Sunday, August 21, 2011

Being frugal can be fun!

Sometimes we just need some inspiration.

Today I read an article in the Rapid City Journal about a gal in Piedmont, SD that is kicking butt by being frugal.  Read: Not cheap.  Frugal = Smart.  Making decisions based on quality instead of quantity and not being a stuff hound.  I totally get this.  We've done the 'let's eat everything in the house for the month and not buy anything else' with minimal success or 'let's write down everything we spend on food' which lasts about four days.  The thought is there but the execution; not so much.

A few years back I took the challenge of the 'Eat on $25 for the week' from the food bank in Rapid City (it was around Thanksgiving and about what people on food stamps receive) and IMHO, it was a success.  I mean a success that I was resourceful, wise, healthy, learned a ton about myself and hello, lost a couple of pounds.  In the end, I felt thankful that I didn't have to do that all the time but I still reflect on that week and think about how creative I was (orange zest on salads is delicious!) and that it was fun.  I am not saying that being on food stamps would be fun.  What I am saying is that being frugal can be fun and we can all learn something about ourselves in the process.

So, today, I was inspired with my read about Little House on the Prairie Living and became a Facebook fan.  You can too here.  Sometimes we just need a little inspiration, don't we? Thanks Merissa!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing like a big volunteer sunflower to plant itself in a pot - thanks to visiting birds.  I love it!  So everyday I look out my kitchen window, I see this growing sunflower.  How perfect is that?  Also in the wine barrel is morning glory, marigolds and licorice plant.  I got a flat of this licorice plant at Safeway and I simply love it!  I've always been drawn to that artemisia gray green color.  It does not need a lot of water and looks great in containers. I am hoping it will make it through the winter.

One note, I have had two birds fly into my kitchen window as I think they were swooping in for seeds.  Fortunately, they were just stunned and flew away.  The perils of glass!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Herbs a muck

When we moved to South Dakota, I assumed whatever I planted would simply die because it SNOWED here.  Well, not so much.  Mint NEVER dies.  I started with one each small 4" spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint plants and hello, I have now have an 8 x 15 foot mint garden (and it's moving into the neighbors garden which, fortunately, she is cool with).  That's a lot of mint friends.  So I've been drying it along with the lemon balm and lemon verbena and making tea.  Cute little tea bags filled with herbs.  More to come this winter :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cosmos grows beautifully in the Black Hills and is so easy by seed.  I am big seed saver so am always collecting seeds from all of my flowers.  One note, the seeds of Cosmos as very pointy so I suggest using gloves when you harvest.  Pointy to the point of, dang, that's painful!

What I do, is have a bunch of empty old jars in the garage, one for each kind of plant seed and then, periodically, head to the garden and gather seeds.  Every year, I plant marigolds, cosmos, green lettuce, morning glories, peas and beans this way.  It's very simple and I'd like to try more seed saving. It's just a smart thing to do!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Every year, I like to try something new in the garden.  This year, its cabbage.  I LOVE cole slaw so what better way to get the very freshest cabbage but to grow it!  I planted four of these from seedlings and they are such a pretty addition to the garden.  The new visitor I don't like are those white moths that lay about a zillion eggs on cabbage.  Yuck!  Not doing pesticide, I just hosed off all the gross green and brown eggs which has worked pretty good so far.  I almost have to wash them off daily.  Being an organic gardener, it takes more time to ward off the bugs and disease.  However, I have no issues eating my tomatoes right off the plant without washing them either. 

Here's the best IMHO (and easiest) way to make great slaw:

1. Core the cabbage and cut in very thing slices. Put in a big bowl and add a lot of cracked black pepper and about 1/4 tsp of salt.  Mix all together.
2. Mix together (for a full head of cabbage ... which makes A LOT of slaw BTW): 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (We use Toby's which is all natural and soooo good), 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper about about a 1/4 cup black mustard seeds.
3. Pour the mixture on the cabbage and really mix it together.
4. Cover and put in the fridge for about 3-4 hours.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunflowers are sooo South Dakota.  These are in my garden and I love them. They make me smile.  The bees and birds love them too which makes me happy.  I simply let them go to seed each year and then see where they pop up.  I am continually amazed that they are always perfectly placed.  Viva la sunflower!