#1) After going back and forth about it, Angie and I decided to join a local CSA (community supported agriculture) program. We opted for the small share, which is about a 1/2 bushel of fresh produce per week for 16 weeks beginning in May. The farm is located in the county where we live and run by 2 brothers in their early 20s. This is their first year to offer a CSA and while they are not Certified Organic, they do practice sustainable natural farming methods. Our biggest hold up wasn’t the price (which is a reasonable $350 for the season) but the fact that we might end up with too much food, since we are also growing a small garden. I refuse to waste food. To that end, we’ve decided that during CSA season, we will plan our meals around what we receive (or harvest) for the week and freeze or can any extras for this coming winter.
#2) Speaking of the garden, we seem to have inspired a few others in the neighborhood. My mom’s next door neighbor, Chase, dug what looks to be a 10′ x 15′ garden plot and his neighbor on the other side plowed up his entire back yard. This is Chase’s first garden. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we can begin planing the 2nd weekend in April to avoid freezing. We have tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers ready to go. I’m not sure what Chase will plant but I can’t wait to see what becomes of our “community gardening” projects. Chase also has a pear tree that bears the most delicious pears (that I hope he will share again this year.)
#3) Toward our decluttering for cash effort, I listed 9 items on Ebay this week. Most of the items were jewelry, which is pretty easy to ship. It’s only been 2 days but so far so good – half of them have bids already. Angie has almost finished wiping the hard drive on the Tank (her old laptop) so that we can get rid of it too. We still haven’t decided whether to donate it to a computer reuse program or sell it for the few bucks that it’s worth.
#4) About that cash…the Xterra is finally fixed! The great folks at Cooper’s and Helping Hands Automotive in Gallatin really went the extra mile to fix what turned out to be more than just a bad relay. They rewired the entire back half of the Xterra, including reinstalling our 4-way wiring harness (for towing) that another (less reputable chain store) mechanic had ripped out and left in the spare tire area. AND…they fixed an annoying noise that had been bothering us for years! PLUS…they reclamped our air conditioner hoses where a small leak was causing the Xterra to overheat when the air was on. Since they kept the car for 2 full days, I expected our bill to be outrageous. I was half prepared to cry. The total cost was $290.03. That’s still a lot of money but not nearly what it could have been so we were pretty happy.
#5) We got our bicycles out this week, cleaned them up, and put rear racks on them. The racks were “free” using a $25 Amazon gift card that I received for completing a survey from my insurance company (on fitness of all things). With the bikes up and running, the search has begun for milk crates to mount on those shiny new rear racks to carry picnics, library books, and fresh produce. But free milk crates are hard to come by! My thought is that we can bike the short 2.5 miles from our apartment to our CSA pick up location each week this summer – get some extra exercise to go along with our healthy eating plan.