Monday, October 3, 2011

Low Cost Plants and Garden Supplies

I saw this message on a local garden forum and thought I would pass it along:

Hi everybody – Ruthie here, from Community Forklift, the nonprofit thrift store for home improvement. Please forgive me, I usually behave myself and let other folks on this listserve recommend CF, but we have an unusual situation right now, and we need to get the word out very quickly!

Please help spread the word: we have TRUCKLOADS of landscaping materials, grasses, trees, & edible plants arriving this week at our warehouse (leftover from the Solar Decathalon). We don't have any way to water them, so we need to find homes for them very soon. Starting Wednesday, they will be available to the public at very low cost.  More details at the bottom of this message.

Thanks so much!

Our cavernous warehouse is located in the Hyattsville area, about 15
minutes southeast of Takoma Park, at 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD 20781.

Call 301-985-5180 or visit for store hours & directions


All of this great stuff is coming from the Solar Decathalon down on the National Mall. As you may know, the U.S. Department of Energy challenged collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive (This year, the hometown team won grand prize – congratulations to our friends at UMD!!!)

The teams are currently breaking down their exhibits, and many have asked us to pick up their leftover landscaping items so it won't go to waste. We've gotten offers of decking & railing, as well as hundreds of shrubs, small trees, native grasses, edible plants, and straw bales (Purdue University even offered us a 24' garage. It took us hours on the phone to find a crane & flatbed, but we finally arranged for it to be transported to DC Groundworks, a great nonprofit in need of a storage building).

So, we're still not sure exactly how much we'll be able to get, but starting this Wednesday, Oct. 5th, it will be here waiting for you! (Note that we are closed on Mondays & Tuesdays – visit for store hours & directions)

PRICED TO MOVE – we gotta find 'em good homes before they die. We're not set up to water hundreds of plants, and it would be a shame if they wilted before they find homes. So, we'll be pricing them to move! For example, we expect that most shrubs, grasses, edible plants, and trees will be priced at one to ten dollars each. Straw bales (perfect for a fall or Halloween display in your yard) will be only two bucks each.


ABOUT COMMUNITY FORKLIFT: We are a nonprofit thrift store for home improvement & architectural salvage. Instead of donating clothing or couches, folks donate renovation leftovers like cabinets, doors, lights, and lumber. The building materials are then made available to the public at very low prices (40% to 90% below big-box stores), and donated to local nonprofits. To improve our financial stability, we have also brought in consignment partners to offer higher-end products: unusual antiques & primitives, raw-edge hardwoods, & reconditioned appliances. We are owned & operated by local 501c3 nonprofit Sustainable Community Initiatives, so donations are tax-deductible.

Since opening in 2005, Community Forklift has made it possible for thousands of DC-area homeowners and nonprofits to repair substandard housing. Not only have 18 green jobs been created at the store, but hundreds of local contractors have been able to keep their estimates low, allowing them to attract clients and keep working despite the tough economy. Reuse of materials also means that fewer materials go into the landfill, which reduces the burden on local governments; and that less energy is used to extract, manufacture, and transport new materials. Reuse is better for our wallets and our world!

It's National Child Health Day

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, today is National Child Health Day. AND the month of October is Children's Health Month.

That makes October the perfect month to start plans for your eco-friendly garden.

There are many reasons that eco-friendly gardening is great for kids. Here's a list of ten of them.

10 Reasons that Eco-Friendly Gardening is Good for Babies

1) Eco-friendly gardening means gardening without chemicals. Eliminating chemicals from our landscapes makes our gardens safer places for children to play. Because babies, kids, and pets spend most of their time playing outdoors on the grass, or indoors on carpets, where lawn chemicals have been tracked in on shoes, the tiniest members of our family are also the most vulnerable.

2) Eco-friendly gardening conserves water. Conserving water in our gardens helps to insure that we preserve the world’s water supplies for future generations – water is not a renewal resource.

3) Eco-friendly gardening creates wildlife friendly spaces. Creating wildlife friendly landscapes allow children a bird’s eye view of all of the wonders of the world.

4) Eco-friendly gardening insures that these wonders, such as hummingbirds and butterflies, will be around for them to appreciate and share with their own children.

5) Eco-friendly gardening prevents storm-water runoff. Preventing storm water runoff helps us maintain clean drinking water and provides beautiful recreational resources for future generations.

6) Growing food in eco-friendly, organic gardens provides healthier food sources for children.

7) Eco-friendly gardening saves time, which leaves more time for you to play with your kids (or grandkids). Choosing plants which are compatible with your site conditions will require less work.

8) Eco-friendly gardening saves money which you can spend on your kids (or grandkids). Learning to work with Mother Nature, Not Against her, will save money on water, chemicals and plants that don't flourish and need to be replaced.

9) Eco-friendly gardening decreases energy use (and air pollution associated with its generation) because less pumping and treatment of water is required.

10) Eco-friendly gardening is good for your soul. And good souls are important for raising good kids.

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