Ward House

As promised

As promised in this post, here are the pictures of my ‘greenhouse. LOL Not as glamorous as some; however it does the trick.
This past weekend was busy: we picked up eggs from a friend and got to see her new additions! We want some piggies of our own. =) We also brought in more wood, hopefully enough to last the rest of the spring and start off the fall, and completed other tasks.
I also used Kathie’s recipe to make crackers. They turned out really well; however, the family would like something a bit more salty. I posted a picture of her recipe as I cannot seem to find it on her blog.
The cold frame is working very well and we have little lettuces beginning to come up (whoo hoo!). Along those lines, I need to remember this post about row covers.

When one has a wood furnace or wood cook stove, lots of wood is burned thus producing a pile of ashes. What to do with all this new material? Numerous websites recommend it as an excellent lime replacement with a note of caution to not use too much of it or the akaline in the soil will increase. This is fine if the plants there are low acidity. I continued the search and found more excellent uses here:

Use wood ashes to:

1. De-skunk pets. A handful rubbed on Fido’s coat neutralizes the lingering odor.

2. Hide stains on paving. This Old House technical editor Mark Powers absorbs wet paint spatters on cement by sprinkling ash directly on the spot; it blends in with a scuff of his boot,

3. Enrich compost. Before the organic compound get applied to soil, enhance its nutrients by sprinkling in a few ashes, says the host of radio’s You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath. Adding too much, though, ruins the mix.

4. Block garden pests. Spread evenly around garden beds, ash repels slugs and snails.

5. Melt ice. TOH building editor Tom Baker finds it adds traction and de-ices without hurting soil or concrete underneath.

6. Control pond algae. One tablespoon per 1,000 gallons adds enough potassiumm to strengthen other aquatic plants that compete with algae, slowing its growth,

7. Pump up tomatoes. For the calcium-loving plants, McGrath places 1/4 cup right in the hole when planting,

8. Clean glass fireplace doors. A damp sponge dipped in the dust scrubs away sooty residue.

9. Make soap. Soaking ashes in water makes lye, which can be mixed with animal fat and then boiled to produce soap. Salt makes it harden as it cools.

10. Shine silver. A paste of ash and water makes a dandy nontoxic metal polisher.

On the same lines, a cool article from Mother Earth news about Soap Making In The Bush including a diagram for making your very own leaching barrel.

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April 14, 2009 - Posted by | Gardening, recipes, Recycling

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