Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easy, Cheap and Fun Date

Lunch $6.98, marbles 4/$1.00, spending the day with your little one - priceless. Need a cheap memory-making event? Try visiting your local small town and be a tourist for the day! Here's an example itenerary taken from my recent visit to Fayetteville, TN- of course with my little man "in tow".

Destination: Lafayette- TN
Population: 7007
  • Sirs Fabrics - Fabric warehouse known for upholstery and decorator fabric. In operation since the 50's this store has 3 buildings full of fabric!

  • The Lincoln Theatre: Opened in 1951 this theatre is still in operation!! It was remodeled in 1982 but still possesses all of the charm and nostalgia of the original theater. It has two screens- one upstairs in the balcony and one on the main floor. We are going to visit the theater again in May when they will be showing Pixar's new flick UP.

  • Shopping: There are also many cafes, antique stores and shops to browse. The town square has a great map posted at each corner to aide visitors.

I've decided to make this a monthly tradition with my son. We'll head out (map in hand)and find a quaint little town to visit. Depending on our budget, we might pack a lunch and picnic at a local park or visit one of the local treats. Since eye-buying is free, we've got a day that costs next to nothing but can be entertaining even for a thirty-something and a two year old at the same time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow? 5 Easy Steps to Preparing Your Garden Space

Before planting a garden it's necessary to take a few steps to ensure a successful harvest. Here is what I do each year before putting a single seed in the ground.

1) If you are breaking fresh ground opt to pay a professional to till the area. Typically it costs around $50 depending on the size of your garden and your location. We've been lucky over the years to know someone with a tractor and a tiller attachment. If this isn't the case for you...trust me, it's well worth the money. Professional tillers make your ground feel like heaven within a matter of minutes. Check your local newpaper classifieds or contact your local farmer's co-op for a list of providers.

2)If this is not your garden's first season- till the area: It's best to till your garden POST harvest in the Fall. This gives you a great canvas to work with come the following Spring. Till the area again when ready to plant. The more frequent you till the garden the better!

3)Test your soil: This is a very important step. Chemistry was NOT my strong suit in school, but there are super easy soil-test kits available at your local hardware store. These usually run around $5 and come with a set of simple instructions.

4) Amend your soil: Here's a great link for interpreting the results of your soil test: SOIL TEST RESULTS Make adjustments to Ph, N, P or K. The results will determine what if any additions need to be made to your soil. At a minimum I always add organic compost and one dose of fertilizer.

5) Till again: This mixes all of your additions thoroughly. I've got an average size tiller that I use for preparation and weeding throughout the season. It's a back-saver!

Now you're ready to plant!