[Daily Dozen]Potatoes in buckets, gardening as therapy, and good gardening tips

I guess “Daily” is a relative term here. Oh,well.I’m just trying to get back into a blogging groove. I’ll get there soon.
Here’s 12 gardening things for today. I’m starting to see signs of Spring here and getting antsy to get seeds started and things planted. You?

  1. The BEST Garden Ideas and DIY Yard Projects! – Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons – a lot of these are decorative ideas but some great ideas that would help be space savers in a small garden. I’ve done the wagon wheel idea before when I owned a pre-school but we made it a “Pizza Garden” with roma tomato,basil,oregano,etc. BTW, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons has a great Facebook pg,too…here. I’m rarely annoyed by it! (Trust me…that’s a huge endorsement from me. I’m so grumpy lately)

  2. Growing Potatoes in a Bag or a Bucket – Countryside Network – since there are so many pictures on social media of potato growing but with few details on how and what to do, this is a good one to read. It covers all the basics. This year I’m growing taters in burlap coffee sacks that I got for free from a coffee shop.


  3. The Curious Case of the Antidepressant, Anti-Anxiety Backyard Garden -I love this article so much. I have often said that gardening is the only therapy I can afford and it turns out there may be some sciencey data to support that.

  4. Kiss my Aster!: Take My Tomato, Please! – my favorite gardener-writer doesn’t like tomatoes the same way I do but I still love her and appreciate this list of the top 4 she grew in 2015.


  5. A Pyramid Planter for 15 sq. ft of Garden in Just 4 sq. ft. – Gardens All – I’m really just sharing this to show the general concept of a pyramid planter for anyone needing to grow upwards to save space. The one they show is pricey and the DIY one on pg 4 of the post requires more than a hammer and nails. If any of you come up with a super cheap and easy to construct pyramid planter, I’d love to see it🙂

  6. Gardening Against the Odds: the restorative power of the garden – for the past 5 years the Conservation Foundation and The Sunday Telegraph have given out Gardening Against the Odds awards . This is a nice piece on the previous winners and emphasizes the power of gardening.

  7. A Kentucy Domestic Violence Shelter Helps Women Grow Food—and Confidence – a 40 acre farm that gives women escaping dv a safe refuge and employment with the added bonus of gaining skills,confidence, and therapy. Much love for this.

  8. Wise Pairings: Best Flowers to Plant with Vegetables – I am a devout practitioner of companion gardening. You absolutely should include flowers in your garden to create diversity and beneficial elements that aid veggie growth.

  9. DIY Pallet Top Garden: Using the most of your space to create a garden friendly for chickens and people! – Naturally Loriel – I love this idea and if I didn’t already have a fenced in garden, I’d be out gathering pallets right now.

  10. 28 Vegetables That Grow in Partial Shade | Small Footprint Family – I may have shared something like this before. Our last rental had mostly shade. I had good luck with all the brassicas and greens as long as I could keep the slugs at bay.

  11. 4 Problems with Starting Seedlings – Gardening Jones – All good advice.

  12. This is definitely not a complete list but it’s a good start for inspiration. I grew corn in a container last year. My advice with container gardening is to give it a shot, even if it isn’t typically something you see in a container. Even though I have gone through Master Gardener training, the bulk of my gardening experience is from trial and error, learning through doing.

 

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No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever

One of my favorite blogs Thrift Core has a great post today on not using shampoo, or as it’s commonly called “No Poo”
No Poo: Why to Forego Shampoo And How it Will Reveal Your Healthiest Hair, Ever.

I haven’t used shampoo in ages. My foray into No Poo began because I couldn’t afford to buy shampoo and the hair care methods when not using shampoo are things that can be purchased with food stamps, but most importantly, they’re food stamp allowable ingredients that are very inexpensive and don’t use a significant portion of your food stamp budget. Not to mention, they can be used for other things in cooking and around the house.

After using “no poo” out of necessity, I discovered that when I had money to buy shampoo, I wasn’t crazy about how my hair felt and went back to no poo.
I use mostly just apple cider vinegar and baking soda for my hair care with an occasional Hair Smoothie whipped up when I need some conditioning. I also have started making my own apple cider vinegar with apple scraps, which helps shave more off the grocery bill.

Lunchtime Links: Recipes for Novice Canners and FREE Non-GMO SEEDS!

Today’s round-up of food things.

Home canning basics from Attainable Sustainable.

Recipes for the Novice Canner  -the simplest ones to start with, with tips for beginners | via Attainable Sustainable

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 7 Common Kitchen Disasters and How To Avoid Them – Because avoiding food mistakes means less food waste which means saving money. I appreciate the blender tip. Mine has a missing top. I just use a lid from a storage bowl that’s slightly larger than the top of my blender and hold it there.

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Groundswell is giving away free non-GMO seeds. Here’s what you have to do to get some:

SIGN UP FOR HEALTHY SEEDS NOW!

How it Works

  1. Sign up to receive seeds and share the names of at least two friends or family members interested in receiving seeds as well.
  2. Groundswell sends you a packet of open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds from Sow True Seed, a locally-owned company based in Asheville, NC.
  3. By planting these seeds, you are supporting healthy seeds that can be saved and used to reproduce food year after year.
  4. After you have signed up to receive seeds, stay tuned! Below are different ways to connect to receive updates on the campaign from now through the end of April.

– See more at: http://www.groundswellinternational.org/seeds/#sthash.FCvmIxye.dpuf

 

ALSO …
Ann from Bohan Seeds  has very generously offered FREE veggie seeds to readers here. She says, “If you would be interested ,please check my site out but instead of ordering through the site just send email from site with what you want and I will do what I can to comply. Free of course. Please start your email with Poor As Folk so I will know.

Thank you so much, Ann!

 

How to DIY When You’re Poor

 

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If you spend any amount of time on social media, you see some really cool ideas for DIY projects. Pinterest seems to be that place we all go for inspiration and then end up just feeling bad that we don’t have time, energy, or creativity to be that awesome. For low income and disabled people, the frustration is compounded by the lack of accessibility and ability. Even the cheap projects or ones that use junk often require tools or equipment,  and sometimes being able bodied,right?

I have possible solutions,though!

Where to Get Free Tools & Supplies

  • freecycle or craigslist – Find your nearest group at the respective websites : Freecycle.org and craigslist.com.
    On Freecyle, once you join, you can post something like this: “WANTED: Thing You Need” , with a description of what you’re looking for. If it’s a tool you think you’ll only need for one project, you can specify that you only need to borrow something. On craigslist, same thing but you usually have to find a category for what you’re looking for. Both Freecycle and Craigslist are great places for finding materials that someone might have leftover from another project (like, for instance, PVC pipe just waiting to be turned into a hanging indoor window garden ).I often peruse the FREE section of craigslist to see what people are cleaning out of their homes. I just scored an old crib with missing parts — perfect for upcycling as a trellis in my garden.

    If you have transportation obstacles, be sure to mention that in your post. Some people will generously drop things off to you or at a location easy for you to meet at. Of course, use your best judgement and common sense when telling strange people you meet on the Internet to come over or meet somewhere. You’re all adults,though. We don’t have to say more than that.

  • Yard Sales & Thrift Shops – I have a lot of crafting supplies and tools. I would say that 90% of them were purchased at thrift shops,yard sales, rummage sales,etc.Again, transportation is the obstacle here. There are also sometimes when even spending $5 on yard sale finds is out of the budget but if you can, these are the best places to find an amazing assortment of tools & supplies to build your DIY crafting arsenal.

    One thing I do to help add a bit of thrifting money is to sell my family’s used clothing at a local consignment shop. The checks I get every other month aren’t huge but it gives me a little extra to set aside specifically for going to sales.

    I also have gotten into the habit of going by houses that have advertised a yard sale after the sale has ended. People typically will put a free pile curbside rather than haul it back into their garage or load it into the car to dump off at the Salvation Army.

  • Local Hardware Stores–  By local, I mostly mean locally owned. From my experience, the people who work at small hardware stores are more than happy to drill holes in something for you or cut a piece of wood to your specifications. It’s iffy in a big box hardware store but it never hurts to ask.
  • Find a Tool Share – There are community groups where people borrow tools from one another and others that have a “library” of tools that they lend to people. These may be tricky to find but I would start with Googling “tool share” and your area. Some communities have had very active tool shares for decades but never brought it to the Internet. If you can’t find anything online, call local carpenters, hardware store,mechanics, bike shops and ask if they know of any tool sharing groups around you.
  • Sewing Machine Shares– They exist! I’m fortunate to have one here. If there’s one in your area, your local fabric store will most likely know about it.Give them a call.

Where To Find Help With Projects

If you aren’t physically able due to disability or the aches and pains that come with aging  to do some parts of a project, here’s some ideas of organizations that might be able to help.

  1. The Girl Scouts – ok, any scouting group but I like the Girl Scouts.
  2. 4-H
  3. Local Office of the Aging /groups that help the elderly – they often have volunteers with a wide range of interests and skills
  4. Local school shop classes or a vocational school
  5. Veterans groups

I am positive there are many more I missed or don’t know about. Please let me know in the comments if you know of any and I’ll add them.

ICYMI: Food & Clothing Swaps, food bank pizza,building a greenhouse from plastic bottles….

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Recipes &  Food Budgeting Tips

Healthy Eating on a Budget – Week 4 – There’s 5 weeks of “budget” meal menus to look at here. I *think* this is for one person. Week 4 looks like it was the least expensive – $38, still more than a food stamp budget but maybe could still be done if you get lucky at the food bank. It’s still worth looking thru and adapting a few meal ideas to fit your own needs. I’m just always looking for inexpensive meal ideas that don’t involve beans and rice. Not every poor person likes beans & rice, so I like to present variety.

March Food and Product Swap- “Swap It Chicago is a food and product exchange that takes place every month in Chicago. We gather monthly to exchange our homemade goodies–there is no money exchanged and the event is FREE for those who register.”

Your Fridge: You’re Using It Wrong- How to store fruits & veggies to extend shelf life.

 

 

Hey,now…this is fancy. Where’d they get that pepperoni!?
(But seriously…food bank English muffins, the canned sketti sauce, and some commod cheese… good-enough-pizza)

DIY & Frugal Living

The streets of San Francisco are lined with pear , plum and apple trees thanks to ‘guerilla grafters’ secretly grafting fruit-bearing scions onto ornamental, non-fruit bearing trees making fresh fruit free and available to everyone who wishes to pick some.| Food Warrior Network  – Guerrilla Grafters !

Swap Positive -“The idea behind Swap Positive is to offer and get free clothes, forever. No money changes hands with these clothes ~ even if you get them home and decide they aren’t quite `you’, we ask that you GIVE them away to someone. That is the mission of Swap Positive.”

 Build a Greenhouse Using Plastic Bottles- If you’re thinking about building a greenhouse and need material cost to be low, here ya go.

ICYMI:Real Food for the Broke, Wool Dryer Balls, more food waste tips,and more

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The Food Stuff

25 Baked Alternatives To Potato Chips And French Fries -The only one here that has been a complete fail for me has been zucchini chips. Prolly just me and not the zucchini’s fault.
We make tortilla chips often… especially good to do with stale tortillas (dumpster divers,freegans,and food bankers might see that more often)

Saving Money on Real Food at Costco – Real Food Real Deals -Not something I have firsthand knowledge of…no Costco in my area (nor the competitors they mention) but …sounds good.

Real Food Meal Plan for the Broke – We Got Real -This is decent. Good for a #SNAPfood budget.
I saw another Real Food on A Budget thing the other day . Almost $3/ serving. I laughed and laughed.
Anyway, these aren’t like that. It’s for a real low budget.

Dinner Tonight: Senegalese Rice and Peas | Serious Eats : Recipes-So cheap and quick.
I personally leave the fish sauce out because I can’t even get past the smell when I’m cooking and I’m sure that breaks every rule with this recipe… so probably you should use it,right? But Hikers for the Homeless suggested: “Maybe use veggie stock or chicken broth??” Good idea.

Food Waste Tip – Freeze Vegetable Scraps and Use Them to Make Vegetable Stock– I always have a pile of scraps that don’t end up in the compost that can be recycled into broth.

Easy Pantry Dinners: 5 Recipes with A Can of Black Beans -For dry bean users: 1 can is equal to 1/2 cup of dry beans before cooking.

Little known info: If you lose your food due to a natural disaster, long term power outage,or sudden evacuation or relocation and receive SNAP, you can receive Disaster SNAP or Replacement SNAP.

The DIY & Frugal Living Stuff

8 Ideas for Repurposed Seed-Starting Pots | The Prairie Homestead -The amount of toilet paper tubes & little yogurt-type cups I’ve stockpiled is making me look like a hoarder.

5 WAYS WE DEAL WITH POOR PEOPLE STRESS from Beyond Mom -tips for coping with the stresses of being poor.

How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls – Petals to Picots– I started using wool dryer balls a few years ago and can’t imagine not using them. They save money by reducing drying time in the drier, as well as cutting out the need/want for store bought fabric softeners. They’re also really easy to make (I used an old wool sweater that was being tossed out by a thrift shop because someone had shrunk it).

Can a Major City Grow All Its Own Food?- I like what he says about looking more to repairing the “parasitic” relationship between cities and the rural surroundings …. having city dwellers spend some time on farms to get a better understanding of the work that goes into producing their food.

10 Things You Should Know Before Making Homemade Dishwasher Detergent– “Washing Soda is KING!”
I definitely agree with that.

14 Food Waste Facts That Will Make You Want to Change the World -www.foodbeast.comFOODBEAST is the premiere food news resource. A one-stop location for food news, culture and entertainment.

Cat Litter Compost, Installment #3 – Links to the 1st & 2nd are in this post. Someone asked me one day here about composting cat litter. I found this stashed in my bookmarks. I think I will try it myself in the Spring when I can build a proper compost just for it. We have to pay for garbage and have indoor cats. We compost all food scraps and recycle everything that can be, so without the litter box waste, we have very little garbage.
Anyone else try to compost their little box waste?

21 Ways To Reduce Food Waste & Save Money! I like the “Eat First” tray idea.

Five Things You Should Never Throw Away & How to Reuse Them -Uses for food scraps and other things. All good stuff.

Twitter / SeedKeeperCo: Grew green beans indoors in .. – You can grow green beans on your windowsill.

Ok, so I have my lines when it comes to stealing but if we’re talking about food in a dumpster or something that literally was thought of by someone else as trash, go for it.
(And you know….all the other stuff is relative to if you CAN, as always…)

ICYMI: Winter produce guide,vegan avocado recipes, more tips to reduce food waste, homemade scouring scrub..and more

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The Food Stuff

 

10 Tips for the Black Thumb – Like, if yu swear you can’t grow stuff because you have a Black Thumb, these tips might help you get past that.

Winter Produce Guide – The Sprouting Seed– Really helpful buying tips for each produce item.

 Vegan Avocado Round Up  -I know finding avocados cheap can be a crapshoot for a lot of ya’ll but these… zomg…

RuralMom.com: Keep Your Refrigerator Organized with Four Simple Tricks – helps reduce food waste

Soup of the Day: Broccoli Cheddar- comfort soup

How to stop wasting food in 2014-This list excites me.
On a related note, if I had a video camera and a less chaotic household, I would SO love do a Dumpster Diving Cooking show.
For real.

10 Easy Ways to Stay Within Your Grocery Budget |- some tips might help, depending on your situation and resources already available. Reading all the lists around the blogosphere of how to save money makes me realize I need to write one that is specific to people living in technical poverty, since most are written with voluntary simplicity and frugality in mind.

Food Storage: Storing Herbs and Spices for Long Term Storage– this is handy if you’ve managed to buy in bulk or grow your own.

 

The DIY Stuff

Homemade All Purpose Scouring Scrub -3 ingredients (and two of them you can buy with food stamps.Well, actually…you can make super washing soda with baking soda, so technically all 3 ) …plus essential oil, but that’s optional.

Make Your Own Washing Soda (For Homemade Laundry Detergent) |  -turn baking soda into washing soda

Gardening small? Many fruits grow in containers -You lucky people who are able to be thinking about gardening this time of year. I have MONTHS.
Thought this could be helpful for urban & small space gardeners.