It's nearly Spring! Daffodils and fruit blossom.. it is so exciting watching bulbs popping up and flowering in my new garden. Who knows what I will find. I was weeding the other day and unearthed a potato, which we promptly mashed for dinner. Someone dug up a 4kg gold nugget in the Victorian goldfields this week, but honestly, if I could have a 4kg gold nugget, or a garden, I would choose a garden any day.
I am slowly reducing the dirt pile in the backyard as I pile it behind my new retaining wall, and I have begun sheet mulching with all my left-over moving cartons, plus several inches of pea straw. This is the only useful weed deterrent I have found that also uses biodegradable materials. Plastic sheeting works, but who wants to use more plastic? What doesn't work is newspaper. Disregard any gardening book that tells you to sheet mulch with newspaper. Doesn't matter how thick you lay it, the weeds will work their way through. Cardboard, however, two layers thick, is magic.
In other green and thrifty news, one of my neighbours hauled a ute-load of floor board off cuts from a local sawmill and invited everyone in the street to come and take a barrow load for kindling. Perfect kiln-dried Tassie oak kindling? Yes, please.
My next door neighbour brought me a bag of kiwifruit that she grows over her pergola. I love my new neighbours!
I got my first electricity bill for my new house. Lowest bill ever! Powering down appears to be having an excellent payoff:)
I had several evergreen trees cut down which some deluded person had planted in front of my windows. Sunshine in the house! Hooray! Plus, lots of extra firewood for next year.
My very old washing machine finally died. I have a heroic washing machine repairman who has been repairing it for about three years now, but one day it had a giant fit and died, taking the power with it. However, the next day the heroic washing machine repairman brought me a 'new' machine - he reconditions old machines and sells them, so now I have a washing machine that works, and he even took away the old one to see if he could resurrect it. Maybe I can buy it back one day when this one stops working! I love to meet people who are dedicated to re-making and mending.
Speaking of which, I also had my black winter boots mended by the shoe-repairman recently. He has resurrected several pairs of my shoes, put new metal poppers on my winter parka, and next week he is going to fix my purse, whose zipper has come to grief. If green and thrifty is what you are after, finding a good shoe repairman is a must. Mine can also cut keys and sharpen knives, and we buy our shoelaces from him as well.
Tell me about your green and thrifty projects this week:)