Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sunflowers, food and rubbish (FD)

Mam and I re planted my Sunflowers, because they were getting a bit cramped in the tub we had them in. So, here are a couple of photos for those of you who are interested in seeing their progress.

First, all the Sunflowers out in their pots:

We have them on a small table just outside, because we figured it was time for them to go outside, and when we put them on the floor slugs came to try and eat them. As you can probably see, some of them are looking a bit sorry for themselves because of being moved, and I think partly due to the slug banquet that happened when we left them on the ground too.

As you can see, we put some canes in the pots ready for when (or if) they get big enough to need to be tied. We figured we might as well, then we wouldn't have to mess about with them so much later on.

We did keep one indoors though. We kept one in the pretty pot I got with the seeds, and we put it on the window sill. Here's a photo of that one for those of you who want to see it:

And, while we were out buying bigger pots and some canes, Mam brought me some runner beans to try and grow. We figured that - since I LOVE these kinds of beans - it would be something useful. That is, of course, if I have success with growing them. Here they are:

I'm also considering getting a couple of tomato plants, since tomatoes are something else I eat a lot of. And, I'm contemplating the idea of attempting to grow carrots too, since - again - they're something we eat a lot of (even Kero likes the odd bit of raw carrot).


In other news...

I tried some cucumber for the first time since I was a kid yesterday. And, guess what? I quite liked it. I didn't think much of it plain, but I had some in a sandwich with some egg and tomato, and it was tasty. :)

In a couple of weeks time I'm having lunch up with my Mam and Dad, so we've decided we'll have salad, and then I can try the other two items people generally have in a salad that I haven't tried since I was a kid. I didn't like them at the time, but tastes change as you grow up. Anyway, those things are beetroot and celery. Mam loves them, so almost always has some, which is why I'm going up there to taste them.

Trying these items isn't the only attempt I've made to eat healthier. I've also:

1. Replaced 90% of my snacks with fruit or yoghurts.
2. Replaced my first cup of tea of the day with a herbal tea (nettle and peppermint).
3. Refused to buy any ready meals, and instead been making at least 90% of our meals from scratch.
4. Replaced 98% of our fizzy drinks with fruit juices. And, since they are quenching our thirst better, this means they work out cheaper and produce less rubbish too.
5. I'm getting what fruit and vegetables I can as organic produce. A few items can't be brought that way (because the shops I use don't carry organic versions). But I'm looking for organic first with all items.

I'm also no longer eating meat or fish. This one is personal preference rather than for a healthier diet though. I've not had any meat or fish for more than a month now. I suppose technically I've become vegetarian, although some would argue the point. Why? Because many vegetarians don't eat some of the items I still do (e.g. eggs).

This isn't diet based, but we're also changing to environmentally friendly, plant based cleaning products. And, we've ditched the paper towels in favour of cleaning messes with cloths.

The parts of the above that produce less rubbish have resulted in a drastic decrease to the amount of rubbish we put out. We used to be filling about 2 bags of non-recyclable items per week. We now fill 1 bag every four weeks (bearing in mind, the bags we use over here are about half the size of the ones you guys use over in the US and Canada). Even our bags of recyclable items have gone down from 3 bags a week to about 1 & 1/2 bags per week (sometimes 2 bags per week) of various recyclables (which means everything except glass and paper) and 1 bag of paper every 6 weeks (sometimes it takes longer to fill a bag, but it depends on how much junk mail showed up... That's what most of our paper waste is). Glass has never been a large part of our rubbish though. We only have a couple of items in glass jars (some sauces, jams, etc) so we only have a jar/bottle or two per week (if that).

And we're doing pretty well with compostable items too. Our curb side recycling scheme that started at the end of last year (yep, we've made decreases in our rubbish that quickly, *smiles*) doesn't include glass, but does include compostable items. I think that's backwards, but there you go. Anyway, they provided us with a small bin - which is 7 inches, by 7 inches, by 9 inches - which stays indoors for items to go in straight away. Then they gave us another one that's about three times the size of that one, which gets put out each week for the rubbish men. Well, we hardly even fill the little tub (though we put the stuff out each week anyway). Bearing in mind they say "compostable items" includes: "Food waste, vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags, and other simular items."

If you're wondering, when it comes to the glass items, either Mam takes me somewhere to drop them off at a recycling centre, or Mam and Dad take them home (their recycling scheme does include glass). I think it's weird that ours doesn't. But at least it includes everything else, I suppose. I mean, it took them a good ten years longer than neighbouring counties to even get this far (Mam and Dad have had a recycling scheme for a good ten years. Some areas had it even before that).

OK, well I think that's enough rubbish from me. (Sorry... LOL!)

Enjoy your day! :)



MarmiteToasty said...

Beetroot celery and cucumber are my favourites lol......

Your sunflowers look brilliant, they are a little bigger then mine at the moment.... I moved mine outside this weekend to..... I now have 15 seed trays on our garden table of all different things all just sprouting....... love it..... I could fiddle in soil all day.... and I did when I owned the plant nursery.... sigh.....

Happy Tuesday you.........


Jayde_Bramblerose said...

Tori you must feel very proud of your little self with growing your things, and i must say the ones you have in doors look very healthy.

And the ones outside dont look to bad either, and yes the " slugs" are a blooming pest :(.

Also its good to cut down on "rubbish" and "recyclables" and as you have found out it is so surprising how much your waste goe's down.

Well done on all you are doing and " eating " and i'm sure you will enjoy the beetroot and cerlery, they are two of my faourites .

AliceKay said...

The sunflowers are coming along nicely. I hope the sun shines down on them so they will keep on growing.

I love celery but never had beetroot. I also love cucumbers, but they don't love me, so I try to stay away from them. :\

You're doing a great job with the recycling. Keep up the good work.

Have a great day!

Intense Guy said...

Those sunflowers are really sprouting! You must have at least two green thumbs!

I love cucumbers! I eat 'em raw and unskinned! :)

Tori_z said...

Thanks all. :)

Nope, no green thumbs here... Just luck. ;)

Raw and unskinned is how I had the cucumber.

Celticspirit said...

The sunflowers look like they are coming along very nicely. :)
What is beetroot? Is that what we just call beets here?
You seem to be doing very well on your healthier eating and on all your *Green* stuff as well. Way to go! Every little bit makes a difference.
Can you make a compost pile in your backyard to use for gardening instead of putting the stuff out on the curb?

Jess said...

I have a crazy image now of Iggy visciously consuming cucumbers!

Over here the recycling scheme does glass, but doesn't do plastics or compostable waste. Like you, I don't think the compostable waste is an great gain, but I think plastics such as from milk bottles would be really useful!

Good luck with the sunflowers! My friend grows them each year and gives them to people, so I just have one. It's about 6 inches tall.

Melissa B. said...

All this gardening is making me itchy to get out and turn over the soil sometime soon. But first it must stop raining. We've had 7 days in a row, and no end in sight!

The Wife O Riley said...

Good for you Tori! You are an inspiration!

Matt makes a wonderful little tea sanwich with small dark bread, cream cheese a cucumber slice and some dried dill. Really tasty if you'd like to try it.

Tori_z said...

Yes, beetroot is what you just call beets over there. Meant to mention that in the post.

I could just do a compost pile in the garden, but the council prefers us not to because of the gardens being shared. Something about the smell possibly bothering others who need to be able to enjoy the garden.

I think it's stupid that most recycling schemes don't do one thing or another. I mean, if they're going to be picking stuff up and taking it to a recycling centre, why not pick up everything? Then we could save on the fuel we end up using to take the items we want to recycle that they refuse to pick up. Daft sods!

Hope you can get out in your garden soon. If we waited for completely dry days we wouldn't get much done in ours. As it was Mam and I ended up out in drizzly rain sorting my Sunflowers.

I might do that... Thanks. :)

LadyStyx said...

I hear ya on tastes changing. I found that I rather like cucumbers and celery (the latter cooked in soups) but neither likes me so well if ya know what I mean. Tomatoes are another that I'll eat now although Im very picky as to how they're prepared (gotta be chopped very tiny if raw, cooked if a tad bigger)

Tori_z said...

I'm often picky about how I have certain things. Some things I'll only eat cooked, others I prefer raw, and others I'll eat either way. Also, somethings #I don't mind left in big pieces, others have to be cut up small. Lettuce, for example, has to be in small quantities and shredded into small pieces. Where as onions I'll eat any way you give them to me... Pickled, plain, cooked, raw, big pieces, small pieces... I don't care (although, if it's raw but not pickled then I need something with it... Even if it's just a bit of cheese or something).

ChicagoLady said...

I'm sure your sunflowers will be much happier in their new pots.

Many vegetarians still eat eggs. My nephew recently became a vegetarian, and one of his main sources of protein is eggs.