Archive for May, 2012

Where Your ‘Maters Started

It ain’t easy getting vegetables started the right way. A measly amount of seeds are not genetically modified these days. Charlie, the trusty gardener at Cheney Mansion, suggested Baker Creek Seeds. They’re his favorite seed company, and since Charlie was propagating the seeds, Baker Creek was an easy choice. Read more about this great company here.

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One Heirloom Project Check-In

Okay folks, time for a check-in! Let’s chat about how our Arkansas Travelers are doing. Please send us your pictures, comments, questions, and all things AT-related!

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Get ‘Em in the Ground!

In case you haven’t already planted your Arkansas Traveler tomatoes, here’s a nice video on how to get them planted. Also nice advice for planting a variety of tomatoes.

Planting Arkansas Travelers

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Nice Reviews of Arkansas Travelers

I came upon Dave’s Garden, an excellent garden blog that includes reviews of Arkansas Travelers. The reviews look great! I noticed one that said it performed well in hot weather, which is nice to hear considering it was about 200 degrees F today. Also noted that it’s the best all-around tomato one reviewer has ever grown. And a few comments that it’s a great canning tomato!

Take a look to see what people are writing–it may help you plan and prepare for the season.

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Sandwich Me In

Last year as I was secretly planning Green Home Experts’ expansion, I met a wonderful guy named Justin Vrany. He met with me in our cramped shop to talk about his plans for Sandwich Me In, a sustainable sandwich shop in Lakeview. His passion and drive oozed out of his pores as we discussed ways to work together. His enthusiasm inspired me to keep working away at our expansion plan.

Justin’s dream of creating an eco-friendly restaurant runs the entire gamut. This guys knows what he’s doing! Here are all the wonderful things I remember about Sandwich Me In’s sustainable practices. I’m sure there are more!

–Justin used as many reclaimed and repurposed building materials as possible for build-out.

–Justin sources his ingredients locally and from organic farms.

–Sandwich Me In is this/close to a zero waste restaurant. They recycle everything they can, including packaging waste and other materials that are difficult to recycle.

–All food waste is picked up by a service that brings it to a commercial composting facility.

–Delicious sodas are made in-house using SodaStream soda makers (furnished by us, of course!).

–Sandwich Me In only uses biodegradable and compostable food service products (furnished by us, of course!).

–Sandwich Me In’s cleaning supplies are non-toxic and biodegradable (furnished by us, of course!).

On Thursday I picked up lunch for the GHE staff at Sandwich Me In. I loved the pulled pork, which Justin told me they smoke for 13 years. And he uses an old family recipe for their barbeque sauce! Delicious. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to work with Justin, and I look forward to working with him for years to come! Make sure to visit next time you’re in the neighborhood.

Learn more about Sandwich Me In and follow their progress on Facebook and Twitter @sandwichmein.

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Time to Tackle the Garage

Mid-May has blessed us with this beautiful summer weather. The birds are singing, butterflies flutter through newly sprung gardens, and our thoughts are drifting toward home projects. Spring cleaning is done (right?). Garden plans are made. The grass is mowed. What about your garage?

The garage is the standard holder-of-overflow. Can’t find a place for it? Stick it in the garage. Want to move something out of sight because company is coming? Stick it in the garage–I’ll get to it later! Well, it’s way past later. It’s time to tackle the garage, and here are some tips to help you*:

–Gather up your latex paints and primers and bring them into the shop. We send them to Earth Paints Collection System¬†to be recycled.

–Donate unwanted bikes, toys, tools and more to your local organization of choice.

–Give everything a good washing with non-toxic cleaning supplies. Earth Friendly Products and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day are our two most popular lines!

–Clean oil-stained concrete with Emerge, a soy-based biodegradable cleaner that’s made in Illinois. It’s powerful stuff!

–Give concrete a new coat of non-toxic, no-VOC paint with AFM Safecoat Deckote.

–Get organized! Label bins so you can find things easily. Create a space for everything: garden tools, storage, hobby area, etc. Ok, ready for some real organizing tips? Check out this info from our friends at Within Your Reach. Want to see an example of their work? You probably already have–their beautiful storage system holds all of our personal care products in our Kid & Baby section. Read here for more about their sustainability¬†initiatives.


*Disclaimer: Anyone who knows me knows I’m not famous for being organized. So I’d never write a post about being organized! These tips are designed to help you declutter and clean.

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One Heirloom Project Check-In

So folks, how’s it going? This is the first of many check-ins throughout the season. We want to hear how your gardens are going. What have you started? What’s in the ground? What do you have left to do?

My garden has gotten off to a slow start, thanks to my toddler and the opening of the garden center. Nevertheless, I brought home some plants last week that have made their way into the ground. My annuals are in my containers in front. The rest of the front is a native garden, so it’s basically maintenance-free!

In back, I have about 1/3 of my veggie garden planted. So far I’ve put in: brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, basil, eggplant, summer squash, jalapenos, habaneros, poblanos, Roma tomatoes, and Arkansas Traveler tomatoes.

Thanks to the mild winter I had several herbs come back: oregano (of course), parsley, and sage! I’ll try to get a picture of my Arkansas Traveler up here soon. In the meantime, tell me…how are your maters faring? And the rest of your garden?


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