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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


HELLO FROM YOUR GARDEN DADDY! I would like to share with you the intern session we had yesterday. It started out with "soil water", then we went to composting, which of course I really enjoyed but was rushed through due to time allotment. Then we learned about fertilizer, waster gardening (NOT bogs) and rain barrels.
I am interested in the rain barrel aspect as well as the composting. I have the composting aspect down pretty well if you are a regular follower. I have instructions as well as a photo of the one I built this summer lower on this site. But I have not really a problem but well I have NO gutters on this garden home. I understand that was pretty standard on Arts & Crafts homes. So I had already done some investigating into the use of rain barrels for garden watering. There are many-many websites on the subject and many opinions and advice-givers on the right and wrong way to do this project. But really is there any wrong way anyway as what is right for one is not for another. And being the rogue (sorry, Sara Palin) gardener and mostly doing it "MY WAY" (sorry again, Elvis) anyway, I find that when I really think of a thing long enough I find what is best for ME, MYSELF & I.
I will also share, with permission, my youngest brother's vision for his near-future home which includes the capture of rain run off as his entire water use source. His extraordinary vision of his earth ship, or as I call it "the MOTHER SHIP", is to build with recycled building materials gathered or as his website calls it "GLEANED" from building sites, dumpster diving, roadside throwaways and the like. His website,, and his wonderful sense of recycling and re-use of discarded materials not only saves so much money but look at what we as Master Gardeners who love the earth and soil (not DIRT, but SOIL!) could save from our local landfills by doing our own gleaning of our backyards, gardens and neighborhood trash sites. Like my 3-bay compost bin was made from 7-recycled, reclaimed shipping pallets that were going to be otherwise discarded. I have added another shot of it here due to the class yesterday and someone might want a new idea of what I did. I am very proud of the finished product and will be happy to help anyone build theirs if needed or give what pointers I can. I am very passionate about using compost in my garden home and sharing the idea(s) with others.
I will leave you today with the following idea in mind: What if you put your extra vegetables from YOUR garden home to good use and do "pre-gleaning" next summer and provide some fresh vegetables for our local soup kitchen, The RIFA Soup Kitchen? Look for chances to give your food to others. Or give anything you no longer want or need to others for their gleaning. Like donations of leftover materials to the Habitat Re-Store, etc. Give to get - to get the feeling like your leftovers and needless surplus are put to very good use.


  1. Another good article, Mike! I think rainbarrels are a great idea - but am concerned about Charlie using them as his SOLE water supply. Me thinks he'll be pretty gamey before too long unless it rains a LOT there! Then again, Sid has talked him out of insulation, so he'll either be freezing his tuckus off, or lapping up the rain to keep hydrated. Tis no matter because either way, he'll be awfully weak to fight me for your shortbread promised in the last post! Hahaha! But, of course, you were going to donate the extra shortbread to me, as a charitable act in celebration of the gleaning mood, right? Keep up the good works! DG

  2. For Dani...BTW...I almost forgot to mention that unless you have many "tender" plants around your thistle, basically you have deux options: nuke it with "ROUNDUP"(TM)or other same type product or since thistle has a deep tap root generally you will be destined to dig,dig...DIG it out on a regular basis otherwise. Good luck and thanks for your efforts on your blog and keeping Charlie in line on his building efforts and gleaning water. Also help me convince him that using "hypertufa" mixture DOES NOT constitute a true, sustainable building material as I have talked myself blue in the process. Thanks and good luck.

  3. Ok, first, thanks for the suggestion of Roundup. I have some. I have done the digging routine, but honestly, it seems counterproductive. If there are ANY seeds on the thistle, they go EVERYWHERE, thus giving me more job security than I'd hoped.

    Regarding Charlie and the tofu house mix, you should have stopped talking and simply withheld the shortbread. I suspect that will bring 'im around. Dani's rule #1: When all else fails, hold up the dessert! Works like a charm. :) D.