Tennesseetransitions


Frugal Friday- April 11, 2014

I’ve stayed at home most of this week, either in the garden or finishing up some easy ‘indoor’ projects that were on my winter ‘to-do’ list. Un huh, I KNOW winter is over but such is life. I save the most time, energy and money when I stay home, because I don’t spend money here, so there’s not a lot of dollar savings this week, but one special one I want to share with you.

Monday: In my position as the Carver Peace Gardens coordinator, it falls to me to make sure the tools and equipment we offer the community gardeners are kept in working order. Enter: ‘Big Red’ the 20+ year old Troybilt tiller that’s still got plenty of life left in her if people would just treat her kindly. Anyway, seems a gardener pulled Big Red out of the toolshed and ‘she was broken’. As in, one of the handlebars made of 1″ steel tubing was sheared in two. We are a nonprofit of course, and our bank account reflects that. (There’s really no bank account, it’s all kept in an envelope in my desk drawer 😉 because the bank wanted a $3 a month service charge for balances under $1000.) Which is every month. But I digress..I figured a weld would fix it so I called the nearby high school and spoke with the weld-shop instructor there, who said if we’d bring Big Red to their on- campus shop, the students would fix her pronto. I did, the instructor was the only one on hand when I arrived, so he welded it expertly for free for me in about 5 minutes. I don’t know what this would’ve cost to have it welded at a local shop but the instructor’s good nature and encouragement to bring all my future welding projects to the school was: Priceless

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See that large black spot of welding on that handlebar, down near the engine? Fine job!

Tuesday: Last week Michael and I met friends at a local bakery for breakfast. Smoky Mountain Bakers in Roan Mountain has great breakfast sandwiches, along with fresh breads and pizzas that are baked in their wood fired oven. We paid $1 a piece for bagels to bring home and it inspired Michael to try his hand at making them. Though not as beautiful as the bakery’s -YET- the cinammon/raisin wonders were really delicious and we figured they only cost about 10 cents a piece to make. He made six on his first attempt, saving us $6.00 since there was also tax on those bakery bagels. Let me say this about those bakery bagels before I move on:  The hard working couple that own that Roan Mountain bakery (and all other entrepreneurs like them) deserve our business and support but that’s simply not possible since their bakery is a 35 minute drive from my home. To my knowledge, there are no locally owned bagel shops near me, and until there is, we’ll continue to make our own baked goods. The Farmer’s Market is opening next weekend, with several vendors selling fresh baked bread there that we’ll try to support during the summer months when we don’t like to heat up the kitchen with oven baking anyway. But, that’s next week. Just sayin’

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Wednesday: This time of year finds us watering trays of seedlings twice a day, using almost 1/2 gallon each time. We’ve started pouring the water collected in our dehumidifier into the watering can and using that de-gassed  water for this chore. Savings: 7 gallons a week x 4 weeks= 28 gallons, enough to wash my car and a sink full of fresh spinach! I’m noticing more documentaries, webinars, books and blogs devoted to our growing water crisis, and I heard a speaker at the local college last night say our next wars will be over water, not oil. If not already, we all might as well get accustomed to being as frugal with our water as with everything else in our lives. Do  your part, don’t waste a single drop!

Thursday: About that speaker: our local college brought him here from Berea College in KY as part of their month-long Earth Day celebration. His name is David Cooke, and he is the director of Grow Appalachia, a nonprofit that is planting seeds for a sustainable future here in the Southern Appalachians. His foundation is doing good work and he’s trying to expand their reach into my area of TN, which is why he was here. There was no charge for the presentation, there were great snacks, and I got a free Earth Day tee shirt, all while listening to an engaging speaker talk about some of the very things this blog ponders! Again, if you live in or near a college town, take advantage of all they offer beyond the paid classes! My new teeshirt —————————————–>sam with t shirt 4

Friday: OK, I’m stretching here, including this on Frugal Friday, but it’s definitely consistent with what this blog is all about, and that is eating locally, using resources wisely, and building community. New neighbors have been moving in this week and I decided to take them a spring time loaf of Lavender Tea Bread as a ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ gift. I’ll be dropping it off to them this afternoon when I walk by their house to go to the drugstore. As a special bonus, I’m going to give you the recipe for this bread because it is frugal and fabulous. It used my home-ground locally raised wheat, eggs from my friend Sandy’s eggs, lavender from my own plants and sugar, lots of sugar 😉

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Lavender Tea Bread

3//4 cup milk (I used soy)

2 TB dried lavender flowers, finely chopped or 3 T fresh flowers

2 C all purpose flour (I used half AP and half wheat)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 TB butter, softened

1 C Sugar

2 large eggs

 

 

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Well, Girlfriend, you have kept me where I need to be—at home! I have been doing great at that this week but I read the garage sale ads in the morning newspaper. Was deliberating about how I have absolutely everything I need but I want to go!
At this very moment, I have my truck loaded with ‘stuff’ to take to the thrift store! I will wait until Monday or Tuesday to take it so I don’t have to see all those ‘garage sale’ signs! Frugal Friday victory! Thanks!

Comment by Karen in East TN

Karen, that’s the best comment I think I’ve ever had. Knowing that this blog is helping us be mindful consumers, or at least thinking about what we’re doing, is music to my ears. Thank you!

Comment by simpleintn

You should never DRINK dehumidifier water, as it collects all the solvents in the household air from ballpoint pens, nail polish, paint, etc. Bad for your liver. Don’t know if it’s good for your seedlings or not – perhaps an experiment is in order?

Comment by gtkeep2013

Well I trust you since you are a scientist so I’ll do some research to find out if it’s safe or not to be putting on food plants. They are thriving, but hell, they can thrive with all kinds of chemicals sprayed on them! Thanks for the heads up. Although I’d never drink it anyway. (never say never)

Comment by simpleintn

Another good week for you and for the community garden, cos I bet a welding job would not have been cheap. And your bread sounds so good that I might have to try it when my lavender flowers come along. Thanks!

Comment by sarasinart

That bread is a mixture of sweet and savory flavors that I find stunning. But I like lemon/lime a lot and the lavender is sorta along those lines-just a hint though. I ground the dried flower heads in my spice grinder because it took too long to cut them up so fine, although it’s only a Tablespoon. Anyway, it tastes good and looks pretty too and has a lavender smell. Pretty cool!

Comment by simpleintn

Years ago I had a recipe for a lavender shortbread, and lost it somehow. Lavender is an unusual taste, but I liked that and I think I might have to try this. I bookmarked your post so I can find it when my lavender blooms. It sounds good!

Comment by sarasinart

Those bagel’s were the bomb diggity, and Doug really enjoyed his.

Comment by carvergardenfarie




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