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6 posts from June 2011


Scrapfest Exceeds Expectations

This weekend the third annual Scrapfest in Old Town allowed nealry 20 teams to grab a pile of scrap from Friedland Industries and fashion it into any thing they fancied.  One of the most popular pieces was the guitar-playing skeleton, but each work of art was a show-stopper.  Some highlights:


Yes, you can ride it.


The tree (above) featured exquisite detail (below).





The table above is completely functional, complete with shelf storage and accessories.


The attention to detail on the pieces prompted many comments.  Some were interactive, allowing the observer to play music or otherwise use the piece.  The skeleton (above) and bird (below) received some of the highest bids (all pieces are auctioned off via silent auction during Scrapfest).




Local Lansing Lady Goes to Haiti: Building houses...

I first met Kelly working together on a community gardening project, but soon found out she was coach to some friends raised around here.  Just a few weeks ago I was starting to get used to seeing Kelly at her regular volunteer session at The Garden Project Resource Center.  Then comes the sudden news: Kelly's moving to Haiti to help construct prototype housing!  But wait, it gets better...she's blogging about it!  Check it out!!! 

Her posts are already sparkling, you can read her blog here.   As she notes in her background info, "I am ready for a new adventure. I still haven't figured out if I am running from or running to something. Maybe a little of both. I have been offered a job to help build prototype housing in the wake of the quake in Haiti. I am going to be part of a small work crew problem solving, sweating and building two homes...."  Oh, and she has multiple degrees and has raised three kids.  Go on, girl!

Kelly says other than the blog, she will be "incommunicado;" here's wishing all the best for her.

Kelly's deft but welcoming humor is obvious to anyone who's met her, her skill working with others is enhanced by this natural friendliness.  Despite the incredible challenges faced by the people and land of Haiti that have been exponentially exacerbated since the earthquake, we trust Kelly will find a niche

Continue reading "Local Lansing Lady Goes to Haiti: Building houses..." »


Ripe Mulberry Tree On the River Trail, While Supplies Last

Just off Aurelius north of Mt. Hope, park at the river trailhead and pick away.

What's your too-good not-to-share street tree?  I've already told you about the cherry tree next to the Soup Spoon Cafe and the apple trees scattered around.  Local foraging is a taste of what grows without a lot of 'help' from us--the sort of species that form the basis of a stable ecosystem of native plants.

Lots of yards in Lansing have raspberries or other perennial fruit crops like currants.

By balancing the timing of various perennials with good use and storage of annual vegetables, you can enhance your diet and save money and the world.  What's not to like?

For some perennials, check out fall neighborhood plant swaps or contact The Garden Project at 517-853-7809 and inquire about perennials.




Keep Your Green(s) from Bolting: DIY lettuce.

Lettuce is lovin' the rain, and I'm lovin' the lettuce.


A bin full of lettuce, picked about an hour go.  Triple rinsed and ready to eat, sell, share...

My garden is mostly lettuce right now, but with all the recent rain and touches of sun, it's been a perfect year for lettuce, so I'm not complaining.  Whether snipping outer leaves or cutting a whole plant a few inches above the ground, there are several techniques to harvest your lettuce that encourage more growth and production.  Couple that with several sequential, 'staggered' plantings between April and September and you can have fresh (free) salad greens six months out of the year.  Just let a few plants flower and go to seed at the end of each planting and either save the seed or let it self-sow.




























If plants are flowering before you get a chance to harvest much, try pinching off the flowering stem as low as possible.  If your greens are bolting, they're probably either too hot or stressed in some other way.  Try placing an object or planting something to give them a few hours of shade each day--6 hours of sun is sufficient for most lettuce.  Mulching the soil to help keep it cool is a good idea too, and it will protect your leaves from dirt splashes.

By the way, this romaine from my garden is naturally grown, no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

I think being planted among several other families of plants helped provide a diverse habitat that precluded any particular pest from bothering the greens too much.  Oh, and I got lucky.


Permanent Veg: Sick tattoo from Fish Ladder

Talk about a perennial crop.


Continue reading "Permanent Veg: Sick tattoo from Fish Ladder" »


Beat the Heat: Share your summer secret.

What's your favorite way to cool off?  

Sprinkler?  Lemonade?  Share your recipe for a chill June day below.

Margaritas, anyone?  Or just splash in the occasional puddle...


Flooding on the East side... anyone got an ark?


This guy had a kayak.

Gabriel Biber

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