Saturday, April 2, 2011

She's Back on the Bottle

Oh Yes!  The weather is warming, the rain has moved out for a few days and the sun has FINALLY come out.  I'm excited to be able to get back to my garden bottle project. I have been a busy girl in the kitchen scraping labels off of wine bottles. 

I had to leave this project alone at the end of November because the soil was getting too hard and the weather too cold and WAY too wet.  Can someone remind me just how many snow days did we get this year again?  Oh. That's right. Too many for Georgia.  

Here is where I last left the bottle project - my stopping point for winter.

After a while, I even quit taking in wine bottles through the winter. I had so many waiting to have labels removed and get into the ground that I eventually started feeling like I was going to run out of space to store them before it was warm enough to get to them.

Our annual Maypole party is coming up and we are eager to get the yard whipped into shape for the myriad of people with whom we will be celebrating the return of the warmth, the blooming spring, and ALL the new life swirling and spiraling around us. 

With the Maypole party and the sunny weather in mind on Friday morning, I put a new blade into my razor knife and started bringing bottles in.  Looking at the huge pile of them awaiting me, I was a bit unsure of how long it would take me to get the labels off them all.  I was wondering whether I would actually get them into the ground this weekend on not.  As it turns out, it only took me about 5 hours all total to get them all done (there were A LOT of them)  

First, I bring them in and soak them in warm soapy water.  I try to let them soak at least 5 minutes before I start trying to get the labels off.  This seems to soften the glue and helps the label come off much easier.  (There are plenty of products out there one can use for this, but I'm into keeping it simple and cheap - even if it takes a little longer.)

Then, I bring them over to the other side of the sink and scrape the labels off - some labels come off really easily and some do not.  I don't worry about getting everything off - eventually the glue will wear down in the sunshine and weather.

Once the labels are off, I rinse the bottle one more time and make sure everything sticky is off and then move them to the drying rack.

When the drying rack is full, I usually move them outside and then bring in more, but I was determined to get them all done at once this time, so I set out towels and dried them on my counter.

It turned out to be 78 bottles we cleaned.

That's a lot of bottles and I only drank a few of them!

Now, I'm off to get them into the ground!  

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