane says:

    @[email protected] Frugal Girl: Hi Kristen, There is more to do than just pick the cuts since appropriate cooking can transform flavours or textures, eg slow cooking for Hough. Talking about the options will hopefully encourage others to try. Vegetarian meals are a good option for families but outside the scope of my local butcher promotion as an alternative to packaging waste.

    South facing windows get most light, followed by west. Artificial light might also be needed to make up for the shorter number of daylight hours. My North British location makes growing basil a big challenge and I fear the season will end by September/October. Accepting the start-stop nature of annual plants is the best approach, with a new Spring the chance to improve on previous efforts.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Kristen, I once managed to keep basil growing indoors for an entire year! I was delighted, although the leaves did get a bit tough towards the end.

    it has a lot of light, not necessarily sunlight and not much warmth due to the nature of our house. But it was obviously happy. So give it a go!

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