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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Seaweed and a little Mail Art


There are two schools of thought on whether to wash seaweed before it is used on the garden as mulch. We used to wash it, but learned that we needn't bother at a composting workshop a while back. Now we just pile it straight on. Our garden has thrived from using heaps of seaweed that is free for the taking so close to home. 
We layer it around all our fruit trees, and as mulch around all new plants we put in. It is reputed to help break down clay soil, which is what we have, and this seems to be true here. I like to put lawn clippings on top of it, which I think helps it to break down, as we don't bother to chop the seaweed up.
We also figure that using it in our vege garden adds iodine to the soil - a mineral that New Zealand soil is lacking.

We use it to make liquid seaweed fertilizer, by putting it in a big barrel in the garden and covering it with water. After it has been there for a few weeks/ months I just ladle it out onto my plants. I don't bother diluting it and it is fine. I then top the barrel back up with water, and after a while put the used barrelled seaweed on the garden and get some fresh stuff.
Seaweed also gets thrown into the compost bin mix.
The gardens look so much healthier since we started using seaweed, horse manure and lawn clippings. No need to buy compost here.

Mail Art
I take any opportunity to turn parcels I need to post into mail art. What would you rather find in your mailbox - a courier post bag or something like this...

On the back is a collaged love poem - given that it is an engagement present.
This one is fairly understated, but it uses recycled materials.

Recently I received my sewing machine in the post that I had bought on Trade Me. The seller had charged me $7 above what the postage cost. When I questioned her about it, she said it was for packaging as she'd had to buy lots more bubble wrap - AGH! If she had asked me, I would have requested she find some packaging to recycle - I'm sure everyone must have access to this. Newspaper even.

We are off to the Jazz and Blues Festival in the Bay of Islands for the weekend, so will have some photos for the next blog.

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