Container edible garden in the city

summer-harvest

This is the way we garden for edibles in the city, by using containers! Luckily our condo tower has an accessible rooftop where we can garden on containers and raised beds with a useful composting bins nearby. We have totally eliminated putting organic (fruits, vegetables and eggshells) from the landfill and proud to say that we have been doing it for close to 8 years now.  Between the “greens” and “browns” from the other gardeners in the building, we manage to keep the composting bins in order. Here’s a sampling of our garden harvest this year.

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Yes, you can grow lettuce in these small containers! These planters are usually used as balcony planters but we found better use for them for growing our organic leaf lettuce. Tip: Stagger planting the lettuce from seed to ensure you have a continuous supply through the growing  months.

Our raised cedar planter with tomatoes and cucumbers. If you have not tried fresh cucumber still warm from the garden, it is sweet, crunchy with tons of flavour!

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DIY hack for missing popsicle handles – Substitute plastic spoons

popsicle mould

Popsicle mould with handles substituted with plastic spoons.

How many times have you bought popsicle moulds only to have the handle break off or have gone missing? In a pinch, I used plastic spoons inserted into the mould. Voila! You can make use of the whole popsicle mould again! It is best to use sturdy plastic spoons or the little spoons you get when you try some ice cream.

This popsicle recipe is full of fruit goodness. This recipe is not exact which makes it easy to adjust to whatever you have on hand. This recipe can be used as a smoothie (almost like a mango lassi) and is great to make into sugar-free popsicles.

  • mango pulp (from really ripe mango)
  • fruit juice (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 dollops of vanilla yogurt
  • banana (for extra creaminess) – choose very ripe bananas for extra sweetness

Blend until the mango fibres are blended together. It will have a thick consistency. Pour or spoon into popsicle moulds. If you have extra, add ice and make it into a refreshing smoothie! Enjoy!

popsicle moult

Substitute plastic spoons as popsicle handles.

Naturally dyed Easter eggs



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This year we dyed our Easter eggs the natural way using vegetables and things we found in the kitchen. It was my first time to make it so it was as like a fun science experiment which you can get your young kids involved in.

We used Omega-3 hard-boiled eggs and approximately 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 2 cups of liquid.

Suggested materials:

  • red cabbage – cut into pieces and boiled in two cups of water. Add vinegar
  • 1 medium beets – cut into chunks and boiled in 2 cups of water. Add vinegar
  • paprika
  • turmeric
  • white vinegar
  • rubber band
  • glass jars

Here’s the result:

Yellow – used paprika and a pinch of turmeric. Add boiling water and approximately one  teaspoon of vinegar. I used a small jam glass jar good to fit one egg.

Light blue – red cabbage after 4 hours

Deeper light blue – red cabbage after overnight

Light lavender – mixed equal parts red cabbage and beets dye bath after overnight soak

Molten blue – white egg rolled in the boiled red cabbage pieces from the dye bath

Molten blue with white streaks – We experimented with wrapping rubber band on white egg then soaking it in the red cabbage dye bath for 4 hours then rolled it in the boiled red cabbage pieces.

Dark Red Brown – I was expecting this to be deep red but instead we got a deep red-brown from using red beets. Next time, I will use glass jars for all the dye baths, since we used a clear plastic container for this one.

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Christmas Tree from an Up-cycled Magazine or Book

This is an eco-friendly Christmas tree of an up-cycled magazine. You can also use a book for this project. This is a beautiful decoration for a tabletop, mantle of even hanging up. It is  a kid-friendly craft project.

magazine-christmas-tree

Materials you will need:

  • 2 magazines
  • paper scorer (it makes the folding easier on your fingers. I’ve also used plastic gift cards or credit cards ) – optional
  • Glue  or low-temp glue gun (for glueing the 2 magazines together)

Optional

  • 5 wine corks
  • spray paint (in your colour choice)

Step 1: Fold the page as shown.

Step-1Step 2: Make the second fold.

Step-2

Tip: Use a paper scorer to make the scoring easier and to  make crisp folds.

Step 3: Tuck in the bottom piece. To make it easier, fold it first and then tuck in.

Step-3Step 4: Repeat until all pages are done including the cover. You’ve now done half a Christmas tree.

You can use half only if you want to put it against a wall or to create a full tree, do the folds on the second magazine, repeat Steps 1 to 4.

Step 5: Glue both halves together.

Optional: Use a glue gun to put together 5 wine corks. I find that 5 wine corks keeps the tree steady even without glueing it together.

Decoration

Decorate your tree or leave it as is.  For this tree, I used beads strung on a floral wire (to keep its shape) and wrapped loosely around the tree.

magazine-christmas-tree-decor

Here’s one I did a few years ago without the base “tree trunk” and spray painted gold. The glittery paint shows up nicer in real life especially if there are lights (christmas lights, lamp, or candle) around it.

magazine-christmas-tree-sprayedI would love to know how others have decorated this type of Christmas tree. Make sure you leave a comment or send a picture! Enjoy!