Monday, January 30, 2012

Canned-Ham Herb Garden

Rather than throw away shredded office paper and empty cans, turn them into an attractive herb garden. Kitchen herbs add flavor, color and nutrients to home-cooked meals. Herbs draw beneficial insects and animals to your garden while repelling pests. Arrangements of fresh herbs in decorated tins make eye-catching, informal table decorations.

Wash 6 to 10 canned-ham containers in hot, soapy water and scrub them with a kitchen brush. Store them upside down until they dry.

Use a high-speed, hand-held rotary tool to grind away any burrs and sharp edges on each can.

Lay the cans upside down on a plastic tarp. Apply bright-colored rust-inhibiting spray enamel to the outside and bottom of each can, using short bursts of paint fired from 6 to 10 inches away. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Fill each can halfway with shredded office paper. Fill the remainder of the can with compost or worm castings. Sprinkle herb seeds of your choice in each can. Paint craft sticks green. Create a label for each container by writing the name of each herb on one of the sticks, using a paint marker.

Water each herb container and place it in a sunny place. Cut your herbs as you need them, or hang them to dry. Use the lids to make a wind chime pest scare.




Equipment Needed:
Cans and lids from canned hams
Kitchen brush
High-speed, hand-held rotary tool
Wrap-around eye protection
Ear protection
NIOSH-approved respirator
Plastic tarp
Bright-colored, rust-inhibiting spray enamel
Shredded office paper
Compost or worm castings
Herb seeds of your choice
Craft sticks
Paint marker


Always pull your hair back into a bun or hair net when using a hand-held, high-speed rotary tool, whether you are male or female, if your hair is longer than chin length. Long hair can wrap around the spinning end of the tool, causing severe and permanent injuries.


Always wear eye, ear and respiratory protection when grinding or polishing metal or when carving or sanding wood.

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