21 - 2010

Garden wrap-up: DIY potatoes (grow + cook), firestarters, pop-tarts and more

Let’s continue wrap-up this week! I don’t know about you, but everything is so gray and cold around here that I did a double take when I saw this tulip photo in my online album. Really? Those grow in MY garden? They will be back in just a few months? Whoo hoo!!

So this selection of links is garden-themed. If you’re like our household (especially Mr. Cheap and Mlle. Cheap), the winter  weather has you poring over garden catalogs. Mlle. Cheap has requested a garden of her own this year (after all, she’ll be 9 years old!) and has lofty plans. Cardoons, anyone?

In the past week, I came across oodles of do-it-yourself tips and tricks online. Here are the top contenders — let us know if you have tried these, if you do try them, and if you have alternate versions or ideas.

  • Wisdom of the Moon: Homemade Firestarters. If you have a dried-up Christmas tree, evergreen wreath or garland lying around outside, turn it into firestarters with this tutorial.
  • Make your own poptarts with this recipe from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. Her how-to uses pie crust, so it looks like a great opportunity for me to use some of our rendered lard, make it gluten-free if I so desire, and use some stored apples for a yummy apple filling. Three cheers!
  • TipNut published some information about How to Grow $700 worth of food in 100 square feet. Think about it — a 20 foot by 5 foot patch. That’s just a strip across most yards …
  • TipNut also has an earlier post on how to grow 100 lbs of potatoes in 4 square feet. Or try Kate’s version, from Living the Frugal Life — her bucket method netted 74 pounds of spuds.
  • And once you’ve grown all those potatoes, turn again to Living the Frugal Life — because, after all, she has 74 lbs to eat. She wrote on Simple, Frugal, Green Co-Op about cooking potatoes faster with a skewer in ’em. She also said she bakes potatoes whenever she has something in the oven. Commenters said they do the same with beets (co-cooking or oven-sharing) and that their families stick a new, clean nail in potatoes so they cook faster.

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