Ever since our family moved to the Great North, we have been working on doing more with less. The entire philosophy behind Copper Island Makerspace is one of self-sufficiency and sustainability. Though we are starting simple, this will be the first of many instructables to come. We welcome any comments and ideas!
Today we began to plan out our garden for the year. Yes, it is January, but the area in which we live has a much shorter growing season than we had in Kentucky. Of course, I cut the bottom out of milk jugs for larger plants, but all of the 'recyclable' starter trays that I have did not survive to this year, as they photodegraded in our greenhouse. What to use? I remembered something from my Cub Scout days that would work well. . . Newspaper cups! These cups are perfectly sized for starters, as they are big enough for young seedlings to develop roots freely, and they are biodegradable! When planting time comes, just plop the whole thing in the dirt!
Pick a sheet of newspaper and lay it out on the table before you. Cut or tear it down the middle, as shown in the second pic, and set one of the pieces aside. (Use care if you tear it--you want a clean edge!)
Take one of the pieces of newspaper and fold it in half. Make sure your folds are sharp!
Now fold that page in half and make a sharp crease. Open this fold back up.
Fold one of the corners to meet the crease you made in the previous step and crease it sharply. Fold the other corner to meet it and crease it, as well.
With the newly-formed point facing away from you, fold one of the bottom edges up to meet the folded corners. Then, as shown in the second pic, fold and crease again. (Pay no attention to the half-worked crossword puzzle)
Now, flip the page over. Fold the right edge to meet the center crease, and then fold the left edge to meet the center crease. Mace certain you are keeping your creases sharp!
Now, with the point away from you, fold the bottom edge up to meet the edge made by the folded piece from the other side. Fold that part up (see second pic) and crease sharply.
Watch closely. . . Tuck that last flap in to form a pouch.
ALMOST THERE!!! with the pointed part facing downward, insert your fingers between the folds and carefully pull them apart. The bottom will begin to form as you do this. Place the cup on the table and crease the folds on the bottom. You will have to sharpen the creases around the bottom's perimeter, as well.
Yay! There before you is your first of many starter cups! Once you've done this a couple of times, it is relatively easy to turn these out. Get the kids to help! Invite your neighbors! Heck, they're going to be getting all your excess tomatoes, anyway! ;)