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An Herbful Kitchen… Love it!!! From: The Rawfoodfamily

30+ things to do with eggshells — from: http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/

30+ Things to Do with Eggshells


how to use eggshells

To the majority of people, eggshells are simply trash.

But to homesteader, eggshells are a surprisingly useful resource. You know what they say… “Waste not, want not.”

I personally get a big kick out of finding uses for things people normally throw away. So, I’ve put together a list of 9 Things You Can Do with Eggshells around your own homestead.

(Holy Moly! My list started out with a measly 9 ideas, but after all of my thrifty readers left their ideas in the comment section, it has grown to 30+! I’ve edited the list with these new additions- keep them coming folks!)

**It is very important to only use eggshells from healthy, natural chickens if you or your animals are going to ingest the shells. Eggs from factory farms are not only less nutritious, but can also carry harmful pathogens. I personally have no problem eating raw eggs from my own free-range hens, but I wouldn’t do so with eggs from the store.**

1. Feed them to your chickens.

Boost your flock’s calcium intake by crushing the shells and feeding them back to your hens. My girls much prefer crushed egg shells over the oyster shell supplement from the feed store. I wrote a post a while back that has all the details of collecting, crushing, and feeding the shells.

2. Use the shell’s membrane as an all-natural bandage.

I just discovered this idea, so I have yet to try it, but what a cool concept! The membrane of the shell is reported to help promote healing in cuts and scratches. This post should be able to answer most of your questions about using membranes as a first-aid tool.

uses for eggshells

3. Boil the eggshells in your coffee.

My first thought when I read this idea was ”Why on earth would you do that?” But apparently, people have been boiling eggshells in their coffee for centuries to help clarify the grounds and reduce bitterness. I have yet to give this a try myself, but it might be worth a try. Here is a Boiled Eggshell Coffee tutorial.

4. Sprinkle the eggshells around your garden to deter pests.

Soft-bodied critters like slugs or snails don’t like crawling over sharp pieces of eggshell.

5. Give your tomatoes a calcium boost.

Blossom-end rot is a common tomato problem, but I recently learned that it is actually caused by a calcium deficiency in the plant. Experienced gardeners often place eggshells in the bottom of the hole when transplanting their tomato plants to help combat this problem. I’m definitely trying this next year! For more natural gardening tips, grab a copy of my latest eBook, Natural Homestead. It has dozens of recipes to keep your garden chemical-free.

6. Eat them.

Yeah, I know. First I told you to eat your weeds, and now I’m saying to eat eggshells… Hey, I never claimed to be normal;)

But yes, many folks actually do eat eggshells for their awesome amounts of calcium.  I’ve never actually tried it, but I know that several of my readers have. This post will give you all the info you need to make your own calcium-rich eggshell powder.

7. Use eggshells to start seedlings.

If homemade paper pots aren’t your style, give some of your smaller seedlings a start in rinsed-out shells. This post from Apartment Therapy will give you all the info and photos you need to get you started.

8. Toss them in the compost pile.

Add calcium to your compost by adding eggshells to your pile or tumbler.

9. Sow directly into the soil.

If none of the previous idea sound appealing and you don’t have a compost pile, then you can simply turn crushed eggshells directly into your garden patch. It’s still better than sending them to the garbage.

uses for eggshells

All of the following ideas were submitted by readers of The Prairie Homestead:

10. Potting Soil Addition: Used coffee grounds and egg shells are wonderful in potted plants. I use a 1:4 ratio. (From Tala)

11. Blade Sharpening: Keep them in the freezer and use to clean and sharpen blender blades by adding water. Then pour the mixture into your compost bin. (From Greenie and Ceridwyn)

12. Canine Remedy: I save my eggshells and let them dry out, when I have a good size amount I crush them, then use a coffee grinder and make them into a powder. If one of my dogs get diarrhea, I just sprinkle a couple teaspoons of the eggshell powder on their food for a day and the diarrhea goes away. (From Terri)

13. Calcium Pills: I save my eggshells in a large bowl, then I steam them to sanitize them and let them dry. Then I grind them down (I use a Vitamix but I think any blender would do if you crush them a little first, or just do it in a coffee grinder) into a fine powder and spoon them into 00-size gelatin capsules for homemade calcium pills. (From Mari)

14. Mineral supplement: I sometimes soak eggshells in lemon water for a few weeks in the fridge. Then I add a tiny bit to my shakes to get extra minerals. (From Jill)

15. Tooth Remineralizing: Natural News.com has an article about using comfrey root & fresh egg shell (organic & pasture raised) for re-mineralizing your teeth.  Not sure about this particular method, but it would make sense due to the healing properties of the comfrey AND the minerals in the egg shell.  (From Jennifer)

16. Sidewalk chalk: 5-8 eggshells (finely ground), 1 tsp hot water, 1 tsp flour, food coloring optional…mix and pack into toilet tissue rolls and let dry. (From Linda) 

17. First Aid Treatment: Fresh egg membranes applied, then allowed to dry, will draw minor infections: splinters, pimples, boils, etc. (From Anne)

18. Making Water Kefir: You can also use eggshell to nourish your water kefir grains.  You just add 1/4 of a clean eggshell to your water kefir while it’s brewing.  We’ve done this instead of buying mineral drops and it seems to work great. (From Jenna, Sherry, and Tiffani)

19. Christmas Ornaments: When I found a large cache of slightly-flawed plastic suncatcher ornaments to paint cheap at the local flea market a few years ago, I snatched a big bunch of them up.  I mixed regular acrylic colors with Elmer’s glue and various “texturizing” elements to pack those suncatchers with.  I tried everything from small seeds and spices, to sifted sand, and my favorite turned out to be crushed eggshells.  They were no longer transparent, but the flaws were covered, and they make very nice Christmas tree ornaments, wall hangings, mobiles, etc. (From Sweetp)

20. Make Calcium Citrate: Make your own calcium citrate using only fresh farm raised, preferably organic, egg shells.  Rinse residual egg out of the shells and air dry. Crush the shell and add 1t. lemon juice per egg shell and cover.  The lemon juice will dissolve the shell and there you have it… calcium citrate. (From Mary Anne)

21. Calcium-Rich Vinegar: I was taught by my herbalist teacher to make a calcium rich vinegar by adding calcium rich herbs (nettles, dock, etc) and one clean high quality eggshell to apple cider vinegar.  It needs to infuse for at least six weeks, then be decanted.  But the calcium from the shell and the plants goes into the vinegar and can be used as regular vinegar would be in salad dressing, over cooked greens, etc.  (From Sara)

22. Pan Scrubber: Crushed egg shells work great to scrub pans that have food stuck in them. Yes they will break up, but they still do the job! (From Rose)

23. Ice Cream Addition (?): I was told companies put egg shell powder in cheap ice cream to add extra calcium.  I imagine you could do this when making homemade ice cream as well.(From Brenda)

24. Cosmetic Booster: Make it into a powder and add a little bit to your nail polish to strengthen nails. Take that same powder and put it into ice cube trays with water and rub it on your face– it helps reduce the look of wrinkles. Put the powder in your lotion– it softens your hands. (From Amy)

25. Add to Broth/Stocks: For extra calcium and minerals. (From Becky and Tiffani) (See my homemade stock/broth tutorial here.)

26. Arts and Crafts: Use eggshells to make mosaics or mixed-media art projects. (From Carol and Janet)

27. House Plant Booster: “My Grandmother kept eggshells covered with water in a mason jar which she used to water her African violets. She had the most magnificent plants imaginable!”(From Cynthia)

28. Wild Bird Treat: You can also feed them to the birds. They’re high in calcium and are great for birds in the spring when they are laying eggs– just make sure to sterilize them. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes at 250 F and crush them. (From Susanne)

29. Laundry Whitener: To help your whites not to turn grey, put a handful of clean, broken eggshells and 2 slices of lemon in a little cheesecloth bag with your clothes in the washer. It will prevent the soap deposit that turns the white clothes grey. (From Emilie)

30. Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Toss a few shells down your disposal to help freshen things up. (From Carol) (Okay– since originally posting this, I’ve had several folks say this is a bad idea and that it will clog your drain– so proceed with caution…)

What do you do with eggshells?

Starting Your Own Herb Garden from: http://naturehacks.com

I need to grow more herbs in the Garden so I’m sure this information will help me next Spring.. We grow tomatoes, two or three varieties of hot peppers, Swiss Chard, basil and a few other veggies, but I have to plant more herbs outside..  ET 


Many of us have childhood memories of playing in a garden on a sunny day with the scent of lavender, rosemary and mint accompanying our every step. Just a whiff of these scents will bring a wave of nostalgia for childhood summers, fairy tales and times gone by.

The good news is that we can create our own fairy tale setting right here and now by planting a herb garden in even the smallest back yard.

Herbs are natural ‘weeds’ or wild plants and unlike many flowering plants they have not been bred or mutated into something more pleasing to the eye. They remain in their original state and as such they are most often hardy and easy to grow with a natural resistance to disease. You can avoid using chemical pesticides on them and if you can do the same with the rest of your garden, you will have ‘organic’ herbs that you can safely eat when any superficial dust and insect matter have been washed away.

The location of your herbs is important. They need to be close to the house where you will constantly see them. Under the kitchen window is great. This way, you will remember to water them and you will not have far to go when you need a little flavoring in the middle of cooking dinner. Even if it is raining, just a step outside and you will have your herbs. If they are at the far end of the garden, on the other hand, they are more likely to be neglected and unused.

Many herbs are small plants that do not require much space, but beware of them spreading uncontrollably. Lavender can become huge hedges, mint can pop up all over your lawn, and many others will simply grow and grow if they are happy in your garden. Give them plenty of space and be prepared to control them firmly when necessary.

Your first decision will be whether to grow your herbs all together or mix them around the garden with other plants. There is a lot to be said for having all your herbs within easy reach in one bed, and if you do this be sure not to make the bed narrow enough that you can harvest the leaves you need without damaging other plants.

On the other hand, plants in the wild tend to grow with certain other ‘companion’ plants and if you mimic this by considering compatibility in planting your herbs, all of your garden may benefit. Here are some examples:

– Parsley, tomatoes and asparagus is a good combination. Parsley also grows well with lettuce.

– Sage and tarragon are said to grow so well together that you will have a more intense flavor from both herbs if you mix them rather than keeping each separate.

– Dill does well with cucumbers. However, do not try to grow dill with potatoes or cabbage, as they are incompatible.

Consider The Benefits of The Herbs When You Plant Them

Many herbs have other helpful properties. Nasturtiums are good next to fruit trees to keep aphids away. Lavender does the same for roses. Thyme along the edge of a bed will help to deter snails. Marigold and borage provide saponins, important nutrients for the soil.

Types of Herbs

Herbs are not all leaf. Sage, lavender, borage, feverfew, chamomile and marigold are all examples of herbs which will flower beautifully in your garden. If you have plenty of space, you may want to plant more of these than you need, because they are so attractive.

Of course, you will want to plant smaller growing herbs at the front of any bed with larger plants behind, both for ease of reach and for a better display.

Consider Sunlight Exposure

Most herbs enjoy a sunny spot although there are exceptions. However, it is better not to have them in full sun all day, or they will mature and turn to seed very quickly. Once they are forming seeds, all of their goodness and energy goes into the seed so unless your aim is to produce seeds (e.g. with coriander or pepper) you should take your main harvest before that happens, while the flavor and nutrients are still in the leaf (or flowers, with chamomile).

Container Herb Gardening

Of course you can also grow herbs in containers. Many will thrive in a small container. Some, like mint, can be grown in pots buried into the soil to prevent them spreading uncontrollably. Others grow so well in pots that containers have been designed specifically for them – you can grow parsley in a special clay ‘parsley pot’, if you wish.

If you use wooden containers, be sure they have not been treated with any damaging chemicals. Anything used in the treatment will enter the soil, be taken into the plant and eventually end up in your stomach, so it is worth taking some care with this. If you want to grow your herbs organically you may prefer to use clay pots.

Be sure that the containers are well drained, because most herbs like a fairly dry environment. This means having drainage holes on the underside of the pot, and also placing a layer of large gravel or similar before you add any soil, to help with drainage. However, containers do need frequent watering because the soil will not hold water as well as in a garden bed. Let them get a little dry right before harvest to keep the nutrients strong in the leaves.

Which Herbs?

The next question is which herbs to choose. If you are starting from zero, do not be tempted to plant too many different herbs. In the first year it is better just to choose four or five plants that you know you will use and enjoy. Later, you can add more with the benefit of experience.

Starting From Seed

If you are starting your plants from seed, most of them will be best in seed trays indoors at first. Use at least 2 inches depth of potting soil. Don’t forget to label them! The trays need to be well watered and until the seeds have sprouted you can leave them covered to hold in the moisture. Once shoots appear, they will need light. However you can replace the lid at night at first, to keep them warm.

You will probably have a lot of tiny seedlings but do not start to thin them out until the first real leaves are fully formed. At that point you can see which are the weaker plants and remove these, to leave just the strongest ones, preferably about 2 inches apart. As they grow bigger you can transfer them into individual small containers.

Start your seeds in the late winter or early spring, and start putting them outside for a few hours every day before you transplant them into the garden. They need some warmth in the soil before they are planted, and they also need to acclimatize to the outside air and temperature.

Starting From Grown Plants

Alternatively, if you do not want the trouble of starting your own seedlings, you can buy small plants that are ready to be planted outdoors. If they were kept indoors at the store, you will still need to leave them in their pots for a few days while you acclimatize them to your garden by putting them out during the day and bringing them in at night.

Fennel and cilantro are examples of plants that do not like to be transplanted, so with these it is best to plant the seeds directly outside.


Once outdoors, herbs will benefit from rich, fertile soil. This means adding fertilizer or compost at least once a year. Choose an organic fertilizer if you aim for organically-grown herbs. You can also collect fallen leaves and spread them over the earth as mulch during the winter, or dig them into the soil. Dead leaves make wonderful compost.

17 Foods To Buy Once And Regrow Forever

17 Foods To Buy Once And Regrow Forever

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Everyday we  throw heaps of leftovers and scraps out which could actually be used to regrow fruits, vegetables and herbs completely free of charge.

Not only can we save money, but also reduce our carbon footprint. With grocery prices increasing, now is the best time to get frugal in the kitchen and garden.

Below are seventeen fruits, vegetables and herbs you can buy once and regrow forever…


Regrow Green Onions – Want to grow green onions indefinitely? If the answer is yes then follow this tutorial and always have green onions always at hand.

Regrow Onions – This clever method of growing onions in an old used water bottle on a windowsill is a great way to get free onions!

Regrow Carrots -This method to grow carrots from carrot tops is so simple you can get the kids involved. The instant results will get them excited from the word go.

Regrow Celery  – This is a clever idea to regrow celery from the base.

Regrow Sweet Potato’s – The versatility of the sweet potato means it’s a firm favorite with any home cook, here we share a tutorial on how to grow more using nothing but a sweet potato.

Regrow Leeks – Regrowing leeks is similar to regrowing green onions. The simple method is so handy to make the most out of your veggies.

Regrow Bok Choy – Along with celery and onions, bok choy can also be re-grown. This is a fantastic way of cutting your food bills. Why not try it yourself.


Regrow Avocado – This easy to follow tutorial requires toothpicks and patience. More avocado’s are not guaranteed, but they have been known to grow. No matter what, you will definitely end up with a great plant  to feature in your garden.

Regrow Lemons – Lemons can be used in so many food and drink recipes alike, even used in crafts and homemade detergents. Why not plant a lemon seed and grow a whole Lemon Tree….

Regrow Pineapples – An impressive tip for pineapple lovers out there! This DIY will leave you with a great pineapple plant making your garden look exotic and unique.

Herbs & Spices

Regrow Ginger – This simple idea requires only a piece of sprouting ginger to regrow more of this fantastic spice forever!

Regrow Basil – Regrowing basil couldn’t be easier, this method will have you growing your own fresh basil in no time. Don’t waste your money on shop bought basil that can ruin quickly.

Regrow Lemongrass – Lemongrass is great in stir-fry recipes and adding a kick to drinks. Here’s how to grow your own.

Regrow A Garlic Bulb – You too can grow a whole garlic bulb from a simple clove. Follow these 5 steps and you will be well on your way to growing your own bulb.

Propagate Rosemary – Regrow rosemary cuttings from your container plant. Why not make even more rosemary plants to fill your garden. This popular herb can be used in a number of recipes so you won’t be short of ideas of what to use it for.

Regrow Lemon Balm – By using the cuttings of Lemon Balm, much like the above Rosemary tutorial, you can re-grow sprouts and plant even more in your garden pots.

Regrow Mint – Mint can be used in so many ways but it’s a pain having to buy a whole bunch from the store. Insteas grow your own and pick what you need!

Following a few of the above tutorials will lower your food bills and provide you with a never ending supply of herbs, fruits and vegetables that you can use in your cooking. Give them a try!

Growing Onions Vertically On The Windowsill

From: http://auntiedogmasgardenspot.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/growing-onions-vertically-on-the-windowsill/

postheadericon One for the enthusiast

May 14th, 2013 | Author: 

How nice would it be to just be able to pluck fresh green onions from the soil whenever you need them? Nothing beats fresh onions for your salads, dips or soup. But how can you ensure a supply of fresh onions at hand all the time?


Sure, onions are available all year round from the supermarket, but they are hardly fresh and there’s almost always no way to know for sure where they came from.

Gardeners of course will simply grow them but some simply have problems with available space.

I came across an image of spring onions grown vertically on the windowsill, using a common 5 Liter PET bottle, which I thought was a practical, space-saving and green way to grow onions. I posted the image on our Facebook Page and a few people asked how it was done…


…and since I was curious myself, I did a bit of research and this is what I found:


FIRST, you need a planting vessel:

plastic bottles

NEXT, you need to remove the neck of the bottle then cut holes around it. You can use a scissor or a heated metal tool to make the holes. Make sure the holes are just the right for the onion bulbs.


NEXT, fill the bottle with layers of onion sprouts and soil.



Keep adding layers until you reach the top of the container.


NEXT, water it…


AND FINALLY, set it on your windowsill…

onions on windowsill - Copy

And watch daily as your onions grow…


In no time, you’ll have something like this:


So the next time you want to add some garnish to your food, sweet spice to your soup, to whip up a savory dish or to make a nice, crunchy salad, all you’ll need to do is pluck some from your vertical onion garden.

And you don’t even have to worry about storing them.

Growing Ginger — from– http://www.growingherbsforbeginners.com/growing-ginger/

By Greenthumb On June 28, 2011

Ginger Roots

Ginger Roots

Have you tried growing ginger yet?

Ginger, known as Zingiber officinale or official ginger is a very easy herb to grow. Even better? You can probably find a start at the grocery store.

This is not the tropical ginger with flashy blooms that you see in Hawaiian photos, but rather the ginger root you use in gingerbread! If you grow your own you can use it fresh or even dry it.

If you can find an organic piece of ginger root with some eye buds forming (sort of like the eyes on a potato) you will have a ginger plant sooner rather than later.


Gigner roots- eye buds

Ginger Roots-See the Green Eye Buds?

Although it is easy to grow in a container or in the garden, Ginger has a few requirements for growing well.

  • It likes warmth.
  • It likes partial shade.
  • It likes moist, rich soil.

If you can provide these things, you can grow your own ginger root!

Here’s the “Ginger Growing 4-1-1″ :

Find a nice ginger root (known as a rhizome) at the store. Look for eye bud swellings.

If you can get them, an organic rhizome is probably better because non organic roots may be treated with a growth inhibitor, and you may want to eat your root at some point! If you can’t find anything else, grab the non organic anyway and give it a try. Organic or not, I have never had one NOT grow!

If you have a large root with several eye growth buds, you can break the root into several pieces, each with an eye bud and plant them all!

Dig your spot in the garden, or use a good potting mix and fill your container nearly full. Plant the ginger just an inch or two beneath the soil, making sure the eye buds are pointing upward!

planting ginger root

Ginger root with growth buds facing up!

Cover the root and water.

A 12″ pot can probably handle two roots, larger containers can handle another one or two. Plastic is best, roots can get ‘stuck’ in terra cotta and you may shatter pots when digging the roots.

Make sure you keep the rhizomes moist, out of bright direct sun and wind.

Compared to other herbs, Ginger plants are ‘slow pokes’ when it comes to growing. They will eventually reach a height of  2 feet or more in a container and may hit a height of 2 to 3 feet in the garden.

growing ginger in a container

Ginger growing nicely!

You can harvest your rhizomes at any time after the plant has grown for several months, but the longer you can keep the plant growing the larger your harvest will be. You may notice the rhizome has some roots. You can just cut them off and use the ginger root, or save a piece (with a growth bud) for re-planting!

You may also notice new ‘buds’ forming at the top of the rhizome. These can be separated and planted for even more ginger!

New Ginger rhizomes

New Ginger Babies!


Since I live where it’s cold in the winter I usually start mine in the greenhouse early in Spring, or in the house in February. Once night temperatures are above 60*F I set them out and let them grow all summer. Roots are harvested when the leaves start to die back in the fall- but before a frost. Frost kills the plant and can harm the roots.

If your ginger has been growing awhile you might find the roots have gotten quite a bit larger by the time you harvest!

If you don’t want to harvest just yet-

You can bring the whole pot inside and store it somewhere dry and cool, but not cold. Remember, it’s a tropical plant! Don’t water it. Don’t even look at. Next year when the weather warms you can add some nice compost, set it out where it’s it will be toasty and watch it begin growing again.

You can also keep it in a warm, well lit area and keep it as a houseplant.

Ginger Plant and Root

Ginger Foliage and Root

Zingiber officinale does not produce a showy blossom like many tropical plants, and the way I usually grow mine does not allow time for the plant to bloom anyway. If you overwinter yours, or you live somewhere warm, humid and tropical you might get a few ‘plain Jane’ blooms from your Ginger plant.

Send me a picture if you do!


Did you like this post? Are you new to growing herbs? Sign up for the free class!

Use Vinegar to Kill weeds… Make a Sprinkle Cap.. from a Facebook post by Hometalk..

Easy Does It – Sprinkle Cap –

I use vinegar to kill weeds & it is getting costly, because I would just take the cap off & pour. Instead of pouring it, I know conserve it by sprinkling it. Covers more area & I can spot treat.

My Garden: Making a Veggie Hod — from – http://homefront.prudentliving.com/my-garden-making-a-veggie-hod/

Published November 7, 2012 | By Nancy

First of all you may be wondering what a “hod” is! According to dictionary.com com a hod is a portable trough for carrying mortar, bricks etc., fixed crosswise on top of a pole and carried on the shoulder. I found these directions on runnerduck.com and thought it would be a perfect solution for carrying in vegetables from the garden. My husband took one look at the directions and decided to make a few modifications. Now I have my own custom made Veggie Hod! Here’s what you need from the original directions:

  • 1 x 6 inch cedar 3 feet long
  • ½ inch wire mesh 16 by 16 inches
  •  ¾ inch dowel
  • Carpenters glue
  • Nails
  • Staples

We had some leftover ¾ inch cedar siding that was perfect for the project.

prudent living

Leftover Cedar Siding.

Cut the ends 5 ½” by 8”.


Cutting the ends.

Radius the two bottom corners using a 1 quart paint can as a guide.


Using a paint can as a guide.

Using a band saw or jig saw (shown) cut the corner radius.

veggie hod

Cut the corner radius.

Cut the two side rails 1 by ¾ by 16 inches.

veggie hod

Cut the side rails.

Veggie Hod wood parts list cut from ¾ inch cedar: 2 ends 5 ½ x 8″, 2 side rails 1 x ¾ x 16″, 2 handles 1 ½ x 12″, and a 3/4 inch dowel 17 ½ inches long.

prudent living

Veggie Hod wood parts.

Cut a ¾ x 1 inch notch in each top corner of the end pieces for the side rails.

Veggie hod

Marking the notch to cut.

End pieces rough cut and ready for sanding.

Veggie Hod

Ready for sanding.

Cut the mesh 16 by 16 inches. Cut the wire very close to the cross wires to eliminate sharp, pointy wires. Bend one edge of the mesh 90 degrees, ½ inch in from the edge.

Veggie Hod

Cut the wire mesh.

Staple that ½ inch edge to the bottom of one of the sides.

Veggie Hod.

Staple the wire mesh.

Align the side in one of the end notches and wrap the mesh around to mark your bend point for the other side. When you have this mark bend the mesh 90 degrees and staple to the other sidepiece.

Veggie Hod

Staple 90 degree bent wire mesh edges to the bottom of each side rail.

Fasten the side rails to the end pieces with 1 ½ inch screws.

Veggie Hod

Fasten the side rail.

End pieces attached to side rails with wire mesh.Veggie hod.

Ends attached,

Drill ¾ holes at top end of handle. Draw out half-round for cut to finish.

Veggie Hod

Drill holes.

Handle ends shaped and finished.

Veggie Hod

Finished handles.

Attach handles to the center of each end piece with two 1 ¼ inch screws.

Veggie Hod

Attach handles.

Slide the dowel into the handles and mark any excess dowel length and trim off. Dab some wood glue into the handle holes and insert dowel. Tap a 1 inch brad through the handle into the dowel to secure.


Veggie Hod

I can’t wait to use my Veggie Hod, it will be perfect for gathering the harvest from the garden, I’ll even be able to give the vegetables a quick wash before coming into the house.

Veggie Hod

Waiting for a coat of stain!

– See more at: http://homefront.prudentliving.com/my-garden-making-a-veggie-hod/#sthash.VYabOWkO.dpuf

How to germinate osage orange

Read on the Internet, fill a bucket (or container)full of fallen Osage Oranges, and some water, and leave them set out all winter (Ohio). In the spring they’ll be brown and squashy. Mix them up into a slurry, dig a furrow about 1-1 1/2 deep, and pour in the slurry, cover with about a 1/2″ of dirt. Tried this last year 2009-2010 and had plenty of germination. Furrow was about 8′ long and probably had 100 seedlings, and this is in hard clay.

I’ve been growing them for two years, and I’ve had great luck. I collect the fruit September – November: I choose big, healthy-looking fruit that has fallen from the tree. Then I leave it on my deck in a plastic tray or box, letting the freeze-thaw cycles do the work for me.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Eventually, the fruit becomes soft enough to be separated easily. Pull good seeds from the middle of the fruit.I planted my seeds about a half-inch under the soil in various containers. All of them came up. However, I remember that I planted them early, and they didn’t sprout for what I thought was a long time. I also planted far too many seeds – which meant that I had to select the best seedlings and scrap or transplant the rest. I tried separating, but my transplanted seedlings all wilted.

My best plants, interestingly, came from a chunk of fruit that I tossed into a pot of old soil and oak leaves (the pot had a chainfern in it originally). Anyhow, two really vigorous volunteers sprouted up late, grew about a foot and a half, and held their leaves well into fall. One plant has thorns, one doesn’t. This winter, I carefully separated the plants (one for my sister, one for me), unbound their bright orange roots, and re-potted them. Now, they are both putting out new leaves! I have an experimental runt osage, too, that is sprouting. If it stays compact, it’ll become a bonsai.

So, my advice: give them plenty of room to grow (one gallon or better), and watch them for sunburn. You should have a lot of success.

Newspaper weeds Away…

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.