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Roundup: Gardening is Fun & Sustainable

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Vegetable GardenWe started gardening a few years ago because we thought it would be fun. We don’t have that much ground space living in a townhouse so our stuff has always been in buckets or planters (one of these days we’ll do square foot gardening). Over the years we’ve learned what has grown well (any spice, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers, hot peppers of almost any type) and what hasn’t (eggplant, though that’s mostly our fault).

One thing we didn’t really take into consideration was plant selection based on profitability. I suppose we did it intuitively, after seeing how expensive fresh herbs and spices are at the grocery store, because we are growing chives and dill (and oregano and basil and thyme). This year, we’ll be sure to dry our fresh herbs for later.

  • I’m always a fan of Robert Brokamp’s posts on Get Rich Slowly and today he tackles a subject commission-based financial advisors always hate to see – the best way to pay for financial advice. Fee only is the way to go.
  • Burton Malkiel, author of Random Walk Down Wall Street, gives an hour-long talk at Google for their fiscally fit series. This is a must watch.
  • Trust me, what could possibly go wrong? Pointing out self-regulation was popularized in the Bush era, which is true, shows some tunnel vision but otherwise an entertaining animated cartoon.
  • This is a classic question in the pf blogging world – what would you do with a windfall?
  • “Children make easy targets for identity thieves because they don’t use their own credit and likely wouldn’t notice any discrepancies until they reach adulthood.” Scary story on CNN Money about parents stealing their children’s credit… before they even know what the heck credit is. Surprising fact of the day – credit reports don’t report age.
  • Amidst all the gloomy stories of college graduates without jobs, Main Street shares 10 job paths that don’t require a four year degree. These aren’t slouch jobs though, we’re talking Clinical Lab Techs (2 year training course at a hospital) and Dental Hygienists (associate degree) so these are legitimate career paths.
  • Ken at Deposit Accounts talks about an unorthodox CD saving strategy. Open long term CDs at weak banks so that in the event they do fail, and thus sold by the FDIC, your CD can be closed early without penalty. There are so many problems with this strategy and Ken hits on them all.

Have a great weekend!

(Photo: lollyknit)

{ 13 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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13 Responses to “Roundup: Gardening is Fun & Sustainable”

  1. Wilma says:

    Home grown is always best. I know that no pesticides or herbicides were used in my garden. An herb garden is a must if you cook. When you want to dry them just tie them up by the stems and hang them upside down in a paper bag for a month or 2 and then pull the dried spice off the stems, put in a labeled jar and enjoy. You can grow potatoes inside a bag of dirt. Lay it flat, slice an X in the bag and plant a potato that sprouted in your kitchen. Onions will grow in your window boxes along side your flowers. Carrots and red beets will grow with your flowers too. Leafy greens don’t need full sun light and grow nicely in window boxes or in flats on a table. Half the battle is remembering to water. They make those pots that you can hang on a hook and grow your tomatoes upside down. Hang them around your pool. Strawberries too. I try to grow something new every year. Some times it works and some times not so much. Playing in the dirt is good therapy as well as good for your wallet and tummy. =)

  2. eric says:

    Nice round up! I like Ken’s post.

  3. Shirley says:

    Our backyard garden is a source of pride and bounty.

    Green and yellow squash, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are easily trained on a trellis (made of 4×6 tomato cage wire in a 20 foot roll) on the fence with radishes and green onions at their foot. Beefsteak tomatoes and cantalope have their own in-ground plots and red, yellow and green bell peppers thrive in large pots on the patio. Artichokes grace the flower beds along with the red onions.

    Besides the savings on the grocery bill, we have plenty to share with friends and neighbors which is a blessing in itself.

  4. Gardening is a great way to save money on fruits, veggies, and herbs. Plus you know it is fresh because you picked it yourself. And you can get some exercise in your garden too, so it’s a win-win scenario all around.

    • ziglet19 says:

      I also enjoyed my first vegetable garden last year (after buying a house with a yard) as a great way to unwind after work. I would spend about an hour most days after work playing around in the dirt and found it was a great way to decompress.

  5. CreditShout says:

    I can’t wait until I have room for my own garden. Home grown definitely tastes better and is so much cheaper. And there is a sense of accomplishment when you are enjoying something that you grew yourself.

  6. Mark says:

    I grew up entertaining my fathers gardening obsession, and swore I would never have the same. Well now in my incredibly small back yard I have dwarf lime, orange, lemon, tangerine, cherry, pear and red grapefruit trees, plus several jalapeno plants. From a profitability stand point, we looked at more from a ‘I dont want to drive up to the supermarket just for 10 cents worth of jalapenos’. We did try (twice) to grow a dwarf avocado, and despite the SoCal weather were unable to succeed (Should have paid more attention to my dad’s 30+ avocado trees). That would have saved some money. Bottom line, for those with little space, dwarf trees work great, full size fruit in pint sized trees. Around here, Costco has a huge selection of trees in the spring, and nice big cheap planters to plant them in….

  7. ChristineWithRegence says:

    Great tips! For ideas on how you can take charge of your health care costs, check out

  8. fairydust says:

    @Wilma – I love that potatoes-in-a-bag-of-dirt idea!! Can’t wait to try that, thank you for posting!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Forgot to mention that you need a few holes to let out excess water. Snip a tips off the corners. Good luck. =)

  9. Gardening is a great way to get fresh locally grown produce. It’s great that you mentioned you are still able to garden in a small space. I am in the same situation and I am still able to grown a variety of plants as well.

  10. cdiver says:

    A lot of family fun and you will never taste a better tomato!

  11. cdiver says:

    Topsy turvy is pretty cool, but I think I could have achieved the same results using a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

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