Monday, 11 August 2008

Gardening on a Shoestring

Most of the people who regularly read this blog will recycle and Freecycle on a regular basis, allotments and recycling tend to go hand in hand.
Richard and I are not what you would call extravagant, mostly because we've never had the money, not when we were growing up (we both grew up with very similar parents, basically you looked after what was your's because if it got broken there wouldn't be another to replace it, pretty sound parenting I have to say) certainly not when we left home to become students and not now in our own home, I think because we have always looked after what belongs to us we appreciated what things cost.

The garden is a typical example of this, most of out tools and equipment either came from car boots sales or was generously left to us by the previous owner of our house, the odd spade has also been brought for us by our lovely parents of course!

Freecycle has also be a huge help, quite frankly without it we wouldn't be growing half the stuff we are now, we've tried to pay it back by giving some good stuff away ourselves and I always try to pick someone who sounds like they really need what ever we're offering (note to anyone on bath freecycle, I'm a total sucker for a nicely written friendly email telling me why you need something!!)

here are just some of the goodies we've had in the past

One of the green compost bins is from freecycle, so is the smaller blue water butt, you can tell we use at lot of water and produce a lot of compost!

One of our first major freecycle gets was the bricks to make the paths in the veg patch, kindly given to us by the lovely lady over at My Tiny Plot.

Our homemade rhubarb forcer, enabled Rich to have quite a few rhubarb crumbles which he was chuffed about.

The Belfast sinks which we're growing our salad leafs in to keep to slugs off (with the help of some cheap copper tape from ebay!)

The raspberries where all given to us by one kind lady, they have been fantastic and are probably my favourite think in the garden right now, they also introduced us to yellow raspberries, something neither of us had come across before. Surprisingly the birds don't seem to be able to spot the fruit so we haven't had to net them. The posts for the fruit frame were from our rubbish pile at the bottom of the garden so the whole thing cost us nothing.

Wood to keep us warm, we haven't had the heating on since the log burner was connected in April (yes I know its the summer anyway!) the test will come this winter as we now cant afford to turn the heating back on (thank you British Gas!!) so the little stove will come into its own fueled by kind freecyclers.

and finally our latest get, 22 old kilner jars given to us by and very nice family in Bath, most have there glass lids and just need a clean and some new rubber seals, some will be used in the kitchen and some in the greenhouse (to stop the snails eating my seed packets!)

In today's economic climate having any money left at the end of the month is pretty amazing, just paying the mortgage has become a struggle for so many, redundancy is up and house prices down, still I think it is somewhat encouraging to think you can do something as simple as grown a few spuds to put on your table and do it by not actually spending anything, simple by the kindness of strangers.

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