Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend fun

After recovering from a nasty cold over the week and part of the weekend, I decided to celebrate on Sunday by purchasing many fun gardening items. Among these was the rigging for my very own homemade grow light to help my lemon tree be all it can be. Basically, I went to Home Depot and picked up two of the reflector clamp work lights and some compact fluorescent bulbs. I grabbed a cool white 60W equivalent bulb meant to simulate daylight and a multipack of 60W equivalent warm white bulbs for a grow light and also to replace all the bulbs in the house to be more energy-efficient.

Speaking of, I have been working very hard (and succeeding on many counts) to improve the energy-efficiency of my life and reduce my waste and impact on the environment. I've been recycling pretty well, especially given that I have to make a special trip to recycle, which made it harder to start. I just replaced all the lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which should save energy and money. I have switched my husband and I to more local, sustainable dairy, meat and produce. This last one has actually been in process since last September when we joined a CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture) with BeWise Ranch, which has been one of the best, most rewarding decisions of my life. Not only do we support local farmers and organic, sustainable produce, but our quality of life and nutritional content of food has vastly increased with all the vegetation now in our diet.

Well, anyway, I'm really trying to live a more "back to basics" life without a strong reliance on fast food and consumer waste. Unfortunately, the one thing I would improve would be my driving to work. I really wish I could carpool or use public transit, but I work in a small company with no one near to my home. And I tried public transit when I first started working, but it was so unreliable and time-consuming (took me 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get home versus 20 min to drive home). Well, hopefully people will begin to wake up and realize that life should not be lived in selfish pursuit of "more, right now".

Okay, tangent over, I promise. To get back on track, I have a grow light set-up with a cool white CFL and a warm white CFL positioned towards my citrus tree on a timer to supplement when sunlight is no longer streaming through the east-facing window. I also purchased a few plants for a winter lettuce garden such as arugula, swiss chard, and seeds for radishes and seeds for a mesclun salad mix.

This Sunday I went with a friend Holly to the Hillcrest Farmer's market, which was awesome and filled with so much yummy produce, and I picked up a few lovely things. Besides grabbing a swiss chard plant and arugula plant, I also bought a variegated mint plant. I had never seen anything like it before. It's very pretty and has a great mint smell with just a faint anise aroma. I also picked up some beautiful heirloom tomatoes like green zebra, which is my favorite, and some small cucumbers for pickling. I love having such great access to local, tasty and inexpensive fresh produce!

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