Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GrowingTogether: Nourishing Your Soil

 If you live in an area with good soil or you already take action to nourish your soil, that's wonderful!  For everyone else, did you know your plants need more than water?  They need to get minerals and nutrients from the soil.  They also like to grow where the pH is in the recommended range for that plant.  There are two ways to go about nourishing the soil.  Most large, commercial farms do it through chemical fertilizer. Organic farmers and many home gardeners try to stay away from synthetic chemicals and use things like compost from their compost bin.

Here in South Carolina, we have poor soil.  Most of it is either sand or red clay, neither of which are great for growing plants and they both make it hard to water your plants correctly.  What can you do if you are like me with poor native soil?  One idea is to add compost.  Old leaves are great and many gardeners can't believe some people just bag them up and throw them away.  You can also start a compost pile.  I am adding a list of do's and don't's for composting at the end of this column. Something really simple that anyone can do is to keep a small compost pail in the kitchen.  I put my coffee grounds, carrot peelings, etc. in mine (it's stainless steel) and every few days I either empty it in my outdoor compost pile or I dig a hole in an area where nothing is growing, cover the composting material back up with soil, and let Mother Nature work it in through decomposition, earthworms, etc. This has not attracted critters"  nor caused an odor

Compost matures into what scientists call active organic matter, a dark, crumbly soil amendment that's rich with beneficial fungi, bacteria and earthworms, as well as the enzymes and acids these life-forms release as they multiply.  Did you know that adding compost to garden soil increases its water-holding capacity, enhances the soil food web, and provides a smorgasbord of plant nutrients?  Compost also contains substances that enhance the plant's ability to respond to challenges from insects and diseases.  It sounds like a good gardening idea!

Good Compost Ingredients
Compost Pail
Leaves, Hay and other dead plant material
Fruit and vegetable trimmings
Herbicide-free grass clippings
Manure from horses, cattle, goats, poultry and rabbits*
Paper or Cardboard,  torn into strips or hand-sized pieces

*You use the compost containing manure only after the materials in it have broken down over time.  Don't put fresh manure on plants.  It can burn the plants and might result in disease.  It is totally fine after it is well composted.

Do Not Add
Meat Scraps
Very fatty, sugary or salty foods
Chips or sawdust from treated wood
Clippings from herbicide-treated lawns
Manure from omnivorous animals (dogs, cats, humans, etc)

Compost Pail from Gardener's Supply Web Site

Written by: Jeanne of The SandLapper Shop


 2 medium zucchini or summer squash, total), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick sliced  squash (about 9 ounces.

Orzo with Grilled Shrimp, Summer Vegetables, and Pesto Vinaigrette

8 ounces orzo (about 1 1/3 cups)

6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided                      .  

Paula would know what to do with this great looking fruit
1 yellow bell pepper or 1 red,  quartered

3 tablespoons purchased pesto

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Pound uncooked large shrimp,  peeled,

2 heirloom tomatoes (8 to 10) ounces total),
cored, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 2 cups)


Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain. Rinse with cold water;  drain well.  Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.

Prepare barbecue (medium-High heat). Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl.  Brush zucchini and bell pepper with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Whisk pesto, lime juice, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 2 tbs. vinegar in smalll bowl for pesto vinaigrette.  Place shrimp in medium bowl. Add 2 tbs. pesto vinaigrette;  toss to coat.

Grill zucchini and bell pepper until crisp tender, about 3 minutes per side for zucchini and 4 minutes per side for bell pepper. Transfer to work surface.  Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper;  grill until charred and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Place shrimp in bowl with orzo.  Chop Zucchini and bell pepper; add to bowl with orzo.  Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, sliced basil, and mozzarella; toss to combine.  Season to taste with salt and patter.  
Do Ahead: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; Chill.

Garnish with basil sprigs and serve cold  or at room temperature.

Meredith's Welcome Wagon - August 2012

Our newest member of the team is Zala from UraniaArt. Zala lives is Slovenia and is helping the Golden Rose Crafters broaden our team horizons internationally!

Although Zala is a busy medical student, she finds the time for her love of arts and crafts. A stroll through her shop is a wonderful adventure with polymer clay pendants in fantasy, fairy-tale, gothic, and comedy-horror themes. Always thinking outside the box, Zala's creations are unique and unusual delights!

Welcome to the team, Zala!!

Brought to you by;  Meredith of PatchworkCrafters

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Hey Everyone, It's me Marilyn. Patty's on vacation and I am afraid you are stuck with me this month. I've learned a greater appreciation for what Patty does around here, that's for sure. She was able to pick one favorite each month of the various categories, I couldn't. So for this month, we will have a 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place for my favorite picks. It was so difficult because there were so many fabulous items all of you listed this month of July.

Among the greats was Connie Ryans'  of Connie Ryan123, made of Sterling Silver, Copper and Agate her  Pendant was to die for. There were so many more I wish that I could list them all here. But to my picks. Starting out with Numero Uno.

This is Senem of Seno and she is from Ankara. I chose her lovely Handmade Scarf as my first pick. It's a sensual blend of pinks and grays done in Chiffon,  it even looks soft and will be perfect for a cool summer eve.

Patties Pieces
For Numero Dos we have Patty from Patties Pieces coming in with the this gorgeous crocheted necklace.  Patty's jewelry is so unique and clever it was difficult to make a choice between this one and another Patty listed this month. But I love the light, airy, feel to this creation, and the colors will be perfect for this fall weather rapidly approaching.

Dr. Seuss Pic Frame

My third pick is from Sharon of Lilac Cottage Cards. I love this delightful picture frame decorated with pictures from Dr. Seuss. It would be perfect for a child's room or a child's photo. Anywhere,  anyway, it will brighten any room.


"PCF Lavender - licious" by the Sandlapper Shop

I hope you enjoy these Laveder-licious items from some wonderful shops!Check out my team Promoting Creative Friends:

Created by Jeanne  of the Sandlapper Shop in Golden Rose Crafters

iPad case, new iPad case,cov...

The Emma - Lavender Resin De...

Bracelet Purple Roses Hearts...

Fused Glass Vase - Purple Ir...

SALE - lavender soaps Shea ...

ONE DOLLAR Deals - Dried Lav...

Hippo love, cute wedding cak...

Glam Rock Lavender Horn Rimm...

30% off - Landscape Photogra...

Gifts Mini Banner for Wishin...

Purple Acrylic Flowers With...


Bougainvillea, purple, Water...

Butterfly Handbag Charm

Lovely Lavender Handmade Cro...

Sale Vintage 1980s Lavender ...


This sizzling hot treasury was created by Sharon from our own Golden Rose Crafters,  for her Lilac Cottage Cards Shop. Be careful, it's hot!

'Vintage Ruby Red' by lilaccottagecards

A lush collection of ruby red vintage goodies!!

Box - Vintage Child's Re...

Vintage Red Quilled Brooch w...

Vintage Wide Red Link Bracel...

Vintage Red Etienne Aigner ...

Vintage Ruby Red Hand Blown ...

Vintage Stanley Tools, Gift ...

Vintage 1950's Photograp...

Vintage Rustic Red Candlehol...

Vintage Cocktail Dress - 198...

WORKING- Red Rotary Phone

Red Necklace - Vintage Style...

Vintage 80s Red Suede Ankle ...

Vintage red little bottle wo...

French Vintage Purse, Dark R...

vintage red oil can

Vintage Ruby Red Lidded Egg ...

Honorable Mention General Treasury for July

The "Genius" At Work, I couldn't resist adding one of mine to the mix,    (aw -come on I made 6 ).

'Purple Is My Passion' by marilyn1545

Glitterbug Originals PuRPLe ...

Custom Made Large 18" w...

The Victorian Lace Capelet /...

Cuff Bracelet Purple and Bla...

Mauve agate necklace with Sw...

Collectible Clarice Cliff Pl...

Orchid - metalwork ring with...

Fluorite, Blackdene Mine, We...

Whimsical Burtonesque Branch...

Hand painted silk scarf. Ame...

Buy Art Prints, Reproduction...

Wedding Place Card, Customiz...

Lightweight hand-dyed Pure L...

16x20 Pirate Ship mysterious...

Free shipping--Elegant Facet...

Grape purple satin ribbon si...