|Looking forward to lettuce!|
The other possibility is they have added plastic flowers to the garden before they took the picture. Or flowers in water picks. Magazines really do this! Never feel inadequate because of the media.
If the functional look of the project so far bothers you, spring for a few plastic Dollar Tree flowers to pretty it up. I'm going industrial a little bit longer. Enough has been spent already. I promise, we will get paid back twice the cost. Paid in vegetables.
Benjamin Franklin said "Time is Money" and he was right. The money we are spending could be earning interest in the bank, or saving interest if we paid a credit card. We want results ASAP so I bought...
all quick-growing veggie seeds and plants.
Sometimes you have to spend money to save money.
TODAY, WE SHOP.
The whole 'buying retail' thing turned out to be kinda hard. And not just because I'm cheap!
Yesterday I spent $15 on a bag of professional grade potting mix (Metro Mix 360) from a local garden center. They had to special order it. Especially for beginners, soil can make or break the project. Think of it like buying dog food in the big bag: the money is gone faster, but it lasts longer and each meal is cheaper. I also talked them out of 6, 2-gallon plastic nursery containers for free.
They didn't have chicken manure. Neither did the big box store or the other big box store. Other organic fertilizers were available, but a lot of them smell like the dead animals they are made from and that makes me not want the food.
In the end, I bought a 14-14-14 slow-release fertilizer. It's not organic, but that also means it's not made from animal products and it's available retail. Don't feel too guilty if this is all you can find. It has less run-off than liquid fertilizers - even organic liquid fertilizer. Remember, THIS project is about about producing as much food as possible and improving financial stability. We aren't going to burn any forests by using slow-release fertilizer for one project.
I'll start the quest to find some chicken manure through a retail source. That way the office dwellers can find it without using half their free time hunting for it.
$5 for the little bottle of fertilizer.
$2 each for packets of mixed lettuce, beans, arugula and zucchini.
Splurge: Big veggie plants were on sale 3/$10. They aren't organic either, but starting summer veggies from seed takes over a month and anything that has been applied to these has washed away. Time is money. I got a red bell pepper, a green bell and a tomato.
Don't cringe at the squash. These will be eaten as mini squash - sliced up like cucumbers in salad.
Add yesterday's expenses and we are up to $41. We'll need to get and use $41 worth of food to break even. $82 worth of groceries to fulfil my double payback promise. The environmental and psychological advantages we get from having plants is a BONUS!
I'll make sure we stay in the green - Ha ha!