Saturday, March 13, 2010

Becoming a Modern Day Model Citizen Pt. 3

Once upon a time I started a series of posts all about fun ways to become a Model Citizen... and part 3 has been a long time coming. What else has been a long time coming? Spring! Luckily spring is in the air, blooms are all around and it has inspired me to finally finish this post! So, lets recap - Part 1 was about fun ways for all of us ladies to go green & stop contributing to the landfill. Part 2 was Charity for charity's sake & covered tons of opportunities we have to give back to our community without busting out our check books. So what's the topic of discussion today you ask?

Making the world a lovelier place by any means necessary! Ready to get your hands dirty? Literally? Let me start off by admitting something... I have black thumbs. BUT this is something that I don't like about myself - that I CAN CHANGE! Do you have black thumbs too? Do things go from garden to graveyard in the blink of an eye? Lets make this change and grow together - pun intended! We all know that reading is the best way to learn about anything and I have to say that You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail has really opened my eyes as to where I've gone wrong in the past with my garden patches. You'll learn all about starting from seed, composting, irrigation, container gardens & more! She also has a new book that just came out - Grow Great Grub. I don't have a copy yet but you can bet your pretty pink garden shears that I'll be picking one up soon and you should too. If you are broke but ready to get growing check out her blog.
Fun Fact: The National Gardening Association says that on average families can get up to a $500 return on their investment in gardening. For $500 me & my manfriend can spend a long weekend at the beach! Gardening here I come!

So, maybe you want to see things spring up and grow.. but you don't have any dirt to dig in? Think again! Dirt is everywhere. Sure it may not belong to you but that doesn't mean it's off limits. Grow rogue! Look around your neighborhood. There are medians, patches of grass next to bus stops, unused space in local parks AND yes - vacant lots that are screaming for a little love & affection. There's plenty of fun and sneaky ways to spread that love. Get Fresh Cut put together this rad video that will teach you all about DIY seed bombing and inspire you to transform your neighborhood!
*I will say that you may not want to plant veggies and herbs for consumption in these public places. You don't want to eat kale that was pee'd on by a drunk or fogged out by traffic exhaust. Just sayin'.. Okay - on with the show:

Did that get you all riled up and ready for more guerrilla style beautification tactics? Yes? Fantastic! Let's talk graffiti! No, don't bust out the Krylon just yet.. You will need a beer & a blender though for this most amazing and gorgeously green way to decorate your hood. Mossgraffiti! Okay, this won't work perfectly in all climates - including my own. Not a lot of moss here in Austin, TX... but that doesn't mean I won't give it a shot. You can create any image you like with moss and adhere it to any surface. All you need is:
*1 can of beer
*1/2 teaspoon sugar
*Several clumps garden moss
*1 plastic container (with lid)
*a blender
*a paintbrush

It's simple really. Just throw 1 beer, sugar & moss into a bender, mix until smooth or "creamy", transfer it to your plastic container and march out the door to your chosen location. You then paint it onto your surface using a stencil or go freehand if you like. It may not look brilliant at first, but if you stop by your lovely work of art and make sure it stays moist (using a spray bottle for misting) eventually the little bits of moss will start to recover and root springing forth your work of art. After time the moss will grow beyond that and take over the area, which is always a pretty site - in my opinion. North Westerners - I am calling on you to do this! I'll try it here in Austin, I've been scouting locations, but with 107 degree days on their way I'm feeling a little dubious about the outcome. I'm thinking my neighborhood needs one of these devil girls I drew lurking in an alley somewhere... *fingers crossed*

If none of these projects appeal to you but you've already got your hoe in hand and no where to grow you can find a community garden near you at On the other hand if you are an avid gardener please share your tips of the trade with me! Me and my black thumbs are all ears.. hmm that's a weird sentence. AND if you do or have tried out one of these projects will you take pictures? I'd LOVE to see them! Okay ladies - time is of the essence! Grab your gloves and grow!

Happy Harvesting!
Bonnie Rue


Early Bird Special said...

Great post, Bonnie! I have Gayla's new book, and it's fantastic! Seriously, it's just as informative and inspiring at You Grow Girl. I know you'll dig it! ;)

Model Citizen aka Bonnie Rue said...

Thank You Amy! I am real excited about Gayla's new book. After I read You Grow Girl - I actually dig grow things. Which is the best endorsement I can give it. I'll be picking up the new one after sxsw. Oh and Amy - your new tattoos are INCREDIBLE! Everyone -click over to Amy's blog and swoon over her new work! Fantastic!

Penny said...

Nice! I'll be relocating to Austin soon---hope to cross paths!