Monday, September 26, 2011

Solar Charger / Solar Lamp

Solar Charger / Solar Lamp
So I found these small garden Solar lamps in my local store for $2.
I immediately grabbed a few to play with, and was very surprised and happy to see a rechargeable AAA battery inside. I cant even get rechargeable batteries at that price so for $2 battery and a solar charger is awesome.
I will add them to my BOB bug out bag for recharging my small FM radio or my small torch.
I then started thinking what else I can do with them so I tried to turn my Lounge lamp into a solar lamp from ambient room light.
It has worked well they do charge but the 9 LEDs but are not bright enough for a reading lamp but do make a nice night lamp with soft glow.
I also am going to use the steak part of the garden solar lamp as ammo for a catapult (which are illegal in Australia) so I only have the elastic not the handle.
I looked on ebay and they are available from several sources, Click for  Solar Lamps on ebay

My Lounge Solar Lamp

9 LED solar lights

Inside a rechargeable AAA battery 

The solar garden Lamp

Top pulls off

Staeak pops back in to make a nice spear

Solar Steak, Solar Lamp, and light cover, and 1 opened by removing 2x small screws

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Balcony garden Makeover

Balcony Garden Makeover
Its that time of year! spring is in the air and time to get the balcony pots ready for my summer veggies.

this is my 4th growing season so I wanted to get the soil back to a good quality state to make sure I get the most production.
First I  took all the mulch from the top and placed in bag for latter use, then emptied all the pots into a pile and spread over floor, I sorted threw and got rid of all the roots and plant matter.

I then added 2 new bags of good potting mix, 2 buckets of soil mixed with chicken manure from my chooks when they were here, soil from my warm farm, I added a bag of Blood and Bone, some slow release fertilizer pellets and wetting agent, then gave it all a really good mix before refilling all the containers

Replaced my drip irrigation system connected to my 100ltr barrel which makes daily watering easier and waste less and gets the water where its needed down in the roots.

I will replace the Wood chip mulch once the seeds have made their way threw.

Again one of my problems is trying to grow everything and over planting so this year I was a lot more selective and went with what I use the most and best yields, so i duplicated each pot with 1 Cherry tomato, 1 Basil, 1 Bell pepper and 2 x coriander in each pot, I will keep the bell pepper and Basil pruned to a controllable size as they grow.

I also had one pot with Zucchini and 1 pot with my blackberry bush, 2 small containers were used for 1 full of marigolds for pest control and 1 with spring onions and radishes and 2 buckets i planted with Lavendar.

Now i ready for a bumper harvest in the summer just add water!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sprouts in a Can

So I wanted to to make use off some sardine cans and found them to be a great size and use for growing spouts.
I filled the container with cotton wool soaked with water, then added the seeds, I used Cress and Mustard sprouts.
Make sure you plant mustard seeds 4 days latter than cress to have them harvest at same time.
cover with a damp napkin and place in a sunny window ledge.
now if you repeat about every 4 days you will have a constant fresh spouting Cress and Mustard sprouts or what other sprouts you choose.
Also have a look at The-urban-survivalist for some great tips and Dan does a great daily video with good tips so go check him out at The Urbivalist
Items needed, 1 sardine can, Cotton wool, Napkin and seeds.

Sprouts after 4 days

Cover with moist napkin until sprouts have started sprouting

Sprinkle seeds on moist cotton wool in the can

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Urban Permaculture DVD

The DVD shows you various small Permaculture garden with Geoff explaining how they function and interact with other elements. Then we go on a Permaculture Garden Blitz.  Geoff and a team of students renovate an extablish garden – the permaculture way over a period of three days. The client wants food security and to grow as much at home as possible. Geoff and his team plan the ultimate food growing solution.

You’ll get to see how it all shapes up.

The DVD runs for over 90 minutes and is ideal for the Permaculture student wishing to implement their own design and is looking for creative inspiration. There’s also an extras feature where Geoff plans out on paper the bones of another urban consultancy and the solution that good permaculture design can bring.

Thats the sort of thing we wanted to bring you.

Watching Geoff Lawton enter an unfamiliar environment – away from the classroom and into the natural domain and watching him plan his way to sustainable abundance.

Its like being there.

The DVD will be available from in October.