Friday, March 5, 2010

Re-purposing Plastic Food Containers

First, the soap box.

If you haven't watched the documentary, "Food, Inc.", make a date with yourself to do so soon. Most of the lovely people who visit my blog are already aware of where their food comes from, but if you're just stopping by, while munching on a Big Mac, this is for you.

Watch the movie!

If we didn't raise our own meat, we would be vegetarians.

And we wouldn't be smiling either.

Okay, now on to re-purposing...

We all know not to purchase fruits and vegetables in the little clam-shell plastic boxes, but somehow or another, one may sneak into the grocery cart on occasion.

They're sneaky, those clam-shells!

I don't like to throw them away, or recycle them in the traditional way. Who knows where they actually go? I can just picture some guy who missed his lunch, just chucking my recyclables into the landfill truck. "That'll show 'em."

Okay, maybe he's not like my 9 year old son, but one never knows.

Here's what I did today...

This is our newly cleaned greenhouse. My Mister spent an afternoon "sprucing" things up a bit for me. That included cleaning up all the mouse poop that was everywhere! *shudder*

I found some coconut fiber pots at the garden center. These can be put right into the ground when it's time. I mixed some organic potting soil with some organic peat and filled each about 1/2 of the way full. Then I very carefully planted 3 heirloom tomato seeds into each pot, covering the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Specifically, Brandywine and Black Cherry tomatoes. My goal is to only plant heirloom, organic seeds this year, and hopefully, save as many seeds at the end as possible. (Again, watch "Food, Inc."!)

I then watered the pots with an organic fish fertilizer that had been diluted down a little more than it should be. Once the seeds start to sprout, I 'll be watering once a week with the fertilizer at full strength.

Then I closed the clam. Put on the lid. Creating a moist bio-dome for my babies. After all, don't our babies deserve the best?

One of the clam shell boxes has slits all over it, which is perfect for circulation. The other containers do not have the lids on tight. They are just sitting on top of the pots. I found out last year that if there is not enough air, the new sprouts will mold. Quickly.

With the tomatoes planted, it was time to think about some fresh spring baby greens. The stuff in the store just doesn't do it for me. I think most people call it lettuce, but not people who know what the real stuff tastes like.

When the seeds start to sprout, I'll be putting rabbit wire on the top, held down by a brick or two, to keep the mice from cutting in line at the salad bar!

Over the next couple of days, the greenhouse is going to be getting a lot of action. I have petunia seeds, spinach, basil, carrots, onions, squash and pumpkins seeds to start.

And that's before my Seeds of Change order arrives!

Oh we've missed thee!


CC said...

Isn't spring and gardening the most wonderful thing???? I love playing in the dirt,planting and gathering. It just makes me happy and content..

Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

Can I come live with you? I'll bring my salad containers to repurpose (OH how I LOVE to repurpose things!!!)

Cindy said...

How fun is that! I love spring. We have also been in the cold frame planting and I love the smell, the feel and the expectation of gardening. What kind of seeds did you get from Seeds of Change. I am waiting for my Baker Creek Seeds order.

Thanks for the tip on the clam shells. My nephew (6) has been "saving" them for me. I have a pile of them and was wondering what in the world I could use them for. I'll have him come down and plant his own. He wants to plant cukes.... a little early, but maybe it would be fun for him.

Kim said...

CC, I'm looking forward to the first garden tilling so I can work in my barefeet! Nothing like fresh tilled dirt between the toes!

Michaela, come on over!

Cindy, I've got coming several different types of dried beans, green beans, cukes, some herbs, more tomato seeds and amaranth. We planted 22 tomato plants last year and they all did amazingly well! Can't wait to see what happens this year!

Lisa said...

I can't wait to get out and play in the dirt!! It's so much fun to have a garden and satisfying:)
Great idea about the containers!

I'd love to see more pictures of your greenhouse. What are the dimensions?

I'm trying to talk my husband into building one for me. He's less than enthusiastic lol!

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

What a great idea!
I have my own little indoor "greenhouse" going on right now. Our lettuce, broccoli, chives and basil are sprouting on a tray sitting in the sun in front of a sliding glass door.
I love to see how much they grow in just a few short days!
mmmm... looking forward to salads fresh from the garden!

Kym-Anne said...

Hi Kim,
What a great idea!!!

I have been using Coke bottles as mini greenhouses.

We are finally experiencing the first days of autumn after a looong hot summer, Yay!
We have cucumber, peas and winter flowering tomatoes in at the moment.

Happy gardening :)

inadvertent farmer said...

I you didn't live clear across town I would kiss you for this...I am forever wondering what to do with these!

So now I do...Kim