Thursday, September 02, 2010

Super Duper Summer Update: Getting back on the wagon

It's almost the end of summer and thought I'd do a final summer-ish post, to update on my various projects and activities before the real onslaught of seminar work/teaching takes over my life for a few months.
In a previous post I mentioned that I was buying food from my friend Bren's food-buying club she formed recently.  She had a blog for awhile about Gainesville food and household deals around town, and that had a decent following; the woman knows her frugal living.  This new venture is through a distributor where she buys organic produce and food stuffs and sells them for next-to-cost to a small group of families (there's a small gas charge tacked on for hauling the food over from the distributorship). 

I never really jumped on the organic produce bandwagon; even though larger, more mainstream grocery venues like Publix have made organics more accessible, it's still way too expensive for me.  Bren's food-buying club actually made me take a second look, however.  The food was reasonably priced -- higher than buying non-organic, but still cheaper than buying organic from the store.  And it got me to try buying organic, grass-fed beef and organic cold cuts.  I've had to back away from buying through the food club, unfortunately; my decision not to teach over the summer put us in financial straits by the end, and we're just now recovering.  Ultimately, however, I think it is a good deal and it has been very instructive to compare freshness and taste of organic vs. non-organic items. 

Planted a garden this summer and I'm sorely disappointed that I didn't get any pictures of the garden; planted tomatoes, eggplant, and  basil.  It's about tapped and I should follow my other front-yard gardening neighbors and pull up the garden and let it winter over.  We added another raised bed but ended up not doing anything with it.

One result of adding the other bed was that we had to pull up the compost bin; I had slacked off on the composting before pulling it up, but now I'm really not composting and I've got to figure out another place for the bin.  Perhaps it'll go in the backyard this time, not sure. 

I decided to give baking soda and cider vinegar for my hair another try.  I've been doing it diligently for a few weeks now; the first couple of weeks my hair freaked out like the last time but it seems to calmed down, now.  My association with shampoo had gone back to that dark place where I was using shampoo and conditioner; you know conditioner can't be good for the water supply, much less shampoo. 

Anyway, the last thing I wanted to update on (and of course I'm sticking this at the end of the post!) is that I'm stepping back from the Need-a-Bag? project as my final year in the masters program promises to be even crazier than the first.  I miss the farmer's market but I also like having the extra time in the mornings to cook breakfast and spend time with the fams before I have to sit down to study.  Erika of the sweet-and-tasty citrus is picking up the slack, though, and hopefully will be able to help implement some of the ideas we came up with at the last banquet.
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