Posts Tagged ‘diy’

Farmgram SLO

Local CSAs are a great way to eat healthy, support local farmers, and renew a connection with the land. However, what happens if you run out of ideas for all of those veggies? Often times, too many pieces of produce end up rotting in the compost bin because you either have no clue what to do with them, or cannot bear to look at the same ingredient for the third week in a row.

Farmgram San Luis Obispo is a project designed to deliver fresh food from the county as well as provide ideas and directions on how to use them. Each box follows a theme, such as the “breakfast box”, “juicing box”, or “meals with friends box”. In addition to vegetables and value-added items such as eggs, nuts, honey, or bread, the Farmgram comes with a chef’s recipe, starter kits for projects, and discount coupons. The canvas boxes are delivered directly to the home or office, making grocery shopping a breeze. Buying a Farmgram also helps those in need with funds each box sold used to donate fresh produce to hungry families in San Luis Obispo.

The project was started as a collaboration between three 5th year Seniors at Cal Poly. The trio hopes to encourage customers to learn new ways to enjoy the agricultural heritage of their homes, bolster local businesses, and promote food culture across the county. The Farmgram project is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, and is looking for donations to get off the ground! A pledge of $35 will secure you the first pre-order box. Contribute now to go on a culinary adventure that is good for the body, community, and creative spirit!

Nothing says “I love you” and “screw this whole Black Friday mess”  like putting the time and effort into hand-making a gift or holiday decoration.  Why go to a big box store and buy something that everyone else will have under their tree this year? Instead, grab your power tools, sewing box, and craft kit, throw some spiced cider on the stove, and get ready to create a little holiday cheer!

Tree for all – When celebrating the magic of Christmas, show a little love to your floral family by sparing the tree this year. If you are still pining for the smell of pine, pick up a potted tree to spruce up your home, and start the tradition of planting you new friend in the garden or park after Christmas. If you are a little short on cash, arrange your books into the shape of a tree in your shelves, or construct a faux fir from recycled cardboard and bottles. For those living in close quarters, wall stickers and frames make for a space-saving and attractive 2D tree. Even an old ladder from the garage can create an excellent frame for lights and ornaments!

For the light show, consider using low-energy, efficient LEDs. Not only do they shine brightly in a myriad of different colors, but they don’t kick out as much heat or waste electricity. Consider putting them on a timer to shut them off while you sleep and wait for Santa.

Spirits of the Season- Concoct your own top-shelf flavored alcohol this season with easy at-home recipes. Depending on how savvy you are around the still, it may be best to buy a base such as rum or vodka from the store and add ingredients to infuse into the booze. Favorites include Limoncello, Mocha Cream Liqueur, and Sangria.  For the infused liqueurs, make sure to start ahead of the holidays, as some require some time to marinate in the bottle. When finished, present a bottle as a gift, crack it open at your next gathering, and count the minutes until your crazy uncle dons a light-shade for a hat.

Deck the Halls- The closest thing that those of us on the Central Coast will get to snow is making our own from paper and scissors. For some really professional-looking snowflakes, check out these amazing patterns, perfect for all of your recycled scrap paper or old catalogs. Office cooler cups can be arranged to make some pretty stunning, snow-white stars, and you can never beat the classic cotton ball for a fluffy drift. (Bonus points if you use organic cotton!) Reclaimed wood, screws, and old ribbon can make a simple and attractive patterns for five or six pointed stars, and even old PVC pipes can be repurposed into s surprisingly lovely holiday wreath.

 

Nothing says “I love you” and “screw this whole Black Friday mess”  like putting the time and effort into hand-making a gift or holiday decoration.  Why go to a big box store and buy something that everyone else will have under their tree this year? Instead, grab your power tools, sewing box, and craft kit, throw some spiced cider on the stove, and get ready to create a little holiday cheer!

Tree for all – When celebrating the magic of Christmas, show a little love to your floral family by sparing the tree this year. If you are still pining for the smell of pine, pick up a potted tree to spruce up your home, and start the tradition of planting you new friend in the garden or park after Christmas. If you are a little short on cash, arrange your books into the shape of a tree in your shelves, or construct a faux fir from recycled cardboard and bottles. For those living in close quarters, wall stickers and frames make for a space-saving and attractive 2D tree. Even an old ladder from the garage can create an excellent frame for lights and ornaments!

For the light show, consider using low-energy, efficient LEDs. Not only do they shine brightly in a myriad of different colors, but they don’t kick out as much heat or waste electricity. Consider putting them on a timer to shut them off while you sleep and wait for Santa.

Spirits of the Season- Concoct your own top-shelf flavored alcohol this season with easy at-home recipes. Depending on how savvy you are around the still, it may be best to buy a base such as rum or vodka from the store and add ingredients to infuse into the booze. Favorites include Limoncello, Mocha Cream Liqueur, and Sangria.  For the infused liqueurs, make sure to start ahead of the holidays, as some require some time to marinate in the bottle. When finished, present a bottle as a gift, crack it open at your next gathering, and count the minutes until your crazy uncle dons a light-shade for a hat.

Deck the Halls- The closest thing that those of us on the Central Coast will get to snow is making our own from paper and scissors. For some really professional-looking snowflakes, check out these amazing patterns, perfect for all of your recycled scrap paper or old catalogs. Office cooler cups can be arranged to make some pretty stunning, snow-white stars, and you can never beat the classic cotton ball for a fluffy drift. (Bonus points if you use organic cotton!) Reclaimed wood, screws, and old ribbon can make a simple and attractive patterns for five or six pointed stars, and even old PVC pipes can be repurposed into s surprisingly lovely holiday wreath.

 

Back in the Good Old Days, being a DIYer meant being fairly well-versed in the fields of carpentry, plumbing, sewing, and mechanics.  Now, in an era where electronics and personal computers run our lives, taking control of our tools means knowing a bit of hacking and basic wiring.  Following the Maker mantra of “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it”, tinkerers around the world are striving to make hardware accessible, affordable, and repairable.  Demanding that manufacturers make parts that can be easily replaced, swapped, and fixed is integral to taking ownership of our high-tech gadgets.  While waiting for the big companies to listen to the voices of the consumers, there are some excellent resources for those looking to modify or mend their electronic devices.

Hackerspaces- For a little collaboration and instruction, check out your local “hackerspace”.  These sites are dedicated to acting as open community labs where DIYers can socialize, trade knowledge, and work on projects.  While events vary with each incarnation, lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities are common among most hackerspaces.  They are generally funded by members, but some allow outside sponsors or accept grants by filing for a non-profit status. Many hold markets where their creations are displayed, open build nights, and competitions.

Hack a Day- Having trouble drumming up some inspiration for your next hack?  Visit the Hack a Day blog for hundreds of examples of ingenious modifications, tips, and review on collectives across the country.

Make Magazine-  As one of the ultimate online resources for DIY fanatics, Make Magazine offers videos, articles, and project instructions guaranteed to keep your brain and hands busy.  If you need a part or kit to complete your masterpiece, their Maker Shed store provides tons of tools, kits and goodies.  Take advantage of their forums to connect with other gadget geeks for advice and tech support.

Instructables- Acting as a colloquium for DIYers and a platform through which they can sell their work, Instructables nourishes a huge community of makers enthusiastic about fabrication and modification.  In addition to instructions, the site also sponsors contests, makes recommendations for e-books, and sends out a newsletter you would actually look forward to receiving.

Become personally involved with what you use every day.  Customize, tweak, and revamp your effects.  Get hacking!

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