Green Journey...

Saving wonderful items from going into the landfill, one day at a time!


Going Green is as Old as Dirt.  A lot of us have been doing it for years. My first bike was made from parts from the dump.  I wish I still had it.  A lot more of us need to be growing  our own food,  recycling, reusing, and bartering for services to cut down on waste.

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Old Windows into Potting Benches

Posted by deb clarke on August 15, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Tom Ecklund loves to make stuff out of used wood but his potting benches have become a favorite with many gardeners in California and across the country. He designs them from reuse wood and old windows that come from remodel projects. These windows have what are called lites, small squares of glass that add charm to vintage homes. The only problem is, they are not energy efficient.  These windows are being replaced by double paned replicas.   It is perfect for Tom, as he is finding them where ever they go and remaking the relics into his beautiful tables below. You can find his Sonoma Garden Designs at the Alameda Antique Faire, Petaluma Antique Fair April/ September and garden shows here in California. Forgive his website as he is busy making benches but his email is current for orders.



Corragated Metal From the Past into the Future

Posted by deb clarke on August 10, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Corragated metal can be very expensive if bought new but if you get it from recycled centers or by tearing down old barn roofing, it can be one third the price. A lot of time these materials went to the landfill or metal yards but now we are lucky they are being recycled. We bought this metal from Daniel Davis on Todd Road, Recycletown at the Meechem Road at the Petaluma Landfill, Beyond Waste in Cotati, and a yard in Middletown above the Lions Club skeet shoot.Barn ProjectFuture Bill Ding fence, replica of vintage wooden toys building blocks shown.FencingRailing for stairsA planter, my Valentine last year!Replacing windows in a garage door for more security.Open air hottub roomWanes coatingCatwalk railing

Maintaining the Utilitarian Use of an Item

Posted by deb clarke on August 5, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Yes, I know rusty metal is as hot as facebook right now but I am one to think lets make some use out of it. I know it can be decorative or whimsical in your garden but it is even nicer if it has a use, too. I am of the McGiver school of using everything over and over again to make something that will create function not just to look at for pleasure. I do have many pieces in my yard that do just that satify my artistic soul.  I am also an utilitarian who craves reuse and sustainability in my life. I often see mailboxes, the frontload type abandoned for a more a secure lock box type. They come into landfils, recycle yards and thrift shops waiting for a new home. Perhaps made into a birdhouse at the Woodpeckers in Nice or pet food hamper. Our idea is an easy one to construct with a four by four base and stud to hold three boxes up. It creates a safe haven for your gardening tools, seeds, and small containers of fertilizers. Birds land on it once in awhile.   You can always paint them to your liking or grow morning glories as well as other climbing vines on the structure for more color.Old wheels are fun to play with to reuse.   This one is from an old model car, welded to a solid metal cylinder then to the seat. I have it in the shadiest part of the property for a place to sip water after working in the heat. I love the old school green which is popular right now.This old soda shop chair lost the wood seat many years ago and ended up into a metal bin at Recycletown. I filled it with an old water bucket that was as holy as Swiss cheese. Filled it with bulbs, flowering seeds, and xmas cacti so I get a bloom in it three times a year. It is one my items I brought from my home in Petaluma. The plant didn't make it but it soon became alive with plants that can live in Lake County climate.My personal favorite is this seat made of a long forgotten milk can from old dairy farms in Petaluma. You will need to either attach with heavy duty nuts and bolts or weld your tractor seat as you did with the other example. These seats were made for people sitting for hours working the fields so they are surprisingly comfortable.

Using old doors to no where in your garden...

Posted by deb clarke on August 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Using old doors in the garden is easy but you will have to put them together like you would a fence. That means deep holes dug by a post hole maker, either by hand or by machine type. You will need four by four posts and lots of cement. You can find the wood at landfill recycling or reuse yards popping up around the country. This one is a favorite as it came out of a house whole. The clear glass section has round beveled circles that bring extra whimsy to your garden area. We put these up to provide additional shade to the rose garden. It is so hot here that vanity plants need all the help we can provide. I love sitting out here when the sun goes down, the angel face tree rose was a great investment as the scent is heavenly. Oh and those planters are made from 50 gallon blue plastic barrels. Duane cut them in scalloped sections and painted them for another wonderful addition. The roses are happy in them and they will never rot as they are made to hold liquid forever.This one has an additional decorative top made of recycled stop light lenses brought in when the county went to flat LED lights. The sun goes through them like a giant sun catcher.

Old Window Screened in Porch Project

Posted by deb clarke on August 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Do you have broken or cracked old wooden windows salvaged from a remodel or teardown? You can be like us and make coat hangers, decorative stained glass frames, mirrors or try this project: a screened in porch.  You can start out with a small panel or wall if you don't have a bunch of windows or a half view.  We took the glass out, recycled it then reframed the windows with shade cloth, bought at our local garden or hardware store. We chose Mendo Mill as we are trying to keep buying anything new within a 30 mile radius, to cut down the carbon footprint. It comes on inexpensive yardage rolls.  We attached the window frames to the existing four by four framed porch.   It allows you to see out but the wildlife cannot see you. We watch birds flying in and out of our greenery from oak trees bordering our property on each corner plus a 25 foot Italian cypress. We have seen blue birds (not jay), blue heron, bullock orioles, doves, hawks, quail, vermilian fly catcher plus we can watch our crazy chickens.

It is not easy being green...Ludwig's Preserve Outdoor Yard Now Open

Posted by deb clarke on August 1, 2011 at 10:17 PM

We  are feeling good and back in business.  Our museum is now open and the customers have been great.  People who come in have a love for retro vintage and leave with all kinds of items from their pasts.  We have been revamping daily with new collectibles for sale and have 200 new boxes displayed on shelves for sale or for viewing only.  We have a nice miniature display section plus lots of beautiful dolls on sale.  The store is filled with over 100,000 items available from everyone's childhood.  We stock our shelves daily so you never know what you will find.  I am sorry if you came by while I was ill but if you come back it will be worth the trip.  We are both feeling great now so come on down.  We are located between Lake Builders Supply and Ludwigs Preserve at 3674 East Highway 20 in Nice, California in beautiful Lake County.  We are across the street from the largest natural lake in California.  We also boast that we have the cleanest air in the state for the tenth year in a row.  If you come into town and we are closed, give us a call at 707-274-9952 for a private tour.  We are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday noon to 4pm.  Ludwig's Preserve is now open next store, too.  His store just sent a phatty check to the sale tax gods. LOL...People are in love with Dave's stuff. The vintage yard is open earlier.  Hope to see you soon. 

Don't be Chicken!

Posted by deb clarke on March 15, 2010 at 10:43 AM


Let's talk chickens for going green.   I have six, no rooster.  They include two Rhode Island Reds and four Plymouth Rock hens.   I don't want the neighbors organizing a petition to get rid of them. Since, I acquired these critters, my life has changed so much.


First off, they eat all of my leftover greens and bread.  Less waste going in the landfill. Second, they provide me with a food source.   I always know that I can have eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner.   Oh and it is perfect for holidays as I can be depended on for deviled eggs.   Third, I have stopped using a weedeater in the yard.   No fumes or gas consumption.   Lastly, no mosquitoes even with a creek running through my property. Plus they love those pesky summer yellow jackets.   I told some kids the other day, how they give the yokes their color.   I know, I know but it was cute.



The rules are that you have to have a coop to protect them from nature and predators. Organic food is a great choice.   It isn't too expensive either.   I get it for around $12 and it lasts about two months.   Of course I am adding raw green food scraps to the mix.   They love lettuce and peas.   They need water sources around the yard and in their house.  They have to have room to roam if you have more then one.   I have less than an acre so they have plenty of bugs and land to run around.   Protect seedlings because they will be history. 



My yard has never looked so good. Usually, at this time of the year, we are going crazy trying to get rid of all the weeds that pop up from winter rains.   There are a few that miss Big Red's eating frenzy but nothing like before.   I have not had to add anything to my soil as they gently work and add to it if you know what I mean.   The best part is they are a joy to watch.   Oh and they are bargain at $2.50 to $5.00 a chick.



The Greening of America one county at a time

Posted by deb clarke on March 4, 2010 at 1:52 AM

We all know that Clear Lake is a natural resource.  Our air has been voted as the cleanest for the last 10 years.  So what better place to have people working to get rid of wasteful practices.  We have a lot of local businesses going green or continuing to be green.  The Tallman Hotel was built with remilled reuse wood, The Featherbed is made of recycled cabooses, The Gingerbread is filled with vintage pieces, Lakeview Market has replaced all of their lightbulbs with energy saving lights, Ceago winery is biodynamic and the list goes on.  Hopefully, everyone will be going down that path with anything from putting solar power, sorting all nonfood items, or water conservation.  We have great people like the watershed group taking 100s of tires out of the lake and walking trail design groups working hard to access all the lake.  How can we go wrong!