Not buying new in 2015

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Flo
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Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283478 Flo
Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:41 am

The original idea came from the Compact Group in America who listed the following:

Where you can shop:
1.Second-hand stores (Charity Shops of any sort)
2. Craigslist
3. Freecycle.org
4. Local food markets are preferred (for instance farmers' market, local bakery)
5. Garage sales
6. Estate or house clearing auctions
7. Other ways to get what you need: Borrow from a neighbour, share what you have, make it yourself or even barter with someone.

Exceptions:
You are allowed to use services such as movies, theatres, museums, massages, haircuts, and music downloads.
1. Underwear.
2. Socks.
3. Food.
4. Pillows.
5. Household cleaning supplies.
6. Health and safety items.
7. Automotive essentials (like oil).
8. Home repairs.
9. Necessary medical supplies.

I think a lot of people make necessary tweaks to suit their lifestyle. For me, massages aren't even on my list of normal purchases and shoes are essentially new as my feet don't fit the high street sizes. I'd include seeds for the allotment as not necessary to be bought new if they appear in second hand shops, local charity events, plant swaps or I'd been seed saving. None of which apply.

But this year I have a drawer full of seeds to use up and enough to fill the allotment.

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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283482 Green Aura
Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:24 am

Hmm, I'd forgotten about the original list and I'm quite pleased to say some of the things are just normal now. We've got a fabulous charity shop (they've got several branches round the Highlands, as well as further afield) and we got into the habit of looking there first, if we need something.

The big problem for us up here is the local food market. There isn't one - although we do have a bakery! :lol:

The other big thing this year will be building materials. Obtaining second hand materials is nigh on impossible, unless you know someone who's doing some work, and then we're well down any pecking order of people who would be eligible for for it. Most of the old battens etc just get burned. :roll:
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Flo
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283503 Flo
Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:39 am

Because I grow a certain amount of produce in containers to make use of the concrete area on the allotment I buy compost each year. This supplements that home made compost heap which is never quite big enough at the end of the year when doing the autumn digging over. This use wouldn't be necessary if the council hadn't become so efficient at street sweeping up of the leaves from local trees!

So I have bought the early season supply of compost to be delivered next Friday.

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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283504 ina
Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:52 pm

Flo - I take it your council doesn't produce free compost like ours does? A lot of people here didn't know about this until I pointed it out to them... They must be doing something with all their garden waste.

Just been shopping and spent a lot of money... Well, most of it was top-up for my electricity meter. I also did the round of charity shops as I could really do with another jumper for work. Nothing, but absolutely nothing. Only stuff that looks well worn and isn't all that cheap with it. :( (The weird thing is that we actually sell clothes in the shop where I work - but it's all acrylic/polyester etc, which I can't bring myself to wear! But 99% of our customers don't even think to look at the label for material.)
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283505 Flo
Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:38 pm

Ina our council collects garden waste and turns it into soil improver which is excellent stuff for improving the soil but of no value for putting in tubs for the growing of vegetables. There is a difference though a lot of people don't realise it. What the council does is produce what most of us do with a compost heap only in larger sizes on a bigger scale.

And because the garden waste goes to a private company (local farmers who have put land aside for this work and daddy owns the local race course), what they don't use on the farm is sold back to us the public. Mind I was glad of a load delivered when I took the allotment on as the soil was in need of improving!!! And it was supporting local business.

So your charity sector has gone the same way as ours locally. It's because there are so many other options, eBay being one for good stuff. Marvellous innit when second hand becomes an industry and more people actually wear out their clothes.

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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283506 Zech
Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:34 pm

Flo wrote:Ina our council collects garden waste and turns it into soil improver which is excellent stuff for improving the soil but of no value for putting in tubs for the growing of vegetables. There is a difference though a lot of people don't realise it.

That'll be me, not knowing the difference. Is the stuff I get from my compost heap not good for growing veggies, then? Please, what's the difference?
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283508 ina
Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:15 am

Zech wrote:
Flo wrote:Ina our council collects garden waste and turns it into soil improver which is excellent stuff for improving the soil but of no value for putting in tubs for the growing of vegetables. There is a difference though a lot of people don't realise it.

That'll be me, not knowing the difference. Is the stuff I get from my compost heap not good for growing veggies, then? Please, what's the difference?


I know, they call it soil improver here, too - but it's been ok for growing veg... At least for some. As I now know, the pH is quite high, so it probably will not work so well for all types. But it's cheaper than buying a whole load... I'm quite sure I used that stuff straight for my runner beans and the tomato and strawberries.
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283509 Skippy
Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:52 am

I'm not sure what our council calls it but I believe that whatever it is it's sold rather than free. We have recently been asked not to place kitchen waste in with the garden waste to allow for more efficient outdoor composting. We also have a composting site close to us which I visited recently with my brother in law. It costs something like £25 to dump a load of waste ( which is one reason I prefer not to go directly to the place) which appears to be a flat charge irrespective of the size of the load. Waste is laid out in long steaming lines rotting down before going through various riddling and sorting machines. I did notice that the majority of waste was evergreens , firs , privets and the like which probably explains the high pH .

ina
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283510 ina
Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:05 am

Skippy wrote: I did notice that the majority of waste was evergreens , firs , privets and the like which probably explains the high pH .


Aren't evergreens generally acidic, and should be lowering pH? :scratch:
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283511 Odsox
Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:38 am

Zech wrote:That'll be me, not knowing the difference. Is the stuff I get from my compost heap not good for growing veggies, then? Please, what's the difference?

The problem arises because of the ambiguous term "compost", which can mean either the stuff you make in a compost heap, or the stuff you buy in a bag from a garden centre.
Compost you make yourself will have widely varying amounts of nutrients in it, depending on what you make the "compost" with. If it's made with fallen leaves (strictly speaking "leaf mould") then it will have vitually no nutrients at all, but will make wonderful light and airy seed "compost"
"Compost" sold in garden centres until very recently has never had any "compost" in it at all. It used to be sold as "seed compost", or "potting compost", but now is usually "universal compost", and was made from either loam soil or peat with an added John Innes formula balanced nutrient mixture.

I know nothing about council compost, our councils AKAIK landfill it all, but thinking objectively about it, the stuff that they make is going to be what is available at any given time, which at the moment is probably mainly shredded Christmas trees and in the summer, hedge trimmings and grass. Plus it sounds like they don't add any extra nutrients, hence the term "soil improver"

So, to cut a long story just a tad shorter, if you grow in containers then knowing the nutrient content of the potting medium is a good idea, either adding your own mix to soil improver or relying on bought potting mixtures (which only guarantee nutrients for a limited time) and then use liquid feed later.
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283513 ina
Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:03 pm

I think you always have to watch how your plants do, whatever material you use... However, not having the money to buy whatever compost (except a few bags of the cheapest stuff), I have been using the council "compost" with varying results. Over the years, it will all come out in the wash, as they say! :mrgreen:
Ina

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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283514 diggernotdreamer
Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:35 pm

My own particular way of growing in tubs and containers is to make up my own mixture. Mostly it would be a mixture of home made compost made from the shavings and dropping from the chickens, garden soil which is usually from loam stacked or I can use silt that has run down into a small drainage ditch outside my vegetable garden, some material from the worm bin that is made exclusively from teabags, chopped seaweed if I have some and some grit to improve drainage. This is what I use to grow nearly everything in all the pots and containers, so all the flowers, salad boxes, etc. Anything that has to live in a container for it's life gets a liquid feed once a week of a mixture of worm juice (the stuff that comes out the bottom of the worm bin) and nettle and comfrey liquid. I have no idea what the ph is but as I am mixing it up, I think that looks lovely, if I was a plant I'd like that, give it a squeeze to check the texture and just use my sense of smell to see if it has the earthy tones I am looking for, rather than something sour. So that is my wibbly way of doing it, by using my instincts.

Has this thread gone off topic a bit????? should we move compost to a new thread???? what do you think Flo

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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283516 Flo
Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:54 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote:Has this thread gone off topic a bit????? should we move compost to a new thread???? what do you think Flo


Difficult as this compost thing shows just how hard it is to not buy anything new in the year. Unless our growing is like yours, totally a closed circle on your own growing area, we are all going to be buying something new for the soil in the season. If we make our own compost but don't have our own nettle and comfry liquid, worms working then we are going to be buying fertiliser of some sort over the season and that is buying new.

Unless we are seed saving or plant swapping we will be buying new seeds for growing.

I have a very severe hangover of seeds bought last year or gained via freecycle but I'm tempted to buy some yin yang beans and don't have any parsnips. I did top up with chicory and endive yesterday which I ordered last year via the allotment association. Is that buying new? Suppose so.

I do have some spent compost that I can use for starting off seedlings such as peas and beans so that's one less new item to buy. See it's not easy this not buying new.

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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283524 ina
Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:46 pm

Flo wrote:I do have some spent compost that I can use for starting off seedlings such as peas and beans so that's one less new item to buy. See it's not easy this not buying new.


And this has just given me an idea what to do for my seedlings this year... I'll dig some old stuff out of the oldest raised bed. Very useful, a thread like this! (But I was thinking, too, that it was going a bit too compostey... :lol: )
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Re: Not buying new in 2015

Post: #283525 Skippy
Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:03 pm

ina wrote:
Skippy wrote: I did notice that the majority of waste was evergreens , firs , privets and the like which probably explains the high pH .


Aren't evergreens generally acidic, and should be lowering pH? :scratch:


:oops: yes you're right , should have remembered better considering the grade A chemistry O level I got. Perhaps lime is added to the compost /soil improver in a rough and ready type of way?
Actually , without hopefully going off topic , I will have a source of free compost anyway. I keep the garden for a guy with quite a large plot and when cutting back a lot of vegetation and finding the bins full he suggested just sticking it in the small wooded area so I've started a couple of heaps. Sort of guerrilla composting :iconbiggrin:


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