Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Home ReSource Move!

If you've read much of my blog, you know how much I love to shop and donate materials and time to Home ReSource. Home ReSource (HR) is a non-profit building materials reuse center in Missoula, since 2003. Right now, HR is involved in a fundraising campaign to move to a bigger, more accessible location (the old 4G's building on Russel St. near the Good Food Store). The larger location will allow HR a greater ability to serve the community- HR has drastically outgrown its current location. In addition, the new location will also enable HR to expand its service to the community through some new programs.

This fundraising campaign is a one time "ask"- HR is a self-supporting, non-profit that does not engage in annual fundraising.

Watch this brief video and Matt, Lauren (the co-founders, and co- executive directors) and Lucas (past board-president) eloquently describe the mission and the need for the move. It is a great 7-minute video that you will enjoy and I am sure you will be inspired. Hopefully inspired to contribute!

Chronicled on my blog are garden projects I have made using HR materials like my greenhouse, tool closet, soon to be completed grill shed. But I also use their materials for so many interior projects, ranging from framing to plumbing, and furniture.
Below are a couple of pictures of some recent projects like a breakfast nook and pass through, that regular blog readers would not have seen. Below is Alex, the 2009 cat of the year, and a pass through using framing, casings, windows, and hardware from HR.

HR has allowed me to do what I love, use reused and recycled materials for garden, carpentry, furniture and home projects. This is very important to me, and without HR, it would be very difficult. Unlike many similar salvage, for-profit business, HR as a non-profit organization that is invested in the community and has a strong social mission. Although the cost savings are huge from shopping at HR, to me what is more important is that I am reusing building materials and maintaining historic house parts for use in the home and garden.

There are lots of ways to stay up to date on HR; you can receive weekly email updates on materials and events, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, and by all means, shop there! I do- every week. It is my favorite store in the world, ask my wife.

Please consider contributing- even a $25 will go a along way (and you or your company will get immortalized in the GARDEN of giving- see, here is the relationship to a garden blog!). Click here to donate. I realize most of the readers of Montana Wildlife Gardener are from out of state (or even out of the country), and may never visit HR. However, the environmental and social mission of HR is fantastic and far-reaching.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Garden Projects

There is always something to do or change in the garden, and this is a fun time of the year to think about planning for changes. It is also a nice time of the year to review (either through photos, or a garden journal), what worked in the garden, and what didn't- either from a design standpoint or a plant standpoint. The really fun thing about gardening is things are easy to change, and trying new things is fun; a garden is a constantly evolving extension of your lifestyle and a reflection of what you love to do.

So, here is a list of projects I hope to accomplish this winter/ spring. There will inevitably be additions, and changes, but that is part of the fun.

  • New raised bed for the vegetable garden (mainly for onions) - next to grape arbor in the photo above. Move current occupants of area that will become raised bed to front yard.
  • Reduce bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoreugnaria spicata) in front yard and replace with displaced plants in the area that will be occupied by the new raised bed.
  • Remove one Steuben blue grape vine (we have two vines that produce over 50lbs of grapes/ year. That is a lot of jelly) and replace with a Himrod (seedless table grape). In the photo above one of the grapes is going for a ride.
  • Install cameras in bird boxes and connect to Internet for live streaming bird voyeurism!
  • Complete outdoor grill shed (all I need is to install the roof, so I am waiting for someone with galvanized delta rib roofing to remove theirs and donate it to Home Resource).
  • Remove one section of lawn and replace with natives like hairy golden aster (Heterotheca villosa), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), showy fleabane (Erigeron speciosus) that I will mow to form a meadow. We’ll see how this works.
  • Prune clematis on garage (this is a much bigger project than you would expect).
  • Start a bunch of native plants in the greenhouse to add to our front yard to replace some bluebunch wheatgrass and blue flax (Linum lewisii). Soon. Very soon.
  • Make a new composter?

Lots to do. Exciting.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Montana Nursery and Landscape Association Presenation

Thank you all that were at my talk, Conservation Gardening: Landscaping with Montana native plants for Montana native wildlife, at the Montana Nursery and Landscape Association's Green Expo. I hope my presentation on using native plants for wildlife was useful and inspiring. Here is a link to download my presentation from today.