My son, Joseph, at our Spring Creek Farmstead CSA on the pick-up day.
I learned about nutrition through my mother, who raised me and my six siblings on real food. Mom believed that if she fed us right and kept us healthy, it was the best gift she could give us. I tend to agree. What is the real importance of nutrition? Let's take a look at dog food for an example. The market for dog food is tremendous. This is from Purina: "Our goal is to give your pet the nutrition needed to be their absolute best, helping them to be energetic and resilient, while maintaining an ideal body condition". Wouldn't this be a good goal for us too?
Gardening is probably one of the best options for adding nutrition to your household.
It helps you eat more vegetables and fruits
You can control what pesticides and fertilizers are used on your food
Produce can ripen in the garden until ready to pick, providing more nutrients
You appreciate the food you get from your own toil and it's good exercise
It can be a family endeavor and very enjoyable
It can be a super creative not spending addition to your budget
But what if you don't have the space/time/interest/patience/skills?
Enter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), a creative way to reap the rewards of a garden without the hassle. This is a system where you pay up front for the entire season's locally grown, fresh, picked-the-same-day produce. The price seems high at the beginning but when you divide it out by the number of weeks of produce you receive, it's a great creative not spending option, especially if you enjoy veggies. Paying up front allows the farmer to put your money to work before the season starts, buying seeds, supplies and sometimes equipment to plant a large amount of produce for the members. I was fortunate to be able to run a CSA with one of my sons for one year on my acreage in 2012. We loved growing produce for our members. A good CSA will make you happy. If you get involved with a CSA that is not a joy to be part of, I encourage you to find another or find a place where you can raise your own produce. The earth is so generous with food production. Healthy gardens are abundant and your CSA should be too.
How to Not Spend on gifts and still be generous
My home made wreath
Not spending can often lead to stinginess if we let it. Giving is important, and healthy. It is GOOD to GIVE! Let's look at the philosophy of giving. What is your belief around it? I will share mine. It took me quite a while to figure it out. But first, a story: I had 4 children in school and 2 still at home. Some friends had asked me to come over for lunch and 'bring something to pass'. I was in a tizzy. I knew they would have lovely store-bought food to share and I did not want to go spend money and time at the grocery store. So I came up with home-made crackers and a cheese spread, using what I had on hand. But I was SO embarrassed to present them at the gathering that it ruined my enjoyment. They, of course, loved it, but I still was embarrassed. Now, looking back, I see what a sweet effort it was and how much I could have enjoyed giving my gift of food at the gathering. The crackers were delicious and I still make them once in a while. I could have been proud of my creative efforts and my creative not spending skills. Instead, I thought of myself more in the line of 'poor me'. My gift giving philosophy at one time was based in believing that the only really good gift comes from a store. Balderdash! The time and effort a person gives to making a gift is priceless. Now I am proud of my Wild Grape Jelly that I make every year and give away. It takes me hours of tromping through the woods and fields to find enough grapes to make a batch of jelly. But oh is it good. I have learned to give the gift of my jelly to people who appreciate my effort. If a gift is expected for someone who cannot appreciate home made, I give them money. They can buy what they want!
Figure out your gifting philosophy. Where are your boundaries: when do you give and to whom? How much time do you give to finding or making a gift? How much do you spend? How does gifting feel for you? Stressful or enjoyable? How can it be put into a system or be a part of your creativity? Can you say no to invitations to parties that require a gift? Or can you say yes with pleasure and joy and your presence be the present? Are there heart-filled options of giving service, sharing your skills or talents, or other ideas? After all, time is a gift too! A giving philosophy: Give what you can when you can, with joy and love. No stress.
Spring cleaning is for the birds!
I was doing my exercises in the living room and watching a wren who has set up housekeeping in one of my clothes line poles. She (I guess I am assuming it was a she) flew to the nest and began dejunking. I jumped up and got my camera. Even birds have to de-junk and declutter! What a concept!