Monday, December 15, 2008
Christmas on the homestead
So, Christmas is just around the corner. This year, my H and I decided to scale back in a big way. We have decided to buy one gift for both of us (something we've both been wanting for awhile) and then put a strict spending limit on individual gifts for each other. We also got small gifts for each of our family members and will be including some home-made items with each package. We can't include everything that we'd like since all our family members live far away and we can't exactly mail goats milk butter or apple cider...but we are making due.
I'd really, really wanted to hand make all the gifts this year, but as usual, time ran out on me. I'm not going to share what my plans were though, since I know who is reading ths blog and some of those ideas will just be used for next year! We partly wanted to reduce our spending this year for financial reasons, partly for my continued desire to reject consumerism and partly from our efforts to be more earth friendly. Reusing things or giving edible items is a simple way of being more sustainable and reducing the impact on landfills.
Personally, I also think homemade things mean more, especially when they are from the heart.
For our main gift, my H and I hemmed and hawed a little about what to get. There are so many things that we still need, but in most cases, one of us wants (or will use) the item more than the other person. We wanted to come up with something that would benefit both of us equally. So, we finally decided on a greenhouse! We have ordered a greenhouse kit from an online dealer and we were hoping that it would ship to arrive before Christmas. Of course, with the weather the way it's been...it's probably better that it's not here yet. With all the snow, artic temps, freezing rain and general winter mess, we wouldn't really be able to get it put up for awhile anyway. We ordered a 6x8 greenhouse that is modular in that we can buy expansions as we decide we need them. We figure that 6x8 is enough to get us started. We've also been paying close attention to the sunlight patterns on our property this winter (when the sun is out occasionally!) so that we can pick the best location. We've decided on a spot that gets the most winter sun, but that is also partway shaded in the summer time. The only downfall to this spot is its distance from the house and from our water supply. BUT, we do have a shallow well with a pump for our irrigation system (in the summer) and one of the spigots to it is right next to where the greenhouse will go...so we are hoping we can rig something with that come the dry season. Until then, I hope to get a gutter and a barrel installed on it for rainwater collection.
This is a pic of the greenhouse from the site where we ordered it. I can't wait for it to get here!