[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
There is no such thing as too many cherry tomatoes.

Further note:

one 8x4 foot bed takes up to eight 1.5 CF bags to fill (depending on how much finished compost I have to supplement with). Further, it takes up to three bags of mulch, although that could be gotten free if I would get off my mountainous anxiety molehill and find the place to pick it up.

At $6.97 per bag of organic soil, plus $2.85 per bag of organic mulch, and a further cost of  three cedar fence boards at $3.89 each, that means that, when I don't have items here to help (saved fence boards, finished compost, free bark mulch), and presuming I don't need peat (at $1.86 each, so far only used with blueberry bushes), each 8X4 foot bed costs me $75.98 to put in, or, with tax: $82.35.

This is not insignificant, and buying each bit on a separate trip over the coarse of the month so as not to see the total in one place does not change that. $82.35 is still 1/10th of your monthly income.

Naughty Gail, no tomato for you today...ok, tomorrow, since you already ate three off the vine today.
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
When your mom is a tree hugger, grocery shopping is a series of lessons that may or may not be same as those taught by other moms.

You will sometimes learn about price per unit etc...but mostly decisions are made based on packaging and origin of the food.

Mom, can we get this piece of produce?

Where is it from?

Commence a lesson on reading stickers for organic and location labels, and how organic takes secondary place to location, since you pretty well undo global benefit to organic if you ship it in from Ecuador.

Mom, can I get these pudding cups?

Does that look like the sort of packaging I'm ok with?

Commence a lesson (or review it) on the evils of plastic, the wastefulness of convenience packaging, and the fact pudding also comes in these little boxes right over here.

Which one should we get, Mama?

Help me find the ones that come in glass and we'll go from there.

Commence feeling the various containers in search of the olive oil/honey/etc options that are packaged in glass. Look inside the box of confectioners sugar to see if it is also wrapped in plastic, determine which package has the least waste etc.

The good news is that even those people who think you are a crazy hippie idiot will usually still respect the fact you are engaging with your well behaved children; resulting in smiles, patience, and free warm tortillas.

Or at least, that is how yesterday went. :)
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Chickens are laying an average 2 eggs a day....which is ok in my opinion, considering it is the cold season.

Due to that same cold, I've made no progress on the chicken pen. May have to barter for some help, as I want it done by spring so we can raise a run of meat chicks and some turkeys for the freezer.

Am making arrangements to get a goat for the freezer from family of choice in the area, whose dam is about to drop at least her usual twins, if not some extras. They will raise it and butcher, keep some of the meat, and then the rest will go in my freezer. Goat is delicious, btw, had it at Thanksgiving at their house and YUM.

Between the two that should mean I don't have to buy any sad meat from the store all year, and can still keep my little carnivores happy.

I've stopped buying deodorant. I use baking soda, dusted on with a makeup brush I had around. Works great, and no more plastic containers. I've also started mixing a tiny bit of my remaining toothpaste with baking soda, to adjust to the flavor/texture difference: so when this tube is gone, I'll be switching over to baking soda as my toothpaste: eliminating another source of disposable plastic. :)

Am doing ok without nail polish. I vaguely miss it, but find that I don't mind keeping my nails short when they have no polish, which is actually much easier to maintain...so that's a plus. Cuticles get more regular olive oil attention now that I'm baking my own bread.

Oh, which reminds me: I'm baking my own bread now. The kids love it, it turns out it is fairly simple, and the bread bags were one of my regular plastic purchases in the realm of grocery shopping. Also a great way to heat the house: which means if I'm smart, I'll bake a bunch of loaves for in the freezer, so I don't have to heat up the house during the summer.

I've cleaned out the area of the utility room that has the desk: and as soon as I can give away or sell that, I'll be able to put the freezer in a more convenient location and plug it in...which will be one more step toward happy meat.

Happy holiday-of-choice to you all!
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
Sunchips has this "greening the world" thing going on. They are very proud of their extra crinkly bag, because it's "100% compostable".

I'm not sure what sort of composting they used to make this claim, but I use chickens.

more on chicken compost ability )
That's right, six weeks it has been in there, and the pieces are big enough I can pick them all up....and is that, a plastic lining under the foil type surface layer? The bag is almost all there, front and back. There is one corner I can't find, but I didn't look hard.

This is garbage, pure and simple. I'm going to keep letting them try, unless the plastic bits start breaking off and threatening my chickens, but you can bet I won't be buying the chips again, and Sunchips will be getting an email from me...with pictorial evidence.

I am not impressed with their lies....or, at best, their misleading advertising. Click pic to see larger:

Sunchips, at six weeks of chicken composting. Yup, still all there.

and no, that isn't a missing corner down at the bottom, that's chicken poop.

I am not impressed, Sunchips.

ETA: and despite the new info I'm getting, which is totally fascinating, thanks, ya'll!...further research into it online is not making me think it's any better for the environment (or us) than any other plastic.


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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011



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