Want to create an easy and organic birdfeeder? If so, here is Erin Boyle’s tutorial on making one out of a grapefruit:
I had no idea it was possible to become addicted to bird watching—until it happened to me. When my husband and I recently visited his family in western New York, my father-in-law had assembled an impressive village of feeders in his backyard. Before the trip was over, my husband and I found ourselves spending hours cooing over chickadees and woodpeckers and (my personal favorite) red-breasted nuthatches. Back home in Brooklyn, I needed to find a way to do some bird watching from my own window:
Photographs by Erin Boyle for Gardenista.
Above: I filled my grapefruit feeder with a waste-free feed mixture to avoid scolding from my landlord. This feed includes seeds that have already been hulled and will reduce unwanted fallen debris.
Above: To begin, I cut my grapefruit in half longitudinally, slicing in the space between the top and bottom poles, rather than through them.
Above: If you’re like me, you might pause at this stage to enjoy your ruby red, but if you don’t have time for a leisurely snack, slice around the outer edges of your grapefruit’s flesh (no need to dig into the white pith) and scoop out the fruit to save for later. You’ll find that you can get the interior of the grapefruit cleanest just by using your fingers. After I removed the bulk of the fruit with my knife, I pinched the remaining flesh and peeled it from the rind.
After I’d cleaned out the inside, I made four evenly spaced holes in the rind. I made mine about a centimeter down from the top rim to make sure that the twine wouldn’t rip through the fruit after it was hung. Next, I cut four long lengths of good-quality twine. How long you make your twine will depend on the particulars of your setup. I made my lengths long enough to be able to close them in our window and allow the feeder to hang below the sill
Above: Using a nail or drill to guide your twine, push each length through the holes you’ve made and make a double knot on the other side. I trimmed my ends, but you can leave them long if you prefer.