Quick Tips

Food & Garden

No More Brown Apple Slices!

appleStop cut apples from browning in your child’s lunch box! Simply cut it into sections and secure the whole apple with a rubber band. Easy Peasy.


Coffee Grounds For All Around

120px-Coffee_(2)All across our city pots and pots of coffee are brewed every day. From the home to the office, many of us can’t function without that morning cup of java. Take your coffee experience one step further by reusing the coffee grounds as fertilizer for your plants, and as other household remedies.

Here are some ideas:
• Old coffee grounds are nutrient-rich for plants that thrive in an acidic soil; Add used coffee grounds to the pots of indoor plants and work used coffee grounds into your garden soil before seed planting. After your plants start to emerge, work in coffee grounds near the plants.
• Wipe out nasty scents in your fridge with a bowl of coffee grounds and a splash of vanilla
• Remove furniture scratches with wet coffee grounds and a diaper rag.

If you want to pick up some extra grounds for composting and fertilizing or for your other household needs, stop by your local coffee shop and offer to take them off their hands. Many will be happy to share them with you!



Cheers! Organic Wine? We Say Yes!

WineCheers!  Here’s a tip for choosing your next bottle of wine

The buzzword with wines these days seems to be organic. Rumor even has it that there’s no hangover if you buy organic. Perhaps. But there’s more to it than how you feel the next day.  “When you put the label ‘organic’ on something, it’s likely to sell,” says wine enthusiast Christy Farr. “But sustainability is the thing that really matters.” So what’s the difference? “A wine may be organic, but it’s not necessarily sustainable,” says Farr. “Sustainability integrates the whole growing culture.”

Organic may reduce environmental impact on some of the growing process—meaning the growers may cut down, but not eliminate, the use of some pesticides. Sustainable growers are purists—there are no pesticides at all.




Companion Planting Helps Reduce Pests

ornamental plantsCompanion planting works to combine plants that have a higher tendency to attract pests with those that pests tend to avoid. This works to benefit certain plants by providing them with pest control-without the use of harsh chemicals. The following are some examples of plants that work well for companion planting:

  • Lettuce with strawberry/cucumber
  • asparagus with tomato/basil/parsley
  • onions with beets/lettuce/carrots
  • cucumber with beans/sunflower/peas
  • roses with chives
  • spinach with strawberry/faba beans
  • tomato with parsley/marigold/onion


Organic Garden Pest Control

a gardensAvoid harsh pest control in your garden with a variety of all natural methods. Hand picking beetles or leaf munching caterpillars from your vegetables may seem like a lot of work, but there’s no doubt that it gets the job done. You can also apply a mixture of dish soap with water to the leaves of your plants to help kill any pests. However, make sure to do early in the day, rinsing the leaves with water soon after or the sun may burn the leaves of your plants.  Garlic oil and hot pepper spray are also well known for getting a handle on pest problems in the garden.


Less Is More

800px-Food_to_goLet the package be your guide.

All things being equal, select foods at your local market and other items that have less packaging. The less packaging you have to get rid of, the better the world is, right?



Sensor Your Water Usage

waterCombat water waste by incorporating rain or moisture sensors in your outdoor sprinkler system.

Moisture sensors tell your sprinklers to spray only when your garden’s dry (and save you up to 40% of your outdoor water use), while rain sensors shut your sprinklers off when it rains (saving you up to 10%).

These are savings that will definitely saturate your next water bill!

MGB Recommends: Nelson EZ Pro Moisture Sensor – reads soil moisture and other characteristics, and waters as necessary; install it beneath your lawn ($250).

Toro Wireless Rain Sensor – rain sensor that lets you choose when your sprinklers should shut off based on rainfall; setup takes as little as 10 minutes ($48).