Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pallet Garden

Before I was introduced to Pinterest I consider myself to be very crafty and creative but over the past few months of "pinning" I have found myself saying more and more, "why didn't I think of that?" My latest find was the awesome idea of pallet gardening. A few weeks ago my husband mentioned that he could get pallets from work for free and I made this wonderful wooden pallet table. That same weekend we started this fun garden project.

This was the tutorial that I originally found:
Via Gilannie

My husband and I live on just over .75 acres of land. It seems to be just perfect for our two dogs a nice inground pool and now a beautiful garden area. The main reason the pallet garden appealed to me was because we did not have access to a tiller and if you can see in the image below our area is covered in that horrible southern centipede grass and we had no way to break it up or get rid of all of the grass and weeds.

Here is what we did:

We used 4"x4"x8' posts and stacked them two high and made two rows to start. Make sure you nail them together at each end so they don't topple over when you add the pallets and soil.

I could have done the nailing by myself but it's always better to ask a buff shirtless man you help you!

While the buff shirtless man is working take pictures of any cute babies that you happen to find in your yard :)

Ok, so back to the part about not having a tiller. Newspaper is a great and semi free weed stopper. I know that eventually it will turn to compost but you can lay weed stop sheets or another form of weed preventative if you would like. Do not spray this area with weed killers because that can transfer to your veggies. I laid newspaper over the entire surface and sprayed with water to hold it in place and then we laid the pallets on top.

Once we got the paper down and the pallets in, this is what it looked like. We ended up making two beds that were 8x8'. Once you have everything in place you will want to remove every second or third pallet slat for the  area where you will plant your produce.

Go to your local nursery and get topsoil. One cubic yard of soil was about $33 and filled one of the 8x8 areas.

Sadly I don't own a dump truck or a hauler so I put my muscles and shovel to work. Fill the pallets all of the way with soil. Make sure you get all of the nooks and crannies or your soil will start to sink once you water your garden.

I purchased some plants, we started some from seeds and we ordered some from an online nursery back in the fall. Place them all where you want them to go and put the markers in the soil and plant them in the open areas of the pallet.

Once you are finished planting it should look a little something like this!
Roma  and big boy tomatoes


Bell peppers and banana peppers


Raspberry plant and rosemary

Sweet mint
Mint can be very invasion so I planted a few cinder blocks worth of mint with the same newspaper on the ground concept that I used in the garden. 


Two weeks post planting and everything seems to be doing awesome. I water the garden each morning and that is about all of the maintenance required at this time.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Small Wooden Pallet Table

I have seen so many awesome ideas for wooden pallets recently from various sources. My husband said that he could get free pallets from work so I decided to try my hand at a project today. I went with a small pallet table for near my pool area. It was fairly easy and only took a few hours from start to finish.

My husband got about 15 pallets from work and we used some to make a raised garden bed which I will be posting about tomorrow. Pick a pallet that has nice and even wood planks on top so the top of your table will be smooth and even.

I cut one pallet in half with my circular saw to start with.

After you have your length and width determined find a pot or basin to fit inside the pallet top. You will want to cut a hole in the top layer of the pallet about 1/4 smaller than the rim of the basin so the lip of the basin will rest on the wood.

I know this sounds really dumb but the only thing I could find laying around that was the perfect size was the wash basin I was given in the hospital when I had my son. Whatever works, right?

For the legs you will need a 4x4x8' post. Cut this into 4- 2 foot sections with your saw.

Get your level our and make sure they are all even so you don't have a wobbly table. It would be a tragedy to knock over a mojito or pina colada in the heat of summer :)

nail all of the legs together through the tops and the sides. You should have a minimum of four nails in each leg.

In the mean time take a picture of any cute babies laying around your backyard.

Next I broke off 4 slats from the other half of the pallet to use as a border and stability pieces for the table. The slats should already be the length of the table to just nail them on for a trim piece.

Here is the table on its side the the trim piece goes around the top. (I hope this makes sense)

Once you have the trim and stability pieces on paint the table and add your basin. Voila!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So Yummy In My Tummy!

One of my friends recently posted on Facebook a Paleo friendly fruit crisp with these directions:

3 cups of fresh or frozen fruit (I used frozen blueberries), 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups almond meal, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp cinnamon, honey......oven@350, put fruit on bottom of pie dish and drizzle with honey, mix egg, almond meal, coconut oil, and cinnamon in hand crumble the mixture over the fruit, bake in oven for 35 minutes...I put about 1/4 cup of coconut milk in the bottom of my bowl and put my serving of the cobbler in the milk, it was excellent but next time I think I'll serve with frozen vanilla yogurt.
I decided that I had to try it because it looked so yummy. I modified a few things so here is what I did.

First of all I decided to serve mine with frozen banana yogurt. Simply take 3-4 bananas and cut them into 1/2 inch slices and freeze them for 2-3 hours until they are solid.

 In the mean time you will need the following:
1 cup Bob's Red Mill GF almond meal/flour
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup dehydrated chopped coconut(unsweetened)
2 cups berries of choice
3 tablespoons of coconut oil

 Chop berries and place in bottom of baking dish add 1/8 cup of the maple syrup and just toss around the berries.

 In a separate bowl combine 1/2 of coconut and all of the flour.

 Add melted coconut oil and 1/8 cup of the maple syrup. Mix together and it should resemble a crumbly fruit topping. Put the topping over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top.

Voila! It should smell amazing and look a little something like this.

After the time has passed for the bananas throw them in the blender or food processor and start pulsing. You will have to scrape the sides several times and move the bananas around. They will start to get crumbly looking. That is good.

Keep going

50 pulses or so later, the bananas should look a little something like this. I put mine in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes to firm it up a bit and then serve it with your fruit crisp.

 So Yummy!
There you have it. Paleo friendly, gluten free, vegan dessert.