Sunday, March 29, 2015 8:32:42 PM
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Grates & Firebacks

Grates and firebacks are both important tools to have inside your fireplace. Fireplace grates help to keep your logs in place so they don't roll forward and out of your fireplace. Expertly made of heavy-duty solid cast iron or steel, with strategically placed holes to allow for proper ventilation, a fireplace grate will keep your fire going while you remain safe. Heat-resistant firebacks will protect your fireplace's masonry and more importantly, they're designed to reflect more heat into the room to maximize the efficiency of your fire. Fireplace firebacks will also radiate warmth even after your fire has died down. Look here to find the grates and firebacks you need to keep your logs in order and your fireplace safe.

The Olla: A Brief History

Olla (Spanish, pronounced “oh-ya”) jars have been around since ancient times. Made of unglazed ceramic, ollas traditionally have short, narrow necks with wider bodies, and are made in a variety of shapes. They have been used for thousands of years for cooking, storage, and plant irrigation.

When used to irrigate plants, an olla is buried neck-deep in the ground near a plant’s roots, with the opening of the olla extended above the soil so that it can be filled with water periodically. The porous walls of the unglazed pottery allow the water to seep through gradually, constantly and consistently hydrating the plants without overwatering them – and without wasting precious water to evaporation or runoff.

The use of ollas for irrigation was introduced to the American Southwest by Spanish conquistadors during Colonial times, becoming very common among Native American tribes and Hispanic settlers. Though the technique gave way to more modern methods of irrigation some time ago, its superior efficiency, coupled with its simplicity, has caused it to make a comeback. Though the technique has changed little since its introduction, today’s ollas are usually capped off, making them even more water-efficient.

Perfect for home gardens, Ollas are a super-easy, eco-friendly, less time-consuming way to water annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and plants of all kinds in dry, sandy soil, very hot or drought-prone areas, raised beds, and even pots, planters and hanging baskets. Fill the olla before you leave on a short vacation to enjoy worry-free watering – and a smaller water bill!

How it Works:

Water is pulled directly through the terra-cotta!

Read more about Ollas on our blog.

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