How to get Free Desert Plants

November 16th, 2014 Posted in free, gardening, plants, Uncategorized | 12 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

If you’re like me, you like having a desert plant around, whether it be a colossal cactus, a jolly jade plant, or another succulent species o’ flora.

But if you’re like me, you ain’t exactly the Monopoly man, and cactus plants just aren’t in your budget. So here’s how to get free desert plants and cactuses, like this guy:

Free desert plant

Anyhoo, without further ado, here’s how to get free desert plants (for free, I might add)!

Step 1: Go to a store (Lowes, Home Depot, anywhere they sell cactuses and other succulents). Play it cool.
READ MORE »

Easy Tomato Basil Bruschetta Recipe from the Garden

August 2nd, 2014 Posted in food, gardening, green living, health, organic | 13 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


If you’ve got a garden and are lucky enough to be growing tomatoes and basil, then you’ve basically got a ready-made, organic, honest-to-goodness snack sitting in your garden! Bruschetta is a tasty-as-heck, healthy snack, and is as easy to make as 1-2-3.

Here’s all you have to do to make deliciosa tomato basil bruschetta, along with a pro-tip to take your new tomato basil bruschetta to the next level!

Step 1: Obtain tomato

Bam! Fresh-picked maters straight from the garden!
Fresh picked tomatoes from the garden

Step 2: READ MORE »

Keep Deer Away from your Garden with a Scarecrow Sprinkler

June 29th, 2014 Posted in animals, gardening, plants, water | 14 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Scarecrow deer sprinkler

My friends, I have gathered you here to discuss something very important in the gardening world. No matter how truly green you keep your garden, whether it’s with homemade compost lasagna, or by planting a community garden in your city, there’s one thing that can absolutely destroy it. Something very “deer” to my heart.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m talkin’ ’bout deer! Now, I’ve tried all kinds of things to keep them from demolishing my precious lil’ organic garden — sprinkling hair around the garden, making semi-invisible fences out of fishing line, sacrifices to the Moon God Jokar, even coyote pee.

But you know what? (raises knee up onto stool, props elbow on, looks earnestly into your eyes) None of that worked. I was about ready to throw in the towel to the dastardly deer.

I thought my choices were either build a 15-foot high fence around the garden, or just sit out there with an axe waiting for a deer to try its luck. This year, though, I found a different way (blinks back tears) — a better way.

READ MORE »

Help Your Compost with Used Coffee Grounds from Starbucks

April 8th, 2014 Posted in free, gardening, green business, plants, save money | 3 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Starbucks, that lovable, local mom-n’-pop coffee shop, goes through literally ‘uge amounts of coffee every day. Instead of chucking the used coffee grounds away to waste space in a landfill, they fill up 5-pound bags and let you take the grounds home to help out your compost and/or garden! How boss is that?

As an added moneysaver, you can rebrew some coffee with the old grounds! Enjoy your free weak brew as you chuckle at the thought of ever paying for coffee again!

Bag of used coffee grounds

The nitrogen from the used coffee grounds is a real kickstarter for your compost and garden. Nitrogen is a major fertilizer for crops, and your plants will react to it much as Popeye reacts to spinach.

It’s worth noting that TOO much nitrogen can cause nitrogen burn in your plants, so I don’t recommend planting your garden in pure coffee grounds. If you do though, and it works, let me know, por favor!

The one bad thing about this program is Starbucks doesn’t reuse their bags. I have no idea why; they’re pretty durable, and they’re basically just putting trash in them. C’mon Starbucks, take that next step and reuse the bags if people bring them in!

So next time you’re trudging past a Starbucks, stop in and see if they have any of their big bags of used coffee grounds. Tell them EcoJoe sent you, they’ll know what you’re there for.

Chickens and More at the Third Annual Bull City Coop Tour

October 21st, 2013 Posted in animals, gardening | No Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

On Saturday (October 19, to be precise) I awoke to the clinging and a-clanging of a mobile cellular tele-phone message from Bull City Bucks (a great way to earn free mess in Durham, NC). This aforementioned alert alertly alerted me to some alerting news; it was time for the third annual Bull City Coop Tour!

After rounding up the missus, we peeled out of the driveway to go get our $5 map from Bull City Burger n’ Brewery (they also offered maps at the Durham Farmers’ Market). With el mapa en la mano, we were off on this journey of chickens and learning.

If you haven’t yet been on the Bull City Coop Tour, it’s a lot like the Henside the Beltline: Tour D’Coop in Raleigh, only it’s in Durham. Basically, READ MORE »

Colored Shells For a Fireproof Mulch

October 16th, 2013 Posted in gardening, plants | 4 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!

Lawd knows it’s been a “hot minute” (as the kids say) since EcoJoes dot com has had the care and maintenance it deserves. There there, website, it’s all better now.

Anyhoo, on a completely different note, awhile back I was lucky enough to receive a sample of colored shell mulch from none other than Colored Shell Mulch ™©. Intrigued, I learnt a bit more about their company.

Their mulch is lighter than rock (which makes shipping more eco-friendly and easier), but not so light that it floats off. It’s made out o’ seashells, and is colored with a non-toxic, water-based product. Take a gander at it right here:

What we have here is a pile of brightly colored seashells

Also, like any mulch, it helps READ MORE »

Will Coyote Pee Stop Deer

April 14th, 2013 Posted in gardening | 4 Comments » Make sure you like EcoJoes on Facebook to stay updated on green ways to save money and help the environment. Just click the "like" button below. Muchas gracias!


Ever since me and my life-partner, Tiff, moved into a house with a yard, I’ve had a garden. EcoJoes’s award-winning journalists have covered a plethora of gardening-related topics, including how to build a rain barrel and how to make some compost lasagna.

It’s a good way to commune with nature, whilst growing some delicioso fresh vegetables n’ fruits.

Unfortunately, sometimes nature communes back, and the garden pays the price. I’m talkin’ ’bout deer.

For the last two years or so, deer have savagely ravaged my innocent garden, tearing the young, defenseless plants, flipping me the bird, and cruelly trimming plants down to bare stalks.

Last year, eyes brimming with tears o’ fury as I looked over the remnants of my garden, I vowed to stand up to the deer. And lo, about a month ago on Freecycle, I found some coyote urine.

Coyote Pee next to a Garden

I’ve heard from a few people that coyote urine could scare off deer, so we’ll see. Also, I have my doubts that “wild animals communicate” with bottles of pee.

Will the coyote urine actually keep deer away from the garden? Or will they ignore it and continue to munch away? Also, how does one collect coyote urine humanely?

Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion of Coyote Pee vs. The Deer.