Thursday, June 14, 2012

Squash Mountain

Last year when we cleared the back lot, we put all the sod, grass, and clippings into a pile to compost down.  The girls had a blast playing on it and it was dubbed  Grass Mountain. This past Halloween I got the girls and boys, whom I babysit, to dump the pumpkin guts onto the hill in hope some would seed themselves for spring.

March and April, I searched the hill every 4 days in hope to see pumpkin seedlings sprouting all over but, alas, nothing.  Then in early May I found two little oval, dark green leaves, it's what I was looking and waiting for! I searched for more, waited another 2 weeks but no new plants were to be seen. 4 pumpkins worth of seeds but only one, measly little, seed took hold.  I was a little disappointed. I had grand dreams of the hill being covered by  big pumpkin leaves, twisty, curly vines, and beautiful big orange globes for this fall.

Not one to be kept down, I dug around in my seed stash and found an old package of zucchini seeds.  They were at least 4 years old and I knew it was a long shot but I planted them in the hill anyway. 2 weeks later and not a one sprouted.

It's now the second week on June, I am still determined to grow some vines on that pile of composting grass and sod.  A few days ago, while shopping, I bought a 6 pack of butternut squash seedlings. Today, with the help of Ivy, I planted four of those plants onto (into?) the pile and while doing so I found two (TWO!!) zucchini seedlings!  Yaaa!! 

So it is official, Grass Mountain will now be known as Squash Mountain! One pumpkin, 2 zucchini and 4 butternut squash! 
(2 butternuts were planted into the garden, just in case you were wondering what happened to them)

... now, how to keep the children and dog off the hill....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cutting back

Last week a Facebook friend posted a Body by Vi ad: "Where else can you buy 30 meals for $49" and that got me to thinking... $49 divided by 30 = $1.63 per meal.  Times that by 4 people, 3 meals a day for 30 days and it equals: $588.... To me that seems expensive and I thought some more.
(I know this meal shake is not to be used for 3 meals/day nor for everyone in the family and NO I am not thinking of using this product, just the math intrigued me.)

I thought about how much I spend on groceries for my family. I didn't sit down with the month statement and checkbook, I just roughly estimated... once a week I go to 2 stores in GF, usually spend $100 (+/-) at each one .. $800!! Are you kidding me that's TOO much! Now I felt deflated... But that is $2.22 per person/meal, never mind the snacks, desserts and cat food (dog/rabbit food separate) and now I felt better but still.... a nagging little feeling deep inside was screaming at me to cut that budget, lower the $800 to at least $600...

I used to be so good at shopping, spending $300(+/-) each month, at least I used to be good at shopping before I started taking my nieghbours shopping every week,  before veggies, dairy and grains became so ridiculously priced, before Anna's galactose/dairy free diet, before both girls, before I cut out prefabbed meals.... before I learned how to make good food from scratch.... before.... Wow lots of things have changed in the last 7 years!

Ok, maybe $800 per month for my family of 4 isn't so bad. But I do need to re-think what goes into my shopping cart and cutting down on the shopping trips will help a lot.  I went a week and a half between my latest trips and I only spent $65 on the last! Mostly Almond milk, PB, veggies and wild rice.

Our meals are not lacking from my cutting back, the freezer is a little less full and the fridge has veggies/dairy and not so much junk. I think this cutting back will be more beneficially to my family. Soon we'll be buying veggies from the farmers market and then harvesting from our own garden and greenhouse.  I've also been thinking seriously of raising chickens in the backyard (4-6 layers) just have to wait for city council to approve a by-law, fingers crossed!

So all in all, my shopping habits will be changing, not only to ease our pocketbooks but to help our waistlines too! 
Happy June everyone :)