Updated $169 Koubachi Wi-Fi Sensor Now Lets Your Outside Plants Tell You When They’re Too Hot And Hungry.

Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant SensorVersion 2.0 of the Koubachi Wi-Fi plant sensor is going to hit the market in October 2012 and sell at a price of $169. The updated version now works indoors & outdoors and lets the grower know their plant’s soil moisture level, light and temperature via a free cloud service. A good tool to keep your plants alive if you’ve got that kind of cabbage to spend.

If you don’t have Koubachi type cash on hand, then maybe a Kobayashi Komposter is for you. The Kobayashi Komposter Inspired by the world-famous eating champ, Kobayashi, our planned kompost bin will devour all the plants you kill by not purchasing the Koubachi and more! Of course we’re still waiting for one manufacturer to take us seriously and hoping Kobayashi will return our calls. MSRP: $130.

While we wait for the deal to finalize, Jubbling’s other alternative to the $169 Koubachi is for me to email you twice a week and remind you to “water your freakin plants!” At $50 per year, it’s a bargain. [GizMag]


Democratech’s Sprout Pencil Becomes A Plant Instead Of Trash.

When the Sprout pencil becomes an unusable nub, plant it in your garden instead of the garbage. That’s because it has a seed enclosed in its end-cap that when planted, can grow into an herb (the basil variety), flower or vegetable. Simple idea that with the help of their Kickstarter funds, Democratech will hopefully sell at a price close to standard pencils.

I first heard about the Sprout pencil back in August 2012. It seemed like a “gimmicky for good” idea and moved on. Then I watched the Kickstarter video and I have to make one recommendation: only plant the Sprout pencils in a pot. If you plant a dozen of these in a garden, pointed up, you are unintentionally creating a booby-trap similar to what you’d in see in a movie like Platoon or even Home Alone. No more barefoot walks in the garden.

And while I’m on the subject of pencils – has anyone noticed how low-quality they’ve become? Is it the wood or the lead/graphite? Maybe I should avoid the 20 for $1 deals from the office stores because after sharpening, I may end up with 10 usable pencils.

More than likely, the Sprout will sell at a premium over standard pencils so expectantly, they’ll be of higher quality. If they turn out to be inexpensive and low-quality, at least I’ll get 10 future plants immediately from my 20 pack. [Treehugger]


From Grist: How Do I Get My Neighbors To Stop Spraying Pesticides Along Our Shared Fence Line?

Pesticides in your garden.Great article in the “Ask Umbra” Q&A section on Grist. Patricia in Lafayette Colorado wanted to know what she could do to get her neighbors to stop using spray pesticides that drift over to her yard and onto the vegetables in her organic garden. It’s gotten a little contentious but the collateral crop-dustings by the neighbors hasn’t stopped and she’s afraid the pesticides are going to permanently damage her soil.

In the article, Ask Umbra points out how Americans apply 67 million tons of chemicals on our lawns each year; 10 times the amount of pesticides per acre that farmers do. Umbra then suggests some ideas on ways to get a neighbor to stop and how to prevent the pesticides from entering your yard:

  1. Talk To Your Neighbors – Be reasonable and then ask them what they’re using and let them know what it’s doing to your vegetables.
  2. Put Up Barriers – Physically separate your yard from your neighbor’s with plastic sheeting our by moving your garden away from the fence line.
  3. Contact The Authorities – Lodge a complaint with the state our county so it’s on the books. Umbra also suggests finding out the local regulations through the National Pesticide Information Center.

Everything about Umbra’s suggestions are reasonable and hopefully work for Patricia.

Jubbling thought about this and has one more suggestion for getting Patricia’s neighbors to stop spunking up her vegetables with pesticides:

4. Prepare Them A “Peace” Meal Only Using Items From Your Garden – Preferably uncooked. Of course you should inform** your neighbors that the veggies came from the garden along the fence line.
**For legal reasons only.

We wish Patricia luck with the fresh meal and changing her neighbor’s mind about using pesticides. Hopefully, changing their minds won’t involve vomiting, nausea and joint pain from acute pesticide poisoning but then again, they did provide the pesti-seasoning. [Grist]


When Jubbling Grows Up, We Want To Be More Like The Burlap Bag!

The Burlap Bag
Re-Grow Celery By Planting The BaseThe Burlap Bag in Austin Texas just gets it. We may never make it to their brick and mortar storefront in Austin Texas but thankfully we have their website that is chock full of neat DIY ideas. The tone of the site is never “better than you” and The Burlap Bag’s Lauren and Josiah easily explain how to recreate their projects and they’re very responsive to visitors asking questions. Some of their projects include making overnight bread & butter pickles and how to grow endless celery. It’s all great and delivered in a self-deprecating tone that Jubbling appreciates. [The Burlap Bag]


blk. Mineral Water = ‘Black’ Bottled Water.

blk. Mineral WaterNormal bottled water looks like and is arguably the same water you can get from the tap. So why buy it? Now, how do you get consumers to think your bottled water is different? blk. beverages figured it out. They added fulvic acid trace minerals to their blk. brand mineral water that naturally turned their spring water black and made it different.

Fulvic acid trace minerals are organic matter and are a major component of coal, peat and soil. Pure Fulvic Minerals describes fulvic trace minerals:

“Trace minerals are an essential part of any diet. Unfortunately, many people fail to get these much-needed nutrients from their everyday diet. All-natural foods often lack the nutrients we need since, modern farming techniques have brought these minerals to the surface, where they are washed away.”

Sounds like dirt to me. So maybe the best way to duplicate and not purchase blk. bottled mineral water is to fill your stainless water bottle with tap water and add some dirt. I don’t recommend going this route and despite the cool packaging, I don’t recommend jumping to buy blk. bottled mineral water either. [Laughing Squid]


Nurse Shark Goes Vegetarian. Now Questions Other Sharks About Their Fish Eating Ways.

Florence The Vegetarian Shark - Birmingham National Sea Life CentreFlorence, a nurse shark at the Birmingham National Sea Life Centre, had a near death experience with a rusty fish hook that required surgery to remove. Ever since the operation, Florence has moved down the food chain and flipped her diet away from fish and now prefers veggies. She’s such a strict vegetarian that her handlers have to sneak the protein she needs into her cucumbers and lettuce so she’ll eat it.

Florence may be teased and ostracized by the other sharks for her vegan ways but she can always get inspiration from Bruce of Finding Nemo fame. He made going veggie work and that’s why I have no doubt that she’ll eventually be fine in her own leathery skin. [Treehugger]

Here’s a video of a video of Florence the shark from ITV news: