Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dirt costs *how* much???

Went to Richie Feed and Seed today to get a quote on some soil. We are turning most of our backyard into a vegetable and fruit garden and our soil is a bit questionable (potential contamination) so we are creating some raised beds.

Turns out for the amount of soil we require it will cost us somewhere in the neighbourhood of $800.

I'm sorry? What? Run that by me again... Did you say $800????

<picks herself up off the floor>

Ok then.

I need to come up with a new plan.

I'm thinking of getting a truckload full of compost from the Trail Waste Facility. But I need more than just compost to make me some soil.

I better get investigating because my seedlings are ready to get planted.

Also I bought 3 new tomato plants at the organic farmers' market this morning. One is an heirloom variety called 'Brandywine' and the other two are a yellow cherry variety (not sure of the name) that I know is the most delicious I've ever had because I bought oodles of them last summer at the market.

Ooo and I had a look at my gooseberry plants this morning and they have gooseberries on them! Quite exciting as this is year one for them in the garden so I wasn't expecting them to fruit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Been away

For various reasons, I decided to take a short break from posting. The biggest was starting a new job but I think almost as much was a desire to disconnect a bit (from the computer, from the dialogue....). I just needed a break.

But I'm back! Who knows, maybe its the sunshine or the fact that I'm already enjoying the herbs in my garden, or maybe its the sight of my lovely seedlings growing strong in my greenhouse, but I'm feeling a renewed energy.

While I've been away I fell off the Riot wagon a bit. I've been feeling the guilt associated with that and expressed to a friend how I didn't want to post about it. My great friend said essentially that "maybe falling off the wagon is terrible, maybe its not, but shouldn't we at least be able to talk about it?"

Fair point I thought.

So let's talk.....

Consumer spending was my biggest weak point. I came to realize that I live a pretty freakin' comfortable life. While in all other categories I'd say we were already below the average, on consumer spending I'd say we are quite a bit above. Which seems crazy as I hardly ever bought clothes, and I can't stand 'stuff' so avoided buying it whenever possible. But I am a home owner and even though we haven't put much money into our place, it doesn't take much before all of a sudden we've spent a lot. And this was my problem over the last few weeks. The first was the purchase of a new washing machine. Its a front loader and will replace our water-hog top loader. AND...we decided not to buy a dryer. How's that for a commitment? Also, we scored the washer at 50% off which really was an absurd deal. But the bad news is, that one purchase pretty much adds up to our 10% of consumer spending right there. We'd have to not buy one extra thing all year. And I'd actually attempt that, except our deck is falling down. It's a multi-story deck and its rotting away. At this point its downright dangerous. So it needs replacing. We'll use FSC certified wood of course, but the cost alone will basically put us at average household spending. Two items. Ok, two BIG items. But that's what I mean by living a privileged life.

So anyway, all that to say that I'm feeling bummed that I'm obviously not going to succeed in making any reductions from the average when it comes to consumer spending even though it feels like I'm doing a lot.

While I'm in a confessing sort of mood I may as well talk about food. Other than eating too much restaurant food (nothing new there), I'd been pretty good. Until this weekend. I was too sick to make it to the farmers' market on Saturday. So tonight I went to the herb and spice and bought some food. Some fresh, decidedly un-local food. I blame the sickness - my body wanted healthy and yummy food. So I bought some rice cakes, and some cilantro from the States and 2 apples from New Zealand, and some hazelnuts and papaya from god knows where. I'm sure I'll be feeling v. guilty later but for now that papaya is SO GOOD.
I did buy one local item - some fermented beets from quebec. Have been curious about fermentation as a method of food storage for sometime and I have to say, these beets are pretty tasty. Supposed to be quite healthy too.

Anyway, enough rambling. But before I go, I want to share this wonderful post from GreenPa. It made me smile. The wonders of water.