February 2012

Ever felt like all the positive energy is being sucked out of you by other people’s apathy?
huh, i’ve been feeling like that recently, but an hour on the allotment this morning did what a hot bath couldn’t last night, and made me feel positive once more. It’s usually very hard to feel down living with the most positive person i’ve ever met (and with Rubio who is hilarious at the moment!). The allotment is ‘resting’ under a lovely warm green blanket of weeds but we tidied the bean poles away, dug up the few remaining rotten potatoes and noticed the earth underneath was looking much better than previous years thanks to our muck spreading at the end of last year. This year we are only planting a few rows of potatoes in our garden as, for the last three years, the potatoes we’ve grown have been floury and fallen apart when boiled… we’ve tried every variety imaginable with no success, any suggestions?
So this year, much to the disgust of some hard-core allotment types, we are going to mainly grow flowers! Huge swathes of calendula to be made into tincture for Ed’s mum, buckets of sweet peas and cosmos for the house, hurrah! And of course the old, easy favourite veg like beans, beetroot, chard and courgettes.
I half heartedly pruned the raspberries, not really remembering whether they are summer of autumn variety, and what the protocol is… my excuse being Rubio in the sling on my back distracting me playing peep-o with his daddy!

Rubio and Ed on the train to Birmingham… Rubio likes the train, especially sitting on the table and then diving off!

Rubio’s blanket is nearing completion, i reckon another year should do it! Only a couple more squares to go. What other crafty things have i been up to, oh yes, very frugally making use of every inch of an old towel. It was one of those lovely big bath towels, overused to the point of greyness, with a huge tear it was so threadbare. I dyed it bright turquoise, cut off the torn botton edge with my new pinking shears (no time for sewing hems these days!) and decided it was perfectly useable still. And i even used the cut off section to make two tie-one dribble bibs and one cloth wipe! full marks!

So, so far this year we have bought new… um… a toilet brush and a mop for the floor.

Ed was given a fabulous pair of new shoes (shoes are on our ‘ok to buy new’ list as long as they are fairly ethical) that are made by ‘Simple’, they have soles made from recycled tyres, organic hemp and cotton and leather uppers. And Rubio likes them alot!

I guess these shoes could be more eco and more ethical, they are made in California and a probably heavy on processing. The most ethical shoes (other than second hand) according to ethicalconsumer.org would appear to be ‘recycle your jeans sandals’ followed by good old Birkenstocks!

And i liked them so much i got myself a pair as my other pair of trainer type shoes had holes in the soles! Here is Rubio admiring them with me whilst enjoying the cardboard box they came in. He is sitting in the middle of his new cot bumper, a second hand ebay purchase of course.

And finally…http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/scoredetails.aspx?ProductId=253119

I bank with Barclays, for those who subscribe and can read it the above report is pretty damning. For those who don’t, Barclays scores the lowest (low score = bad) in terms of environmental impact, ethics, human rights etc etc. I’m shocked by it and also amazed that if i hadn’t just looked up ethical shoes, then registered on the ethicalconsumer website to read more, i wouldn’t  have seen the link about Barclays… now to change banks!


About itiseasytobegreen

non-new-stuff buying, recession proof, low earning, artist mum of one plus artist/naturopath husband. Who says green living is expensive?
This entry was posted in allotment and garden, craft and textiles, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to February 2012

  1. Edward has just informed me that the old towel is actually 22 years old and was once mauve…

  2. @oddhack says:

    smile.co.uk are pretty ethical and they make it quite easy to swap accounts.

  3. thanks! the bank that came highest is Coventry BS, Smile don’t score too highly (about 7 out of 20 if i remember right, barclays get 0.5 and Coventry get 13.5).

  4. Hi Em, Rubio is looking lush.
    What lucky gals we are to have such gorgeous boys (and the hubbies aint half bad either!)

    re. potatoes our favourites are Robinta – a red skinned variety. They make the most amazing jacket potatoes or crispy roasties and fall apart beautifully for mash. For simple boiled spuds (that don’t fall apart) we grow Nicola (yes originally because of the name!). I’d like to try Charlotte new potatoes this year as we enjoy eating them so much but unless they’re on offer a bit pricey in the supermarket. Robinta are very undemanding to grow as they cope with both drought and flood (they’re a Scottish variety to don’t need any fuss or pandering).

    Perhaps next time I’m in Stroud seeing Jen we could all hook up?

    • hi nic, thanks for that advice, we’ll try a few varities in the garden this year rather than the allotment, in slightly better soil. who knows what might happen, we might finally grow a perfick boiling potato!! would love to see you and meet euan, what a scrummy baby! x

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