Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barley Ball Experiment

Hi Everyone,

I'm working on a small experiment with my pond. Besides the fact that I need more landscaping in the backyard, I've been having a big issue with algae. The pond in my previous home was in full sun but algae wasn't an issue. And I lived there for six years. But at this house, you can't see anything. I've tried different chemical treatments for ponds but it didn't even put a dent in it.

My interest in recycling and repurposing brought me to another solution. I found on a barley ball. It seemed to have good ratings and although a bit expensive, I thought I would give it a shot. It's been in there for a week and this is the first time I can see the bottom of the pond. I can't actually count the number of fish we have instead of guessing.

You can see the algae stuck to the bottom of the ball. Basically it's loose barley grass in a netting with a styrofoam ball to keep it afloat.

Since it's made so much progress in a week's time, I expect it to work well throughout the summer.

I wonder if I can grow some barley myself to use in the future. I have the room to grow it. Does anyone have suggestions where I can buy seeds?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

120 ways to reuse a t-shirt

Megan Nicolay revolutionized the T-shirt. She repurposed it, reinterpreted it, reinvented it. What's great about this book is that everyone has t-shirts they haven't worn for a long time or don't fit anymore. What a great way to take a t-shirt and see what you can create.

Doing these projects together with your older kids will reinforce the value of not throwing anything away and being wasteful. Etsy sellers might pick up some new ideas for adding fresh products to your store. I just saw this book on sale on for $9.96, normally priced $15.95.

If you do pick up the book and make a project, please email me so I can post it on this blog with a photo of you. We would love to see your creativity at play.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Earthday Poster Contest

RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK - EARTH DAY - POSTER CONTEST - Nationwide - Restrictions - Ends 4/18/11POSTED ON 3/25/11 (Enter also by mail. See rules online for details.)

(3) One-per-grade-category. Grade appropriate books to the classrooms of one winner and one runner-up in each of the three grade categories. Value $125. LIMIT ONE ENTRY PER PERSON OR CLASS. (students gradEs K-6 with a teacher sponsor)

VOID in: PR. Five finalists in each of three grade categories will be determined by judging and their entrieswill be posted online for public voting from 4/21 to 4/27/11.Most votes wins. Winners notified approx. 5/2/11.