Tag Archives: gardening

The Graywater Experiment

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This is not a new novel by David Baldacci and has nothing to do with spies or espionage. It’s not a government initiative (but maybe it should be) or a soviet plot or a secret mission.

It’s harvest time in the garden and my main method of food preservation is blanching and freezing. Basically this involves a pot of boiling hot water on the stove to boil veggies for 3-5 minutes and then a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching preserves color and flavor and readies food for freezer bags.

It occurred to me last week as I was processing vegetables that the water for washing and blanching could be reused to water my garden. We’ve only received one good drenching rain here and I can almost predict we’ll be in a drought situation before long.

During my last blanching session I bottled up my graywater and took it down to the garden and watered my plants. I also used graywater in a small flowerbed I have at the side of the house.

You can find our more about graywater at http://graywater.net. It seems such a reasonable alternative to using drinking water on lawns and gardens.

I’ve always been a resourceful gal though sometimes I think Boyfriend thinks I have a screw loose. He looked balefully at my graywater before I took it to the garden and I know he  questions the validity of my constant recycling, purchasing at thrift marts and composting efforts. Mercifully, he rarely SAYS what I know he’s thinking.

We should all try to be more resourceful. With oil spilling into the gulf at breakneck speed, water may become all too scarce in the future.  What affects one part of the planet, affects another.

Consider your graywater and make it work for you and the planet.

The Frugal Musician’s glove

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Last year, our first with a garden and a home of our own (did I mention the garden first….whoops) Boyfriend and I were in Lowes buying planting supplies. We’d bought several shovels and rakes at a local Goodwill, but we needed a hose and other assorted stuff for the yard. We saw garden gloves neatly displayed. I was shocked at the $15.00 price tag but Boyfriend insisted his farmerette have proper hand wear for gardening (and HE was buying!) so the above gloves were purchased. Yes they came in a pair (lol).

This year a hole appeared in the middle finger of the right glove. After mulling over the purchase of new gloves I decided to try and make a little repair myself. After all, it was only ONE TEAR in the right glove. The left glove was holding up nicely (I’m right handed…).

SO, I brought the glove in, got out a sturdy needle to go through the leather and made the repair. It worked great and saved me purchasing more garden gloves at the beginning of garden season.

Have you stitched anything up lately to make it last a little longer? It would be fun to hear about it!

The Frugal Musician believes in fairies

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The garden was glorious this past week. Sun and warmth crept back into my life like a long lost friend. After what seemed like an eternal winter, the sun made a spectacular appearance this past week.

In the garden, I noticed this little niche created by stone pavers we had piled in a corner last year.  It just seemed to lend itself to a place for fairies to frolic- so I created a little haven for them to do just that.

I daresay, this project was sorely needed. The long winter has left me worn and ridiculously worried about a myriad of trifling life details. Mostly, I’ve been entrenched during the winter in a particularly nasty mental bout with retirement which I can only guess is the result of turning the magical 5-0 last year.  Retirement is just not something I can consider, having spent the last 15 years in the music business and as an entrepreneurial gal funding my own dreams and visions. 

When I think about the years after 62, I simply know that, those years, much like those before them, will take care of themselves.

So I closed the calendar, put away my files, turned off the computer and stepped outside to create a little fairy oasis. As I worked I sincerely felt flow and meaning for the first time in a long while.  My daily job is  with creative people, but I am remiss to remember my own art and creative endeavors.

Everyone should take time to create a fairy haven.  Bless the spirits in the earth and trees, rocks and flowers.  Feel the hum of flow and contentment. The fairies will thank you and bless you with peace and good tidings.

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The Frugal Musician Rocks Out in the Garden

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Last year was the first time we’d had a garden space. It was such a pleasurable experience to grow our own veggies, we expanded the garden for the upcoming growing season.

Last year we raised tomatoes, peppers, squash, green beans, carrots, butter beans and corn. Although our efforts didn’t produce tons of produce, our little plot was a work in progress and it was fun to have fresh, home grown food.

This morning I was removing rocks from our plot and I thought about how musicians typically live. We rent rooms or live with others because, as we tour, we simple are not home enough to justify a house, yard or garden.

But that should not keep us from planting something. Even a small plot in the front yard or a balcony or deck space can be used for container gardening. Throw a bunch of wildflower seeds in the alley way or beside the porch.

Growing plants is a metaphor for growing talent. From tiny seeds sprout possibilities. From just a few sprinkles of thought, a melody is constructed.  Given the proper time, attention, water and care, an idea deveops into a song. 

Grow something this year. Be a part of nature.

The Frugal Musician has a side hustle

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We are amazingly lucky. In 2007, we purchased a property that had been the home of a master gardener for many years. The couple who owned the home before us had small kids so the yard become overgrown in the 10 year interium between the master gardner and us.

Last spring, I would take a morning turn about my yard, coffee in hand, dumbfounded at the prolifieration of plants.   Boyfriend’s mom visited and deemed we had a “million dollar yard”. Of course, she exagerated, but the little wheels in my head started clicking, particularly when I noticed how overgrown things were and how desperately little shoots struggled for a patch of ground.

I checked out library books and started identifying shoots, stems, buds and flowers. There were hosta, vinca, lirope, peony, iris, daylily, lemon balm, mint, varieties of daffodil, boxwoods, firethorn, juniper and helleborus plants a plenty.

I perused a few websites to see how much these plants were selling for.

Then I started digging. And selling.

Remarkably, I’ve made a nice little nest egg from my plant sales. In addition, I love the act of digging something up and selling it to make cash to buy veggie plants, fencing and other things for our lovely yard. Last year, I was able to sell enough plants to take a little vacation with my sister and mom.

Jason over at www.frugaldad.com calls this a ‘side hustle’. He suggests developing side hustles as extra income or a way to help payoff debt.

My side hustle is so satisfying, I’d like to eventually make it more than a side hustle.

What’s your side hustle?