Written by Maria Gaura
SANTA CRUZ (July 2009) - Everyone loves a thrift store bargain. But that interesting coffee table or retro chair usually carries baggage from a former life, such as ratty upholstery or lime-green paint. Sure, it can be fixed, but it's hard to know how much time and money it will take to transform your bargain into a beauty.
Recycling vintage furniture can be creative and rewarding if you choose your project carefully. Here are some tips for tackling one of the easier projects - recovering and refinishing dining-room chairs.
By Maria Gaura
SANTA CRUZ (December 2008) - Wintry weather has finally arrived in Santa Cruz, and most backyard gardeners have abandoned their vegetable beds to the cold-hardy weeds and the neighborhood cats.
But before you curl up on the sofa with a mug of tea and a stack of seed catalogs, there is one last chore to do. Build a low-maintenance compost heap out of free or low-cost organic materials, and let nature turn it into a worm-filled soil amendment that will be ready in time for spring planting.
By Maria Gaura
SANTA CRUZ (January 2009) - It may be stinky and attract flies, but nothing makes a garden grow like a steaming pile of horse manure. Horse droppings make an excellent garden fertilizer and, better yet, can be collected for free at many stables. But is horse manure as natural as it smells?
Horses are prone to a host of parasites, and most horse owners regularly dose their animals with vermicides – medications toxic to intestinal worms and other insect pests. These medications pass through the digestive system, prompting some gardeners to ask whether tainted manure may be harming their crops, their families, or the environment.
December swim practice at Simpkins Swim Center is packed, despite the cold snap, and weather in the low 50s. ©santacruzwire.com