Plastic Container Greenhouses

From time to time I end up with those plastic containers that once housed strawberries or spinach. According to my curbside recycling guide they are not recyclable (differs by refuse company). So, I like to reuse them when I have them. Besides using them to organize my pantry or the kids markers, we make them into little seed starting greenhouses. You can buy a fancy seed starter system, but I find these work just as well and are easy to transplant.

Simply fill the bottom with soil and sprinkle in the seeds planting to required depth, water, close the lid and wait. I have successfully started onions, herbs, gourds, chard, and numerous other plants this way.

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Happy Little Sprouts

Happy Little Sprouts

Once seedlings have reached a level of growth where they will tolerate transplant, usually when they have developed roots and true leaves, I use a chopstick or spoon to separate out these tiny plants which then go into either 4 inch pots, or in the case of onions and squashes right into the garden.

Plastic containers need to be thoroughly cleaned in between plantings to discourage disease.

What other uses have you come up with for plastic containers? Happy planting!

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Tips for Hard Boiling Farm Fresh Eggs

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Have you ever tried to hard boil an egg from your very own chicken and had it turn out nearly impossible to peel?  Bits of egg came away with the peel and the thing ended up looking mutilated.

Method 1.  Wait:  The reason farm eggs are hard to boil and peel is because they are so fresh!  If you keep your eggs in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and then boil for 10 minutes, they should peel easily.  This is a great solution for those eggs of questionable age in mid-summer when the girls are laying so quickly that it’s hard to keep up your egg consumption.  If a batch of eggs starts to seem a little older, then boil them for snacking. 

This leads to the question… why are grocery store eggs usually so easy to boil and peel?   The logical answer is that they are already older.  Hmmmmmmm.

Method 2.  Steam:  Let’s say you don’t have time to age your eggs.  You need boiled eggs now!!  Instead of boiling, put them in a steamer.  When you get a good steam going turn the timer to 20 minutes.  You’re eggs should peel beautifully.

Method 3:  Baking Soda:   Sprinkle baking soda in your cold water and add eggs.  Bring to a boil for ten minutes.  Bon appetit!