I seriously can’t believe it is already January 2013 and that I haven’t blogged a thing since November. I am not quite sure where the past two months went, particularly December. I think I was trapped in the occasionally mind-numbing daily grind as well as holiday and travel preparations. We had a wonderful holiday week in Iowa with our family and friends and traveled back a week ago. A lovely respiratory virus came back with us though it took a few days to appear for me. I am home sick today and figured I might as well make use of my time resting on the couch.
Despite not sharing any of my gardening/green/sustainability thoughts or intents for awhile, I continue to spend most of my free time reading, dreaming, or thinking about all of the above. I got a bunch of new books over Christmas - several were gifts, some I picked up on my own at my favorite Iowa bookstore.
I am looking for some inspiration, particularly with container gardening ideas. This is that time of the year when the seed catalogs begin to arrive, and it is hard to not want to go overboard. I think this year I am going to grow some seedlings with my grow lights like I did a couple years ago, but didn’t last year as we were trying to sell our house and it seemed like it would be too messy and distracting. We have plenty of room to set up the tables and lights in the garage. I still have my seeds from last year I didn’t get the chance to use but I will probably compulsively buy more.
I came across an awesome article on Pinterest about straw bale gardens. I think this will work wonderfully in our backyard – we have full sun, but terrible soil (an inch of topsoil on top of rock is not the ideal environment for a garden) and raised beds is not an option as we are renting. Plus, if we happen to move this summer (I am actively hunting for the perfect buy – small, not too far from the city, with some space/land, in a cheaper bracket than we bought previously), we can transport them if need be.
I planted some winter greens back in . . . November, I think? I seriously am not sure when I plopped them in the soil, but the arugula is doing wonderfully. It is growing more slowly than it would in the spring or summer, but it is amazing to me that they are growing at all in January.
The parsley and sage are also doing well this winter.
As for New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve decided to focus on being less wasteful, thriftier, and saving more money. As I mentioned before, it is really difficult to recycle here in Alabama and much easier to throw everything away. We’ve been doing pretty well with piling up our recycling in the garage and hauling it away once a month or so. I’m really trying to crack down on food waste in particular. I cook almost everything I eat from scratch but am guilty of allowing leftovers to languish in the fridge. I guess the goal is to make every meal so delicious that we don’t want to waste a bite, but that doesn’t always happen. In any case, I am working on bringing all leftovers for lunches or freezing leftovers if sick of them. Which reminds me, I have minestrone soup in the fridge I made last week that needs to be rescued and frozen ASAP.
As for being thriftier, I am learning a lot from the book above, “Be Thrifty.” It is pretty amazing how being thrifty and sustainable often go hand in hand. Homemade dish soap and laundry detergent, anyone?