Save Money at the Farm Stand

Mr. USA Financial Service is away this week, so the following is a post by Chris Thomas of FreelancePF and the What is Personal Finance Online personal finance encyclopedia, who will be running the site and posting throughout the week. Everyone knows that eating locally grown fruits and vegetables generally (depending on your opinion) taste better, support the local economy, and are better for the environment. What I never realized until yesterday, however, is how farm stands can also be great for your wallet. Farmer's Market My wife tends to do the grocery shopping in our house.   The reason being, she works in the schools, so she generally gets done work three or four hours before I do. Yesterday was one of those days where she went … [Read more...]

Be a Sprout Head


This article was originally posted on Mom's Plans in March.  Since I'm now having some mild writer's block coupled with (or because of) a hectic schedule, I'm reposting it with permission. A sprout head in the most benign sense of the word, that is.  Just crunchy green goodness, on sandwiches and salads, full of as many nutrients and phytochemicals as you can stand. And not just alfalfa sprouts.  Broccoli, mung bean, lentil, peas and beans are all seeds that will readily germinate in your kitchen and provide you with cheap, nutritious greens through a cold winter. Something wonderful happens to a seed when it germinates. All the nutrients and  minerals it needs to burst forth with life are magnified. The content of … [Read more...]

Budgeting for the Spring Garden


It’s been a while since a gardening post.  Nothing much happens in wintertime, except planning, plotting and budgeting for the spring planting campaign Yesterday I placed our order for new seeds packs from Territorial Seed Company.  Here’s what does $74.44 buys you: Tomatoes – Stupice, Viva Italia, Cuore di Bue, Principe Borghese, Costoluto Genovese, and Golden San Marzano. Squash – Eight Ball and Marina di Chioggia Peppers – Peperoncini, California Wonder, and Red Ruffled Peas – Alderman and Dakota Basil – Purple Ruffled, Sweet Basil, and Lemon Balm Swiss Chard – Bright Lights Pole Beans – Supermarconi and Kentucky Wonder Cabbage – Parel, Snow Crown Corn – Sugar Dots, Sugar Pearl Greens – … [Read more...]

Random Observations, Tips and Links

Picture 2

CORNELIAN CHERRY - Image via Wikipedia What with the holidays and vacation schedules, I haven’t had much time for posting on this blog, but here’s a few snippets, bits and pieces from my idea journal. Gardening - Now is the time to start plotting the spring campaign, and sure enough, January seems to be the month for the mailbox to be inundated by gardening and seed catalogs.  (My name  must have gotten on some kind of list)  My new favorite is Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Wonderfully illustrated, with good tips and planting information, and comprehensive charts. Other good ones include Raintree Nursery and Territorial Seed Company. Raintree Nursery is particularly good with unusual edible perennial plants.  Last year I … [Read more...]

How to Save $600 a Year

Image via Wikipedia How? Eat less. Simple enough, right?  Food costs money, and large eat more than not-fat people.  On average, about 1,000 calories a day.  If there’s any doubt, pick any night at Golden Corral, and see the herds of large persons waddling back and forth between their tables and the buffet counter.  Chances are good that their plates, regrettably, are not overloaded with salad greens. A moderately active 180-lb male needs about 2,700 calories/day, a moderately active 120-lb female 1,440 (pounds x calories) (source: University of Maryland Heart Center) .  A rotund moderately inactive 275-lb male needs 3,575 calories, while a rubenesquely inactive  175-lb female would need 1,750 calories per day. The … [Read more...]

New Seeds for the Garden

territorial kale

Received today in the mail from Territorial Seed Company.... I'm thinking that a the 4 x 4 SFG bed will be sown with lettuce, kale and spinach.  Perhaps even with a hoop house over it, to see if we can make it through the winter. It's sowing time this weekend.  Fall gardening. … [Read more...]

Spring and Summer Garden in review


Can't say we've had a stellar season in our vegetable garden.  We've had some successes, and some failures.  The summer was brutally hot, with many days with temperatures over 100 degrees.  Hot enough for the fire hydrants to be out looking for dogs, as that old saw goes.  Certainly too hot for the tomato blooms to set fruit, so we ended up with *very* leggy plants, 8 feet tall and no fruit.  I was excited about some new heirloom like Mortgage Lifter and Green Zebra, and we got a big fat nothing out of them. Maybe next year we'll try our l uck with Brandywine and Early Girl hybrid. Oh well. The potatoes and onions fared well, as did the red noodle yard-long beans.  Fall gardening is coming up fast, and I'm looking forward to new … [Read more...]