Sunday, March 27, 2011

Getting Dirty is even more fun than you think!

First and foremost I want to apologize for not posting the last two Friday. There was no natural disaster or power outage or even really bad traffic that kept me from posting. No my excuse is not as interesting, but perhaps entertaining. I hurt myself falling during a unicycle lesson. I’ll let that image hang in the air for a bit... Here is how it happened. My students were offered the opportunity to learn on thing they wanted to know, the vote was they would like to learn to ride unicycles. That took up all of Friday and the soreness bled over into Saturday as well. The ankle did not mend as I had hoped so I was still hobbling around this past week as well.
Which is actually for the best as the extra time gives me more to talk about here with you, my readers.

Spring has sprung and left its big flowery footprints all over town. I was thus inspired to make things grow from the ground, something on which I am not all together an expert. Fortunately my honey has a sixth sense for building projects. With his help we were able to begin square foot gardening.

For those of you who don’t know the soil in our area is hard clay, scrape way the grass and top soil and you have red muck perfect for making bricks but rubbish for growing anything. I was unwilling to believe that plants were not going to thrive in my yard and so the first spring in our new home I threw loads of money away on flowers, herbs, veggies, and ivy. The ivy is all that remains and is quite happy living entangled in my retaining wall. Everything else is dust. Ever the optimist I went out the next year about bought herbs and plant food thinking that maybe the bad weather had ill effects on my plants. I planted loads and only the sage survived. Which is fine because we eat a lot of pork chops and sage is lovely, but it would have been nice to reap the benefits of all the plants. You’d think I’d be curled up crying and throwing in the towel, but I’m not. I found a solution on the glorious Internets. A raised bed with controlled soil and weeping hose giving extra water, WILL yield healthy plants.

So my husband and I are growing our own tomato sauce, basically. We have two kinds of tomatoes (early girl and another bush hybrid), loads of basil, and for variety we also have green beans, peas, lettuce, and broccoli. I am very excited. The first step was to start the seeds so they have been growing in egg cartons for a while now. The lettuce is all sprouted, several of the peas have come up, a large number of the broccoli are up and we have one green bean.

Over the weekend we went to buy the materials to make the flowerbeds. I hear you at your laptops saying “if you buy lots of materials and create waste it isn’t minimalism.” The good news is most of the materials will be use to the fullest and the boxes themselves are reusable. The wood from the boxes is not recycled, I’d love to have found reclaimed pieces but they were not available. And better than all that we will lower our overall grocery bill as well as the footprint of the veggies we consume!


  1. If anyone is interested the photos are part of the Creative Commons community on Flickr. I recommend browsing the work there many of the photographers are very talented.

  2. “if you buy lots of materials and create waste it isn’t minimalism.”

    That kind of thing makes me really cranky. Buying what you actually need in order to accomplish something that is actually important to you, and then using it its fullest, is perfectly in line with minimalism.

    When I hear people claiming otherwise, I suspect they're just trying to start a "frugaler than thou" competition.

  3. Thank you, Nadira, for your comment. I can indeed be frustrating to hear people misinterpret minimalism on a regular basis.