I’m dumping a few miscellaneous items into this post to get them out the way.
If you haven’t read all the comments on the Personal Change post and the Burden of Receiving a Gift post you should. Tons of useful info there about all kinds of things. And, as she so eloquently does, Sharon does a better job of explaining the Riot 4 Austerity than I can do in the Personal Change post.
I ordered seeds for this coming summer. This time I ordered from Seed Savers and Jung’s Seeds. Spent $75. Seems like a lot, but they will last a long time. Some are perennial herbs and will come up each year. I found Jerusalem Artichokes at Jung’s seeds, and ordered a pound of them. So that’s a one time investment. Plus sweet potato and some fingerling taters, among other things. Along with my mixed box of stuff I’m set for a few years. I’ll try my hand at planting runner beans and cowpeas from seeds I saved. We’ll see how that goes. I also decided that this year I am going to start everything inside and transplant it outside. I’m hoping this will give me bigger yields, higher success rates and a higher turnover of my small plots. Jeavons advocates this as part of his Biointensive method, and I figured if it works for him I might as well try it too.
I’ve decided that I’m going to guerilla garden a vacant lot at the end of my road, as long as the neighbor next door to the lot doesn’t mind. It’s a lot that the city “owns” and they won’t sell or rent it to me. So, I’m going to plant it anyway. We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to sink a lot into it so I figure I’ll plant some things that I don’t care that much about anyway. I got some free sunflower seeds and I have plenty of green bean plants. I’ll do some squash and possibly corn. And I’ll definitely cut up some taters and put them in over there too and see what happens. No matter what I do, I have to make sure the plants are something that rabbits won’t want because I won’t be able to fence it off from them. One reason taters and squash will matter. Rabbits don’t seem to give a hoot about them.
I put the quotes around “owns” above because it ticks me off the way the people that run the city think. I own that lot as a citizen of this city, and there’s no reason I should be allowed to use it. They’re concerned about their easement through it for a storm sewer. Fine. Then mark that part off but let us use the rest. It’s a very large lot and it doesn’t all need to be tied up because of an easement along one side that is incredibly small. It’s an eye sore, poorly taken care of and it’s something that we could use to create neighborhood involvement. But no, they’d rather have it sit there doing nothing. If I get away with this plan this year we’ll keep building on it and mixing in flowers and such so that it becomes something nice to look at. Perhaps I could install a trellis with morning glories over the top and put in a bench for people to sit in for a spell. Who knows. It wouldn’t cost a lot and might make the people in the neighborhood come out of their houses more often. That’s the thought anyway. But we’ll start small and see where it goes.
I finished The Hobbit and Main Street. Very good. Look for more info in the future on them. I purchased some used copies of a few others. 1984, Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, Slaughterhouse 5, Crime and Punishment and The Summer of Discontent. I’m starting on those as part of my New Year’s goals. That’s a good start I think. I’ve decided I’m passionately in love with used book stores. They are so awesome. But I must fight the evil of the dark side. I will not let it beat me.