18 October 2010

Square Foot Gardening

One of the new resolutions we had coming back to NZ was to grow our own vegetables -- hopefully all year round.  As much as I like fresh veges, I really hate digging and weeding.  Anyway, we were going to give it go.  Armed with a stack of books from the library, I started my customary "reading up" of a new hobby.  This is where I came across the book "Square Foot Gardening".  It was exactly what we were looking for -- all year
round crops, no weeding & digging.  What a revolution!  So we thought we would give it a go.  We drew up the plans, worked out the costs and then dived in head first.  We couldnt find any old wood lying around, so bought it rather cheaply at Mitre 10 for about $50 in total.  We did a rather pathetic search for free or cheap compost, but through inpatience decided also to just buy it from Mitre 10.  The special mix of soil that SFG recommends consists of 1/3 each of vermiculture, (we couldnt find this, so bought pumice -- the expensive part!) peat & compost.  I think in total we paid $240 for all the soil mix -- rather expensive, but when you do the math of the cost of vegetables each week at the supermarket and that these boxes should last us a lot of years, then we figure we will all be square in about 2-3 months.  We then chose our seeds and seedlings, spent about a day or so putting it altogether & heres the final result...

We are so looking forward to fresh potatoes, peas & sweet corn at Christmas, plus plenty more.  I'm sure there is lots to learn along the way, but we think this is going to be a managable and sustainable project, not to say yummy & healthy! :-)

14 October 2010

Open Letter to Amazon

To whom it may concern, 
Change is inevitable, and unless you want to remain stale, you need to change to keep up with the times.
I would consider myself a person who does attempt to try new things and move and grow with the times.
Lately I have started using Amazon Kindle on my Iphone and really enjoying the ease of purchasing any book from anywhere in the world, and being able to read anytime and anywhere. It is an amazing piece of technology and has allowed me to enjoy reading so many more books in the last few months.

My only gripe is this; books are meant to be shared. Almost all the books I have read lately on Kindle, I have wanted to lend to all my friends and family. I find myself telling them about the good books I gave been reading, but not being able to lend any to them.

I don't have a problem paying for books at all, but I don't really like paying for things twice. My suggestion that I believe would help to solve this dilemma would be for Amazon to meet us halfway -- if I purchase a book on Kindle, then I can purchase it in print form for half price, or vice versa.

I would love to keep using my Kindle, but as it stands, I feel torn in two between it's huge benefits but also the inability to share what I have enjoyed. I love reading and firmly believe that readers are leaders, Amazon your consideration on this matter would be much appreciated.

Yours sincerely
Ruth Ellen Pirini