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After I saw how great coffee grounds work on my gardenias, I decided to learn how to make compost in a last ditch effort to save the rest of the landscaping that the previous owner of our home so thoughtfully took care of before she moved. I've read all these tutorials on how to compost and what you should or shouldn't throw in the pile but you see, I'm a really lazy gardener so I have been waiting for a book called "HOW TO COMPOST THE QUICK AND EASY WAY" or "COMPOSTING FOR LAZY PEOPLE" or here's another title I would have snatched off the book shelf "COMPOSTING FOR SLACKERS". You get the idea; I want an instruction manual for bone lazy folks such as myself.

What appeals to me about making compost is that it is a completely natural way to fertilize your shrubs, vegetable garden and flowers. It doesn't cost a penny to make however there is some work involved and that's the part I've been avoiding it all cost preferring to focus on ways to make a green home for my family that took less effort. Having picked most of the easier tasks involved with going green off of my to do list I found myself unavoidably faced with having to tackle learning how to make compost.

Since nobody else had written a book on how lazy folks can compost, I'm going to do it. Here goes nothing!

  1. Compost only in the summer because everything will decompose quicker. This is no problem at all where I live because hundred degree days are pretty common.

  2. Pile 25 parts of brown carbon rich organic material like straw, dried leaves or sawdust to one part nitrogen rich green material like dead plants, grass clippings etc. stirring it all up together very carefully.

  3. it's recommended to shred all the stuff to speed up the composting process which is no problem with the grass clippings as they are already shredded. The instructions that I read recommended that you cut up watermelon rinds and any other big stuff but that's the part I consider to be way too time consuming (read: too much work).

    My solution to this problem is to throw this stuff into a big black plastic garbage bag, put it in hot sunshine until it's cooked and then carefully walk over it crashing the contents before tossing it into the compost pile.

  4. Water your compost pile until it's dampened

  5. Stir the pile weekly

In a very short time you'll have boatloads of the gardener's version of black gold. In fact you may have so much that you will be tainted to share your bounty with your neighbors! But I say unless they came over to help me stir that compost pile they can fend for themselves!

Well, I might give them a bucket full or two, just enough to get them addicted and then maybe I can show them how to make compost and they can have their own compost pile.



eco friendly clothes dryer
This post on eco friendly clothes drying is not about comparing Whirlpool to Maytag. It’s about the most energy efficient clothes dryer on the planet…the sun. To be sure, there are days when it’s raining or when fielding the latest health emergency or disaster around my house that I feel like dropping to my knees and sending up thanks to the Good Lord for my clothes dryer. But when I have time, I actually enjoy getting outdoors and communing with nature with a couple of clothespins stuck in my mouth.

When the weather is just right, laundry day is really not about saving the planet by practicing eco friendly clothes drying. Drying clothes in the sun is about a more easy, relaxed way of taking care of my family’s needs. You just can’t put an Energy Star rating on the anti-depressant benefits of stepping out the back door early in the morning knowing that later in the day you will fill your basket with fresh, sweet smelling clothes. On the rare day when the humidity is low, I can usually gather all three lines and have them folded and hung in the closets by lunch.

The only articles of clothing that I don’t like to line dry are our jeans. When hung on the clothesline to dry they feel too papery and rough and the worst case scenario is that I will have to iron them to remove wrinkles. Not having to heat up and use a steam iron makes the best case imaginable for shopping for the most energy efficient clothes dryer that is manmade!

Regardless of where you live, you can dry at least part of your laundry in an environmentally friendly fashion. It's true that you have to have a back yard of some size to handle a clothesline. But if you have a postage stamp sized yard, you can get a retractable or an umbrella clothesline. These compact clothes dryers are cheap as can be and may be the best choice for city dwellers. We live in the country and have a big yard so I have the old fashioned kind of clothesline like my grandmother had which was a monster sized eco friendly clothes dryer if one ever existed!

Speaking of my grandmother's clothesline, she had special boards to put under the lines at the halfway mark so that heavy items wouldn’t make the whole load sag to the ground. The vision in my mind of her sheets, towels and granddaddy’s work clothes blowing in the breeze are one of my favorite childhood memories long before the phrase, eco friendly, had ever been coined.



I just heard about the efforts of the people of Magnolia Bay Alabama fighting the oil spill by taking things into their own hands. I hate to cry this early in the morning but the people of Magnolia Springs Alabama's efforts to keep their little piece of paradise from being covered in oil have cause me to shed tears and shred the better part of a box of Kleenex.

God bless these southerners who say enough is enough and are not willing to sit around waiting for the government to do something when they feel that there are steps that they can take themselves. Keeping oil from reaching every beach in the Gulf may be too big a job even for most determined Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida residents but by damn, these positive thinkers felt that blocking the narrow mouth of Weeks Bay might just be doable.

BP has all but been absent in the town of Magnolia Springs that is now being called "The Little Town That Could" on an ABC news video about their efforts to block oil from their bay. The company laid down a single line of boom that according to ABC was ripped to shreds within days so the residents of the area came up with their own plan of action to block the oil from reaching the bay themselves.

By their own admission, they are not engineers but just a group of people who love their home and are taking action based on a vision and putting to work nine long barges to keep the strong waves and currents from shredding several lines of boom located on both sides of the barges. Their hopes are that the barges will keep the barricades intact and keep the bay clean and clear.

The proper procedure for this would have been to wait for government approval but the citizens of Magnolia Bay felt the situation would not wait for them to wade through red tape or fill out whatever paperwork might be necessary to get permission. The Mayor of the Alabama town was quoted as saying that if they get in trouble, they will ask for forgiveness later.

As one might expect, renting barges is not cheap and money is said to be running out. My question is whether there might be abandoned barges (I've seen rusty old barges all my life pushed to the side in the port towns of Mississippi) can't be towed down to replace the more expensive rentals.

I'm sure that the citizens of Magnolia Bay did their homework and have done the best they can AND I ADMIRE YOU FOR IT but if somebody from a towing company stops by or maybe somebody who was involved in the rental process finds this post can you answer this question for me?

Meanwhile, at my mom's group this week one of the ladies asked that all of us boycott BP gas stations. I don't know if that will do much to help get the oil spill in the Gulf mopped up. For that matter even the "CAN DO" attitude of the people of Magnolia Bay Alabama fighting the oil spill may not be enough but this green mommy blogger LOVES YOU FOR TRYING! MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND GOOD LUCK!