(I’m pretty lucky to have that real, live garden fairy!)
You can’t argue the fact that homesteading is an expensive endeavor. We are homesteaders on a budgets, so we are very careful as to where we put our dollars.
Sometimes, it’s money invested with a quick foreseeable return, mainly in the form of food, which translates to a lower grocery bill. This reason, paired with my impatience, is what made us decide to buy laying hens instead of young chicks when we first started out.
Other times, it’s putting off particular non-pressing projects while we wait for a good deal to come our way.
Recently, we were able to expand and mulch our strawberry patch for nothing more than an investment of our time and energy. There are a few perennials that lend themselves to becoming an overgrown nuisance and the gardener is more than happy to pass their surplus off to someone else. Last fall, we were given a couple large flats of strawberry shoots from an acquaintances whose garden was being overrun. We were happy to start a small patch with these beautiful berry plants!
The other day, Andrew came home with three more flats, filled with strawberry plants from his dad’s garden. We got them in the ground as soon as we could and ended up nearly doubling the size of our strawberry patch!
We then heavily mulched the entire patch, with mulch from our Mulch Mountain. Occasionally, the county trucks come through to trim trees back from the roads. Andrew has flagged them down a couple of times, offering a spot for them to dump their full trucks. For the workers, this saves them from running all the way back to the county dumping spot. For us, it’s free mulch!
Chatting with like-minded homesteaders, befriending those in the community, and just “putting your feelers out” can lead to all kinds of cost cutting benefits as you start your homestead. And always remember to share the fruits of your own labors with others!