Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Growing Potatoes Indoors: The Final Results

Well,  it turns out our Indoor Potato Growing Experiment was, as my older kids like to say, an "epic fail."  We planted, we watered, we waited, we watered some more, and we waited some more. And THIS is all we ended up with when we dug them up:

Sad, no? We've always done well with our outdoor garden potatoes, and while I wasn't sure of exactly what to expect with our indoor experiment, I did expect that our results would be better than this. I'm not sure exactly where we went wrong. Did we not give them enough space? Did we not give them enough time? Maybe not enough sunlight? Hmmm. We do plan to do further research, and to try this experiment again sometime.

But in the meantime... we are VERY focused on getting the OUTDOOR garden ready for the season! I usually try to have everything in the ground by mid-May. I'm a little bit behind schedule this year, but I am plugging along, getting out there every chance I get. Sometimes those chances are just 10-15 minutes here or there, but it's all adding up, and the garden is slowly taking shape. I will post photos of our progress, soon!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homemade Citrus Cleaner

Well, hello! It's been awhile... but I've got something good for you today... We made some awesome new All Purpose Citrus Cleaner! I can't wait to tell you all about it!

For most general cleaning purposes, I use my basic window/glass/all purpose cleaner, and it works great. But, I was looking for something that has a little more "oomph" for tougher cleaning jobs, such as greasy stove tops. Many years ago, I used to buy a commercial citrus cleaner which worked great, and I realized that when I stopped buying cleaning products and started making my own, this is one item which I never really replaced. And so that brings us to our current experiment! Here's what we did:

First, we saved up some citrus peels! You can use any citrus peels for this... lemon, orange, clementine, grapefruit, whatever... as long as it's citrus, it will work! Ours were mostly clementines, with a lemon peel or two. Next, we stuffed those peels into a jar, poured in white vinegar to cover the peels, capped it, and wrote the date on the top. Next, we let it sit for two weeks. This was the hardest part! I am not the most patient person. At the end of the two weeks, we strained the now-citrus-infused vinegar into an empty spray bottle and diluted it 50/50 with purified water. That's it! (BONUS: If you have a garbage disposal, don't just throw the spent peels away... you can toss those peels into the disposal to freshen it up... makes your whole kitchen smell great!)

I am sold on this recipe. It works GREAT. I was most surprised that it really doesn't smell too vinegary, but really smells VERY citrus-y!

I have more stuff to share with you soon... Remember our Indoor Potato Experiment? (see also: Indoor Potato Update)They look like they are ready to dig up! Stay tuned....