(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on February 22, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to questions or comments.)
For example, when I stop to admire a flower, I can't help it if some of the seeds fall out into my hand. They would have just fallen onto the sidewalk or been eaten by a bird. Once, while in a restaurant, I noticed a lovely bouquet of some wild columbines that I had never seen before. While admiring the bouquet, some seeds fell out of a ripe seedhead. Now, I enjoy that plant growing in my garden, while my family can't believe I kept the seeds. What should I have done, left them as a tip? Now, when I stop to admire flowers growing in a public place, my family starts to walk away real fast and act as though they don't know me.
Now, what is so embarrassing about manure? I consider it to be a valuable addition to my compost pile and I'm not about to buy bags of it when I can go and scoop it up for free. Anyone would appreciate your help in cleaning out the corral, right? They just think I'm crazy because there are much better things to do than going around scooping up poop.
And who wouldn't ask for those leaves that your neighbor is bagging up? I'm concerned about the landfills just like everyone else. The fact that they help to make that black gold has very little to do with it. I am also helping out by bringing large boxes home from work to lay under my lasagna beds. Is it strange that I put dibs on any container at a party that would work for winter sowing? Or that my tupperware now has a "better" use?
Leaves and cardboard by the compost bin Winter sowing containers I "scored"
One of my favorite coffee shops packs their used grounds into large trash bags that are just too heavy for me to carry. Apparently it's embarrassing to my daughter when I have the young man carry it out to her truck for me, so now I have to go to the coffee shop when I go to town alone. She sure doesn't complain in July when she's biting into a big juicy tomato!
I used to go to the post office twice a week. But now that I participate in round robins and seed trades on Dave's Garden, I'm there every day! The postmaster is a long-time friend and she just smiles when I send off my SASE like a child sending a letter to Santa. I think joining Dave's Garden is probably the most frugal thing I have done. Where else can you end up with hundreds of seeds for nothing but the cost of postage? Gardeners love to share their extra plants with "newbies" and you can save by getting in on co-ops with other members. It's a place where I feel right at home in spite of my "embarrassing" habits! Yep, I'm convinced that Dave's Garden is the best resource for the frugal gardener.