Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Riders on the storm and a frugal shopping list
In a bid to get the garden ready for a good watering, I weeded out the herb garden completely. This will be its last weed of the year, I only have so much time and patience for weeding and I have exhausted it now. Everything is large enough to take care of itself against the influx of clover and grass now. I did sow a last couple of patches with some parsley seeds I found knocking about the bottom of my seed trug, no idea how old they are now but before they get any older I might as well throw them in and see what they do.
The flower bed needs a last weed too, and then the poppies and daisies have to fend for themselves too.
I plant everything very closely together and if something starts to dominate I just cut it back, like the mint or the horseradish. I would rather that the whole area looked green and full than regimented rows of things with bare dirt in between. I jumble stuff up as well and have often sown parsley and chives in with the flowers and asters and marigolds in the herb garden. I like the way it looks when the beds are full and overflowing with life, much more natural, full of vitality and the bees seem to like it too.
By the time I drove back from work I was chasing the tails of the storm, and had just enough time to get the last onions and carrots in the ground before the rain started.
Now the sun is back out but the garden smells fresh and clean and is beautifully and evenly watered throughout - perfect.
That just leaves me enough time now to go and sort out some materials ready for my next recycled bag.
Tomorrow my project is to pattern cut - I have several colour schemes in mind but have not had the time to do the unpicking and patching to make enough material in one run to cut the basic bag shapes, so I want to make a start tonight, because as well as some studio time tomorrow I also have to go shopping.
Whilst visiting the local bio (organic) shop is great for the odd bits and pieces we are also living a very frugal life and that means supermarket budget buying, things like creme fraiche and natural yoghurt are a quarter of the price of the bio versions, and my family want sandwich fillers like ham and tuna.
I cook the majority of my meals from scratch and apart from the odd pizza I don't buy any ready meals but there are also occasions when my other half is the meal provider and then we need something simple for him to throw in the oven and forget about, then serve with some chips or salad, (Gordon Ramsey he is not).
And then there are sweeties. We all like a sweetie, especially car sweeties for me, I have to have them otherwise I get car sick - even when I am the one doing the driving!
I would love to be able to ignore the attractions of the supermarket, but even with having cut back on so many of the things that I used to buy in another life, some things just can't come from anywhere else, like coffee - I like a cup of instant mud in the morning, not a fancy pot of arabica.
At least I can grow and raise a large percentage of my family's food requirements, and know that these are organic, free range and pesticide free, but I can't be completely self-sufficient in food.
Frugal and organic are not two sides of the same coin, and when I only have one coin to spend, frugal wins every time.