Construction next door to my house

Side Note – March 9, 2012: This was supposed to be posted about 9 months ago, so I haven’t bothered to change the tense in the wording below. Also as of this date, there still aren’t any planters.

So here is a totally random occurrence. My neighbor was down in his basement, and he heard a hissing noise coming from the water meter area. It turns out that the galvanized pipe that brings water into his house was corroded at the shutoff valve and slowly leaking. A plumber was called in, to diagnose the situation and as soon as the plumber touched the pipe, it starting gushing water (so typical).

With water rushing into his basement, my neighbor called up the water company, to hurry up and shut off his water, so that his basement doesn’t flood. The water works ended up coming out and shutting off the water. With the final solution being, that he needed a new water line run to his house.

I’ve had to replace a water line before at one of my other houses, and it is no fun…… except for the plumber who collects the fee.

So as you can see from the pictures, they really had to dig up his yard to run the new copper water main. But with a new copper line in place, that will more than likely be the last water line run to that house for at least 100 years.

Below, you can see the different phases of the dig-out, in a little bit of a before and after montage.

And on kind of an interesting side note. When I was taking with my neighbor, he has no plans to replace any of the grass that was torn out. So what is he going to do instead? He said that he was going to put in raised planter beds for a vegetable garden on the side of the house. Personally I think that it’s a good idea, we’ll just see if he actually does it.

Used wooden pallets as a potato growing bin – 2010

Editors Note: This should have been posted months ago. Sorry for the delay, but this should hopefully answer a bunch of questions about the pallet set-up from other pics posted on miia.

When I was in Michigan a few months back for a little bit of R & R. In the backyard of my buddy’s house, he had converted a bunch of old pallets into three side-by-side composting bins. So after a few beers and some meat smoking, it got me to thinking about the large pile of pallets just sitting at the end of driveway that I never bothered to dispose of (it was more like I felt bad throwing away good wood, so that’s why the pallets were really piled up.) In that instead of using the pallets for a compost bin, that maybe I could grow potatoes in them instead. Continue reading

Salad table – v1 – May 2010

Making this salad table was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I was flipping through Martha Stewart’s web site, when they happened to have set-up a section of their web site just for spring gardening/planting. Well one of the things that they were showing on her site was a salad table. Personally I’d never heard of nor seen a salad table before, so it kind of piqued my interest. Continue reading

Box Fan Dehydrator – Good Eats style

I’ve wanted to make a box fan dehydrator for a long time. With a long time being, since I saw the episode of Good Eats, where Alton Brown was making beef jerky with his box fan dehydrator. I already had a box fan in the basement, I just needed to find those cotton filters that he used in the episode. After about a month a searching around town and coming up empty. The project got tossed onto the back burner. Continue reading

Showerhead Watering Wand

I’ve been thinking about getting a watering wand the last couple of years, but all the models that I see in the store suck. They are either made with cheap parts (e.g. plastic valves), or they add crazy bells and whistles to jack up the price (e.g. swiveling heads and/or heads with multiple spray settings.)

So I thought to myself “I can make a better watering wand.” So I put on my thinking cap to come up with some ideas to make a watering wand. And I kept stumbling on the actual sprayer head itself, since all the wands in the store have special sprayer heads. I did a little bit of searching online, and I found one guy online that made his own watering wand. It turned out good, its just that he already had a sprayer head from a broken watering wand, so that really didn’t help me out since I didn’t have an old watering wand to steal parts from.
Continue reading