Thursday, May 22

Yard sale ergo green thumb

In my quest to simplify our lives, we held a yard sale last weekend.

It was the first time we'd ever had a yard sale and it went fairly well. Before, we had always just donated items to Goodwill or whomever. This time, it was actually easier to hold the sale because we didn't have a way to easily transport all the boxes to a donation center. If we took it all on the bus, it would be many trips and a bit much for me to carry at this point in my pregnancy. Also, with my unpaid maternity leave coming up, we could use a little extra cash.

Note to other newbie yard sellers: it takes much longer to set up than you'd think!

I didn't price anything, and mostly negotiated fair prices with the people who shopped. There were a few who argued to the point where I was annoyed with them, but most people were nice and thought my prices were reasonable.

One of the annoying customers kept trying to convince me I had said something I didn't.

"How much for the CDs?" he asked, flexing his muscles in a ripped-sleeved purple tee and thumbing through my collection of old-school alternative music like the Meat Puppets and Belly.

"Two bucks each," I replied in my shaded lawnchair, borrowed from our landlord.

"Will you make a deal if I get a lot?"

"Sure," I said, smiling and covering my eyes from the sun.

A little later ... "OK, I have 40 CDs at a buck a piece. What kind of deal will you give me? $20 for all?"

"Um, no. $60 for all?" I replied, fidgeting a little and rubbing my very round belly.

And so it went. He ended up getting quite a good deal ... 40 CDs, 5 DVDs and a CD box set all for $50. But he was a jerk.

We ended up making $161.26, which is a great help. More than anything, though, I was thrilled to get rid of some clutter, knowing someone else will use it instead. I think we'll post some of the remaining items on Freecycle and donate the rest to our local center.

Since then, I've been considering what to use the money for. We do need to save most of it -- at least half -- but I thought since it's kind of "extra" money, maybe we could use some towards fun money. We almost never have any entertainment or fun money.

We decided Monday to buy two plants and begin our goal of growing some of our own food. Visiting this great natural foods store nearby, Pemberton Farms, we bought organically raised alpine strawberry and basil plants for $12 with our yard sale money. I was so excited! We had a pediatrician "meet-and-greet" immediately afterwards, and it was pretty amusing to have two plants sitting under our waiting room chairs the whole time. On the way home, a lady exiting the bus called back, "Good luck with the berries and that baby!"

Hubby planted both of them the next day in planters left behind from the previous tenants. We put them out on the fire escape. I'll post pictures soon.

The whole planting thing is so new to us: we're scratching our heads at what to do next. I already read online that we should have made the soil very moist for the basil prior to replanting it and different sources vary on the amount of sunshine the strawberry plant should receive (some say partial, some say full). I guess all of the little errors are part of the learning curve. Really, though, what do we do now? Should we put up netting to keep the birds and squirrels from eating the fruit? How often do we prune? What else do we need to know? I need to do some research, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate it!

I'm considering buying equipment for vermicomposting with some more of the yard sale money and saving the rest. I have to look into that, too. This site gave me a better picture but I want to look some more.

Fetus news: all systems go, just waiting and imagining what being a parent is really like.


Nadine said...

I've never grown vegetables before, so I have no helpful advice. I want to try growing a patio tomato this summer. Good job with the yard sale!

Momma Val said...

Yeah! Good job with the yard sale. This is the first year we will not have one. Hurray! I had luck with strawberries in FULL sun. Mine were the small wild variety. The basil my mom has in full sun on her apartment patio. I have never tried it but almost bought one the other day. Fresh basil snippings on salad . . . . heaven! Good luck! I am going to attempt tomatoes in pots again this year. Last year post birth didn't work out too well. I could not keep up with them.

SuzyQ said...

It is all trial and error - at least that is what I have out so far with the little bit of gardening I have done in the last year - so I am not expert - but I found all sorts of conflicting advice both online and from people I've asked - so just try! :) Goodluck - gardening even in its smallest forms is really rewarding.

Jessica said...

Strawberries and basil are pretty easy. Just make sure they're watered and they'll do fine. You might want to cover the strawberries with a net or something once they get fruit on them, I don't know what the bird situation is like in Boston.
How exciting that you're getting close. I'll have to read more of your blogs to determine how far along you are, exactly. Pregnant women make me so excited these days. It was fun being pregnant. I miss it a lot some times. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Christy said...

Basil and strawberries are both really easy. Put them both in full sun, make sure they don't dry out and that is about it. Pick the berries when they are ripe. Basil you can just cut a few leaves off whenever you need it. Basil is a great plant, just keep cutting it and using it. The only problem with basil is it will try to bloom later in the summer. It gets bitter if it blooms so just break any buds off.

My worm bin is just 2 rubbermaid containers. The top one has a bunch of holes in the bottom for liquid to drain out. I have the top one sitting in the bottom one so the liquid has somewhere to drain to. The lid also has holes in it to allow for air flow. It is a cheap way to set up your own worm bin.