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Indoor Edible Garden Update: Harvesting green beans

By Mike Thayer

20171221_184330It's a meager harvest, but the green beans are starting to produce.

I haven't posted an Indoor Edible Garden Update in awhile and I am pleased to report that I have been enjoying radishes, spinach and a variety of micro-greens harvested from my apartment dining room.  And now, it's a pleasure to see a lot of blossoms and small beans on the bean shelf of the indoor garden!

The beans were planted back in late October and early November, a couple pots being planted each week to provide on ongoing harvest.  With a maturation date of 60 days, these plants are right on time in the controlled environment - a consistent 70 degrees, 16 hours of light a day (natural sun through the window supplemented with fluorescent lighting) and watering when things get dry to include some occasional misting to keep humidity levels up.

I'm in a 'hurry up and wait' mode for broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and some turnips.  I'll have some peas very soon though and look forward to making some stir fry!

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Update: The Indoor Edible Garden Project

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

20171028_073058Radishes, spinach and beans have sprouted, oh my!

I've really enjoyed putting this project together and I've already got some veggies getting all nice and green in less than a week.

Remember that $600 figure I wrote about in buying a 'ready made' indoor plant shelf equipped with lighting?  I put mine together for about $150.  That my friends, is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly!  The shelf unit itself was the largest expense at about $80, the rest of the budget was spent on some lighting.  It wasn't difficult to attach that lighting to the shelf either, easy peasy. 

Now that the veggies I've planted are starting to sprout, pending updates will be about the coming harvests!  Stay tuned for more Bachelor on the Cheap "Project Indoor Edible Garden" updates!

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"Project Indoor Edible Garden" update - Day 4

By Mike Thayer

20171026_113623It's Day four on a small project I'm undertaking, creating an indoor edible garden. 

Day one was spent clearing some space for this 'garden', doing some cleaning and planning.

Day two was spent putting together a shelf unit and rigging it with some lighting.

Day three was spent on getting some planting trays and pots ready, to include some planting.

Day four has been spent getting ready to transfer some outdoor plants to the new indoor spot.

Starting from seed:

I got some green beans (bush variety), peas, carrots and radishes in the soil on day three.  This morning I got some lettuces, spinach, beets and tomatoes in the soil.    They shouldn't take long to germinate considering the controlled environment they're in.  I still have a lot on my list to plant:    Green onions, peppers and a variety of herbs. 

I'm having fun putting this project together and am looking forward to harvesting fresh veggies in mid-winter! 

Stay tuned for more Bachelor on the Cheap "Project Indoor Edible Garden" updates!   

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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"Project Indoor Edible Garden" update - Day 3

By Mike Thayer

20171024_084524It's Day three on a small project I'm undertaking, creating an indoor edible garden. 

Day one was spent clearing some space for this 'garden', doing some cleaning and planning.

Day two was spent putting together a shelf unit and rigging it with some lighting.

Day three was spent on getting some planting trays and pots ready, to include some planting.

I got some green beans (bush variety), peas, carrots and radishes in the soil.  They shouldn't take long to germinate considering the controlled environment they're in.  Next up to plant:  Green onions, lettuces, peppers, spinach and a variety of herbs. 

I'm having fun putting this project together and am looking forward to harvesting fresh veggies in mid-winter! 

Stay tuned for more Bachelor on the Cheap "Project Indoor Edible Garden" updates!   

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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"Project Indoor Edible Garden" update - Day 2

By Mike Thayer

20171023_074644So yesterday I wrote about a small project I'm undertaking, creating an indoor edible garden. 

Day one was spent clearing some space for this 'garden', doing some cleaning and planning.

Day two was spent putting together a shelf unit, which I purchased at Lowe's for about $80 after tax.  It's a 5 shelf unit, measuring 6' high and just under 4' wide.  Made of steel with a chrome finish, it looks nice and each shelf can hold up to 350 pounds.  I've got lighting rigged from the top shelf and when this project is complete each shelf will have its own dedicated lighting, to supplement the natural light coming from the east facing window.  Day three will be spent rigging more lighting and getting all my pots and planting trays ready.

"Fun" fact.....  Buying a plant shelf unit all 'ready made' with lighting can cost up to $600!  Ouch!

The next phase is to start seeding, potting, planting and transplanting.  I've got a few plants I'm bringing in from outdoors, which have been sprayed with insecticidal soap - I don't want to bring in any unwanted guests!

I'm having fun putting this project together and am looking forward to harvesting fresh veggies in mid-winter! 

Stay tuned for more Bachelor on the Cheap "Project Indoor Edible Garden" updates!   

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Creating an indoor edible garden

By Mike Thayer

I love fresh produce and gardening.  But the winter months are just around the corner and my ability to just walk outside my door and harvest something for a salad or a quick stir fry is just about gone for the year.

So I got to thinking, "Why not bring some of my garden, indoors?"

I've got some empty space to put up a good sized shelf unit, the room has a big east window for some natural light and I can supplement that with some plant lights.....

Yep, it's the beginning of a project....

So what kind of veggies can be grown indoors?

That's a key question because by growing plants indoors, I won't have the benefit of insects and/or wind to pollinate the plants, I'll have to cultivate self-pollinating veggies.

Here's the list of what I'll attempt with that in mind:

  • Green Beans (bush variety)
  • Green Onions
  • Lettuces
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • A variety of herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, thyme, etc

I'm looking forward to putting this project together, and not having to shop for 'so-so' produce at the grocery store during the winter months.

Stay tuned for the Bachelor on the Cheap "Project Indoor Edible Garden" updates!  Here's the starting point, as you can see, I've got a blank canvas to work with.....

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$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Decorating the apartment with something other than "Dogs Playing Pool"

By Mike Thayer

Dogs Playing PoolHey bachelors, no matter how cool you think the "Dogs Playing Pool" art is, DON'T DO IT!

Do something like a mirror window instead. 

Inspired by a mirror window my step-mom has in her kitchen, I decided it was time to put one in my kitchen as well.

It's not a tough project and you'll spend about the same amount of money if not less on materials and accessories as you would in buying a cheesy "Dogs Playing Pool" framed piece of art, cough....  And the ladies will appreciate a mirror window far more than "Dogs Playing Pool."

If you've got a 'blank canvas' above your kitchen sink, here's what you do....

Before Pic Above Kitchen SinkStep One: Measure the area above the sink for the mirror window.  You want the mirror and framing to measure less than the opening to allow for curtains or other form of window treatment.

Step Two:  With those measurements in mind, go to Lowe's, Home Depot, wherever and purchase a 6" to 8" by whatever opening width shelf to set your mirror and window frame on, buy some extra wood trim to dress things up.  Pine works great if you're painting, oak is good if you're staining.  The goal is to match up with the existing cabinetry.  Purchase mirror, paint and/or stain, hardware as needed at your preferred store.

Step Three:  Assemble your mirror window, starting with a piece of trim just below cabinet level (pictured above), then the 6" to 8" shelf cut to opening width, then the mirror and framing.  Paint and/or stain as desired.  Since this is a light weight application (the shelf not holding heavy items), you should be able to anchor your materials using Powergrab or other adhesive and a few light duty wood screws and/or finishing nails.

Above the kitchen sink afterStep Four:  To create the French Window look, use balsa wood cut to size and adhere to the mirror with a glue that dries clear.  Paint or stain the balsa wood prior to putting in place.

Buffalo PlateStep Five:  Accessorize as desired.  In my kitchen, I went with sunflower curtains.  I've got a prairie look theme going on in the kitchen, centered around a hand painted buffalo plate (circa late 1800's) handed down to me by my mother, born in South Dakota.

This project cost me about $45 to complete, wood, paint, glue, fasteners, mirror and decorating accessories.  Guess how much a framed "Dogs Playing Pool" piece of art costs?  Around $50 and that doesn't include shipping.

Don't go "Dogs Playing Pool", go with something YOU created as a conversational piece instead. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Repurposing that old file cabinet - turn it into a grill

By Mike Thayer

File cabinetSo I had this old file cabinet on hand, just sitting in my garage no longer being used for its intended purpose....

"How can I re-use this?" I asked myself.

I was thinking about storing power tools in it, but came up with a better idea!

A Sunday project, I turned an old four-drawer tall metal file cabinet, into a charcoal grill!

Here's the "How To" laid out like a recipe:

Ingredients

  • An old metal vertical filing cabinet (four drawers, three drawers, doesn't matter)
  • Black auto engine paint (it can take the heat), about three cans
  • About one dozen metal screws
  • Grill grates

Tools

  • A drill and drill bits

Instructions
Remove all drawers and clean all cabinet parts, inside and out with warm soapy water. After it's dry, paint all parts black (or whatever color you wish). I used auto engine paint because it can take the heat. It's a bit more expensive, but you won't have to worry about paint peeling and flaking off later. After all parts are dry, you're now ready for assembly. Set the cabinet on the side with the drawer cavity openings facing the ground. You may want to do this where you're actually going to use the grill. I would recommend having it set on concrete blocks, decorative bricks or a bed of rock. Next, screw the cabinet drawers side-by-side to the 'new top' of the cabinet, with the tall end of the drawers being the 'back' of your grill area, two screws for each drawer to secure them to the cabinet base should do it. You're almost done. If you pre-measured your drawer size and bought some of those universal grill grates like I did, place those grates on your "new" charcoal bins - the drawers. The grates should fit snugly on top of the drawers at the tall end (the grill back), but you'll have to drill a couple holes and strategically place some screws to hold the grates in place at the business side of the grill. Do NOT drill the screws all the way in, you just want to keep the grill grates from sliding left to right and you'll want to be able to easily remove them for cleaning purposes.

File cabinet grillThat's it, you're done! I like the flat-top style layout of the grill. I can fire up one drawer when I grill for one or two, fire up a second drawer for family or small get-togethers or fire up the third and fourth drawers for parties! And the beauty of this design is, you don't have to put a grate over every drawer. For one of the drawer spots I purchased a stainless steel grill pan to use for veggies and fish, it didn't need any strategically placed screws to hold it in place either. You can put a butcher block cutting board over one of the drawers, it's easily placed and removed.

Or, you can set up a permanent cutting station/counter space over one of the drawer spaces using a more permanent material like a couple tiles of marble or granite. My cost for this grill was just $60. I'm real pleased with how this project turned out, it grills nice and should last for many a grilling season! In breaking it in and only using one drawer, I grilled up four pounds of skirt steak, a dozen hot dogs, five burgers and I still had plenty of heat left, I could have grilled more!

File cabinet grill 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Reclaiming furniture

By Mike Thayer

If you have a friend that's giving some items away, or you find something at a garage sale that's 'iffy', or you see something you like at a thrift store, take it!

20160812_182358 (2)Today's project. Reclaimed furniture. This used to be a glass top coffee table. The glass top shattered, and rather than shell out the bucks for tempered glass, I gave the metal frame a fresh coat of hammered black paint, put on a wood top and stained it. Total cost, $24.

A little imagination and a few bucks can turn something functional, into something that also looks really good!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

Buy Me a Coffee

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