Home Improvement

Published on Thu, Mar 6, 2008 by Jack Kintner

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Home Improvement

By Jack Kintner

That old, stinky stand-by still the best gardening prep

Lynden dairy farmer Nathan Smit wants to help you help your garden when he cleans out his barn.

“We use fir wood shavings as a medium in our dairy barns. The bags of compost we sell are mixed with cow manure.”

It makes up a delicious a nutritious spring meal for plants, something to help them get going and growing this time of year when the longer days and warmer temperatures spur a new season of growth.

The farm’s website quotes Washington State University in describing the benefits of adding rich organic nutrients to your garden soil. “Recent studies by WSU’s Cooperative Extension show that applying compost to the soil can radically increase plant yield. An astonishing 60 percent yield increase was produced in some of their Whatcom County vegetable growing tests.

Although there is no way to guarantee the same results in your garden, there is no question that the broad range of nutrients contained in dairy compost will slowly and gently add nutrients and greatly benefit your soil and its vegetation.

Healthy soils are teeming with a community of earthworms, ground beetles, centipedes and other organisms. Adding compost will help maintain these beneficial soil populations and inhibit the growth of detrimental soil micro-organisms.

Compost will also increase soil permeability and improve water holding capacity.”

The farm also sells a topsoil/potting soil called Good Dirt, garden bark and red wiggler earthworms by the pound.

Except for the earthworms, you can buy their products by the yard and u-haul, or have them delivered, or buy it by the bag.

For more information, contact the Smit’s at 360/354-3583 or visit their website at www.smitscom-post.com.

RE Store is chance to recycle, reuse building materials

The RE Store in Bellingham is a great source of used materials for remodeling projects, especially for older homes, and is also a place that can cart off just about any of your old, re-useable materials you remove from your house as a part of your home remodel project.
In addition, many donations are tax deductible.

The list of materials they accept is like a catalog of materials you can find there: appliances, cabinets, columns, doors and door hardware, escutcheons, flooring of all kinds, lumber and beams, light fixtures, railings and balustrades for stairways and balconies, stone and decorative concrete, sinks, tubs, showers, siding and soffit material, tiles and counter tops, trim, molding, windows, screens, and one-of-a-kind items you need to see for yourself.

Founded in 1993, the RE-Store now has a branch in Seattle as well as their new location in the old Wilson furniture building at 2309 Meridian street in Bellingham.

They will pick up and salvage at any jobsite, from getting something from you that’s just a little too big to fit in the back of your car to “de-constructing” entire buildings.

The RE-Store is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information call, 360/647-5921.

Native plant sale set for Easter weekend

The Whatcom Conservation District will hold a native plant sale on Saturday, March 22. Forty varieties of seedling evergreen and broadleaf trees, deciduous shrubs and specialty plants such as ground covers like low-growing kinnickinnick are available for purchase, and by paying a 50 percent deposit you can make a pre-order and just pick it up at the sale. Since the plants are all small you don’t even need a truck.

Plants are available to solve many gardening problems, such as finding things that will grow in the shade, and everything supports native wildlife, especially birds, because the plants that are sold are native to this location.

The sale begins at 9 a.m. and is being held near the Whatcom Community College campus at the Community Food Co-op, Cordata Parkway and Westerly Road, a block north and a block west of the intersection of the Guide and Bakerview Road. For more information contact the Whatcom Conservation District at 360/354-2035.