Friday, March 23, 2012

Washing clothes old school

So recently we ordered this nifty little device called the Breathing Mobile Washer. I happened to come across it online and it looked like it would work pretty well. We liked the idea of having a way to wash our clothes manually in case of an emergency but we are also thinking about washing our clothes this way the majority of the time.

If you want to go green, this is about as green as it gets. When the washer is assembled it looks a little like a plunger. You fill a container with 4-5 inches of water, add your detergent, and start to wash. Wash your clothes using a plunging motion for about 3 minutes per item. That's it!

This is a video I found on You Tube that demonstrates how the washer works. It's very simple and of course the kids think it's fun. The only problem we have is that we don't have a wringer right now to wring the water out of the clothes. If we intend to use this on a regular basis then that is something we will have to invest in soon.

We did test it and it worked really well. We were actually shocked at how much dirt it got out of our sheets. We tried it out on our queen size bed sheets, one fitted, one flat, and four pillow cases. By the time we were done the water had gone from clear to gray. We were amazed at how well it worked.

 I would highly recommend this if you would like to have something to use in case of emergency or to keep at a retreat. This would also be great for extended camping trips. I know I am personally tired of having to use a laundromat and it will probably be a while before we can use our washer and dryer so this may be a good option for a while.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Soil Cube

Ok, so I have a new toy, the Soil Cube. I actually ordered this a few months ago from but of course I haven't been able to use it until now. The Soil Cube let's you make your own seed starter cubes so you don't have to buy seed starter kits every year. Now you do have to buy the soil and compost to make the soil mixture but if you plan on starting more than a few plants I think this is worth the investment. If I remember correctly it cost around $35.

This may look like a pile a mud...and I suppose it is, but this is a specially mixed pile of mud. The soil should be mixed to an oatmeal consistency so it will stick and compact down into the cubes. I actually added a little too much water so I had to add some more compost and peat moss to thicken it up.

The process is simple. Scoop up the soil mixture in the cubes and press it against the side of the container. I pressed down the top bar to help squeeze out excess moisture. Scrap away the excess soil before moving over to the container that will hold your cubes. I used a plastic storage container to mix the soil in.

Press firmly down on the top bar to compress the soil and then gently lift the Soil Cube.

You may have to press down on the bar as you lift up to get the cubes to release. After the first few attempts the cubes began to slide out a little easier.

These were the first cubes that I made. I got the tray at a local nursery that let us have it with a purchase that we made but I'm sure you could find plenty at any nursery that wants to get rid of them.

This is the finished tray. I made twenty cubes with this batch. I made some more today but since I didn't have to add anything to the mix this time, I only got about eleven. I plan on making several more because there are several plants that I haven't even started yet. Plus I have to order more seeds!

We had some Popsicle sticks lying around so I used these to make tags for the cubes. I love how this system works and it is very easy to use. We are contemplating trying our hand at a micronursery business. It probably won't happen this year but maybe next year. For anyone who is looking for options for self employment because you want to be more self sufficient, this might be a good option. It's not much of an investment, it's something you can use for yourself, and you can do it on a small scale to see how you like it and hopefully build from there. So if you're interested check out their website and see what you think!