Gail of Green Living


“GREEN” Christmas Gifts

Green Christmas gifts

I went in the car today for only my second Christmas shopping trip.  This time it was a short trip to the Museum District to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Gift Shop.  They always have the best stocking stuffers for all ages and interests.  From left to right, I found shopping bags that will easily pack in the corner of a handbag or it has a clip on it to attach to your belt loop or key chain.  The crayons are made from old crayons and they are large and easy for young hands to hold.  They remind me of the candles I used to make from old crayons in Girl Scouts.  The MFAH has many other items made from recycled products, and of course, the design is always clever.  The little white rolls on the right are produce bags I picked up at HEB while food shopping, and they are great to replace the plastic bags at the supermarket.  I find them to be strong and easy to wash in between shopping trips.

Wrapping paper and ribbon are the most difficult to re-use.  But this wrapping paper from Target is 100% recyclable.  I don’t try to re-use it.  It is a little fragile, but the colors are vibrant and you can’t see through the paper. One year many years ago, I used newspaper to wrap gifts, and several years, I used craft paper, but it is so sturdy and heavy now, it’s not so easy to use.   The ribbons I buy are usually the wired ribbons, and they are easy to save and re-use without having to iron them.

We have saved time, energy and a lot of gasoline using online shopping this year.  FedEx, USPS and UPS are coming down our street every day anyway.  Many businesses did not even charge for shipping, and we were able to take advantage of sales online, too.  I highly recommend it!

How are you greening your Christmas?

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What’s New in My Organic Garden?
Blueberries in December!

Blueberries in December!

What’s new in my garden?  Blueberry blooms and blueberries; that’s what!  Never mind it is December, but we have had few cool days in Houston, and I guess these bushes are really happy.  If we have a threat of freeze, you know I will take care of them!

Ripe tomatoes in December!

Ripe tomatoes in December!

The Better Bush tomato vines never died in the summer.  With blooms all over them, I didn’t have the heart to get rid of them.  And now in December, we have a few really nice tomatoes to enjoy!

Kale

Siberian Kale

This is a very tender-leafed variety and it is quite delicious steamed or stir-fried in olive oil with a little garlic.

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens

I only planted three small plants, which grow quickly, so I can pick enough each week to enjoy.

Buttercrunch Lettuce and Black-seeded Simpson lettuce

Buttercrunch Lettuce and Black-seeded Simpson Lettuce

I have never grown lettuce before, and it is so easy, I am kicking myself for not doing it earlier!  The seeds sprout in just a few days, and the leaves are very tender and tasty.  The plants do not like our warm days; I have to cool them with water when the temperature rises in the 80’s.  But for a winter vegetable, it is a winner!

Spent Grain

Spent Grain

My son and his friend brew craft beer, and he offered a bucket of “spent grain” for my compost pile.  It’s supposed to be an excellent addition to the mix.  It is the leftover malt and adjuncts after the mash has extracted most of the sugars, proteins, and nutrients from the barley.  It certainly qualifies as a new addition to my winter garden!