Friday, May 11, 2012

Fan Mail Friday (2)

Fan Mail Friday again -- once again, this means mail that I am a fan of.

For this first link, I owe a huge thank-you to my student Steph.  She's graduating tomorrow, and none of you has any idea how incredibly proud I am of her.  She thinks of herself as my acolyte, but really I've learned so much from her.  We're a mutual admiration society.

As our family continues our two-trash-cans-per-month experiment, we've been put to shame not by an amazing family, but by a whole amazing town. Kamikatsu, Japan is a town with no trash. But like our family, this means multiple disposal bins -- in their case, 34 different kinds of recycling bins, It's really rather mind-boggling.

Our CSA deliveries started this week; green vegetables have started arriving. Yay! I've longed for this week for several months now. Does getting fresh vegetables this way save money? For me, it's yet another way to avoid stores -- that's a huge plus, and I think the psychological benefits of not-shopping are significant. You could say it's the "lead us not into temptation" form of grocery-getting. Too, there are indirect health benefits of eating organic, locally produced vegetables, or at least that's the prevailing wisdom.  But if we did a side-by-side comparison, perhaps my food would appear to be the financial splurge.

So imagine my surprise/delight this past week, when I got this very proud email from our local Farmer's Market, saying that all those rumors you hear about farmer's markets being more expensive? Not true! Or so they say. Here's an excerpt:
The Truth about Prices at Farmers Markets

You've probably heard that buying from farmers markets is more expensive than buying from a grocery store. We want to debunk some of these myths. More and more research is being done that compares prices at farmers markets with those in grocery stores. And the numbers may surprise you.

According to research done by the Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance and the results of another study reported by KOMO News, a Seattle-based news network, certain produce is definitely lower in cost when bought at a market. This was the case for collard greens, which only cost 75 cents a local farmers market compared to a range of $1.33 to $2.49 at other grocery stories. While this may not be the case for all produce, the article estimates an average of 62 cents of savings for a variety of produce compared with grocery store prices.

Well, I don't know that this report is exactly unbiased, or even that I myself can safely compare prices.  I've become such a fan of eating in-season veggies whenever possible that I just went through two-months of vegetable celibacy, waiting for the lettuce of May to arrive.  Not exactly an example other people would want to emulate.  In some ways, thought, that's what this report says:  if you buy locally produced, in-season vegetables, they're cheaper at a market than imported-from-Chile vegetables from the grocery store.  I suppose I can believe that.

And finally, here's a blog post that I've stored away and read over-and-over.  I don't home-school my kids, but I'm getting ready to "home camp" them this summer.  The boys are getting too old for regular summer camps, but they're too new to our home to be left to themselves all day.  I'm honestly more than a little nervous about how the summer is going to go.

So, of course, I am making lists.

And what am I making lists of?  Of things we can do together.  Of things they can do without me.  Of things cheap and interesting.  And a huge inspiration behind this particular collection of lists was a post on "Get Rich Slowly" called, Be a budget traveler, in your own town.    There will be updates on this adventure in the future, no doubt.

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