Perennial Edible Garden
The darkest hour is just before the dawn. So it is with the end of winter when you love to garden. Planting season is nearing quickly. The established perennials in the garden have been awakened by April’s showers. Now the sunshine of May will help them spring forth into another great season of growth. In addition to cleaning up winter’s waste from the landscape, now is the time to start dreaming about the food you can produce in your own garden. While a daydream cannot completely satiate the desire to get in the dirt, it can help tide us over. This time can be used constructively to formulate plans for the year. For instance, formulating a new perennial bed. This year we are going to convert an underutilized 8’ x 8’ patch of our backyard into an edible perennial garden.
Fresh fruit and veggies will grow for my family and the families after ours every year in the backyard. How is that possible? There are a surprising number of plants that will come back each year if given the real estate to do so. Here’s a list of the plants that we will be testing out this year in our garden.
· Asparagus – Jersey Supreme
· Asparagus – Pacific Purple
· Onion – yellow, Walla Walla
· Onion – white, Ringmaster
· Onion – red, Red Zeppelin
· Garlic - variety
· Rhubarb – Valentine
There are lots of other choices as well. We based our selections on our climate, tastes and space available. There are lots of herbs, shrubs, trees and other perennial vegetables to explore. Check out these great articles about other perennial plants you can grow in your garden and other tips on perennial vegetable gardening.
While you are out enjoying this beautiful spring day, start planning how you can grow your own dinner in your own perennial vegetable garden. What’s more, this garden grows back year after year. All you need to do is give it some real estate, patience and care. Tell us about YOUR perennial garden experiences or dreams! In the meantime, Happy Gardening!
A rainy Monday morning with a forecast of rain all week. Just remember those gray skies are bringing life to our region. April showers do bring May flowers! Life moves fast. Take time to find your inner peace through balance and reflection this week.
Every time the oven is preheating, the smell of charred food rises. Wisps of faint smoke fill your kitchen. The smoke detector sets off, forcing you to open your windows and create a flow of air by fanning your dish towels. This may go on for days, weeks, or even months. But it is time to face the truth, dear friend.
It is time to clean your oven. My condolences.
Most people do not enjoy cleaning ovens, especially if the oven does not have a self-clean setting. Because of this, oftentimes food drippings build up over time and mutate into a type of charcoal-epoxy goo that tests even the most patient of cleaners and strongest of agents. People abandon all sense and throw both harsh words and chemicals—and precious time—at this central and hardworking appliance.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Here’s the easiest way to clean an oven.
Things you will need: 1” metal putty knife, steel wool, sponge with scour pad, towel, water, 2 buckets, and your choice of cleaning agents. Vinegar and baking soda (combo 1), or water and a natural-based powder like baking soda or a gentle surface scrub (combo 2), is recommended.
1. Remove the racks and scrape any loose chunks from them with the putty knife. Get the racks to a place where you can apply a soaking solution, either outside or in a tub or sink (be prepared to clean the tub or sink afterwards if you choose this route). If you are using combo 1, wet the racks with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda. If you are using combo 2, wet the racks with water and sprinkle with powder. Rub the racks to create a paste and let the paste sit on the racks for at least 20 minutes.
2. Use the 1” putty knife to scrape as much of the raised charred food and goo as possible from the oven. With a hand broom, vacuum, or paper towel, remove the loose chunks from the oven. If you are using combo 1, wet the oven with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda. If you are using combo 2, wet the oven with water and sprinkle with powder. Rub the combination over the entire oven to create a nice paste on the surface. Start at the back, move to the sides, upper and lower parts of the oven. Don’t forget the door!
3. Take a break. Let the paste sit in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
4. Fill one bucket with warm water and fill the other with a little bit of water. One is your clean bucket and the other is your dirty discharge bucket. Dip the steel wool into the water and scrub the oven. Start with the door and move inwards so that you minimize the mess. When you need to rinse the wool, dip it first into the discharge bucket and then into the clean bucket. Once the grime has come off, switch to the sponge to remove the powder residue and polish the surface. Use your clean bucket for fresh water and rinse in the discharge bucket. Use the water liberally! Dry with the towel. Repeat on the inside of the oven, working strategically on one surface at a time.
5. Once the oven is clean, turn to the racks. Use the steel wool first to scrub off the most difficult spots, then switch to the sponge to remove any remaining paste. Dry and reinstall the racks.
That’s it! Congratulations on your clean and fresh oven! Now cook yourself an awesome meal—you earned it!
Our small business has been blessed with some of the best staff in the world. Each member of our team is invaluable. We often speak of how we wish we could duplicate this one or that one because they are the best at this or that. Our team members are great because they get it. We really lucked out with the people who have joined the Oso Clean team thus far!
Each of our current superstars were referred to us. If you know someone who may a good fit for our team, send them to our Employment Page to learn more. We offer a diverse range of services to a diverse range of clientele and are therefore seeking a diverse workforce. If you think you may fit or know someone who would, contact us!
April Fools! Take a moment today to have a little fun with someone you love. Check out this link for ideas on how you can liven up the day for your kids. http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/11169/april-fools-day-pranks
How do you celebrate the first day of April?
The sun's higher trajectory spills fresh rays of golden light into our homes. Don't let dust and grime impede your enjoyment of this natural spirit lifter. The body makes vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun, and most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way. Skin exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D. Check out this link for more info on Vitamin D. Though you will not increase your vitamin D intake with clean windows, odds are you will experience positive health benefits by keeping the windows clean. The extra sun will make you feel good. We all want to feel good.
Though it's still cold, the 10 day forecast is showing some upper 40's in the next week. While that's not a heat wave, it won't be long until we can fling the windows open and let that spring breeze wander into our homes to kick that winter stuffiness out. Skip the Windex! There are easier, less toxic ways to clean that glass. Wads of paper towel and windex is a comfort technique for some people. It's how they have always done it. 2014 is a good year to try something new. A couple of drops of dish soap and a bucket of warm water will give a great cleaning medium. We prefer Mrs. Myers products for the wide range of scents available and the eco friendly company policies, though other commercial dish soaps will work just as well. Pick up a few microfiber rags. They are the modern miracle of cleaning. There are a variety of manufacturers and grades of quality. For a cost effective rag that does the job, check out Amazon Basics. A higher quality microfiber cloth can be purchased from Yvonne's Original. Use one microfiber cloth to wash the window. Use a second, dry cloth to clean the window. Use a third dry cloth to remove all streaks and perfect that shine. A squeegee can be substituted for the second step if you have the skills. Here is a step by step window cleaning link.
If that seems like too much work, you can always call on Oso Clean to take care of your windows for you. We love the satisfaction of removing buckets of dirt and grime from our customer's windows.
The last few months have brought several new customers to the Oso Clean fold. We are very excited by how well our commercial services have been received. It is clear that there is a need for our services in the local business arena. Many local businesses around River Falls, WI and Hudson, WI do not know that we provide these services. Help us spread the word with a like, a share or a +1. If your workplace needs a better cleaning solution, call Oso Clean to custom tailor a solution for your workplace cleaning needs.
How do you tackle your spring cleaning chores? Let's make this weekend a great one and get a jump on spring by getting started early on the tough stuff, so when the weather turns we can all go outside and play. It can be daunting to get started, but we all know the reward of having your space deep cleaned. The key is not to try and take on everything at once. Take on one task or one space in your home at a time and you will find the reward of peeling back the dust can be quite invigorating. We found this really simple checklist at http://www.cleanmama.net/2014/03/free-spring-cleaning-checklist.html. Check this site out for other helpful lists as well as some great tips. In all ways, enjoy the day!