3 Tips to Help Kids Save Money, Make Money and Sell Homemade Garden Soil

PinExt 3 Tips to Help Kids Save Money, Make Money and Sell Homemade Garden Soil

Want to save money on soil and have a beautiful garden? If you are not an outside gardener I have something for you here too. 

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Beautiful Roses

No one is "left behind" here.  Need a kid? Adopt a neighborhood one. 

Are you looking for a fun, educational "family" project that the kids can do with you? Imagine them making their own money teaching them how to save and tithe at a young age. What a priceless gift you are giving them. 

As a family how about making rich homemade "gold" soil with them as they learn team work, money management, marketing and business skills.  It will be fun seeing them get more educated about life in the garden without them realizing it is "like" school but more fun.  Why not bring this into a homeschool project or a special daily gathering around the "dirt" with the family? Be creative adding your own ideas.  Be original. 

Get the toddler involved….

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Train up a child…21 months old — grandson loves cell

There is room for toddlers to help to have fun with the young.  How about taking them into the garden teaching them their numbers or alphabet repeating it often? Or have them chase you or throw a ball for them to catch and roll back to you in the fresh air giving them some exercise and bonding time.   

4 ways to bring exercise and "soil" into a fun daily "soil" workout….

1. Got more than one kid? Have them race each other to the garden a few times.  Maybe the reward for the winner would be they help make a smoothie or pick out their favorite ice cream for "after" dinner.  I prefer dairy free ice cream.

2. Or have them jump to 100 and see who reaches that number first.  Make it fun. 

3. How about a spelling bee learning to spell the states, recite a scripture they are studying, or just think of one that works for your kid.

4.  Got a hoop?  Have them shoots for 10 minutes and you keep a tally sheet for winning number of hoops shot. 

Each year I hear myself saying "this is the year for the productive garden" and yet sometimes I am fooled.  Recently I thought I would have these 2.5–4 pound tomatoes that never happened.  They grew but are smaller than 3 pounds.  Why? Here in Colorado we were hit hard with hail storms and heavy rains a few times. My plants were outside in the Earthboxes and each time that storm hit there knocked my boxes down and they were seen resting on their side.  The plants had two choices when brought back up: live or die.  Most lived.  Perhaps this can be sometimes how we see and make choices: fight for what we want or quit.

Imagine spending money on seeds and plants that never grew or died early during the season.  Makes my stomach turn.  Yours?  When I moved into newly built houses and tried to garden I found in my "garden" area contractors concrete and rubbish.  Never found any of their money left for me and my clean up job.  I suppose they were selective what went "down."

Sometimes you can have the right growing conditions with water, sun or shade and still poor results.  Could it be the soil?  We'll get to that question soon.

Some believe they don't have a "green thumb." Maybe they are right but I never gardened before moving to Colorado over 30 years ago.  I have enjoyed seeing little seeds or plants grow up and feed me. Not everything I plant grows, but still the "fun" is what makes it exciting.  We live on 1 1/2 acres which is not all turned into gardens yet.  To buy soil would be expensive.  I would rather play with the dirt and the worms making my own when possible. 

Presently sitting on flagstones are my Earthboxes. I have about 15 right  now.  My collection has been built over the years.  You can find them online or sometimes at a local nursery.  To me they are a pricey investment but they a long life so it is worth it over time.  Once you start using them it is very addicting to want more. They are so simple to manage and a time saver.

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Tomatoes in Earthboxes

It takes me about 30 seconds to daily fill each boxes water tube up.  There is no weeding involved at all. Talk about simple gardening. You don't even need garden space, but a deck will do.

However, with these boxes the manufacturer has specific requirements and I don't use soil other than what they suggest and it is store bought.  I do buy organic potting soil. If you can't find or afford organic get what works for your budget and make sure it is the best for your area. We are talking about saving money and use for other gardening needs such as buying plants, seeds or fertilizer. 

Some may think that is a lot of money to be spending on one box but for the $60 it is an initial investment that lasts for many years.  I replace the soil once every 5 years but still fertilizer need fresh fertilizer each season.  It saves me time and money when I look at the big picture. 

I am still a work in progress always learning so my writings usually will reflect where I am. I hope I will never get stuck and comfortable as it would take the fun out of gardening.  I would love having an edible flower bed soon.

Here are 3 money saving tips to help you and your kids make your own rich garden soil:

1. Dig a hole

This is my version of simple composting I have used and works.  I cut my kitchen scraps into small pieces and and put them into a hole, added some manure, which I got from the neighbors horses) or purchase a starter at a local nursery covering the scraps and keeping them wet and turning occasionally.  Eventually all the scraps will break down and now your garden soil is ready to spread out.  Sometimes I didn't even add manure or starter. However, keeping wet, turning and getting air to circulate is important. Today Try to use manure or starter to heat up "pile" faster.

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Happy vegetables and weeds living peacefully together

2.  Make the worms work

Locally we have Starbucks and other coffee houses to share their free coffee grounds before could reach the trash if not takers.  You are doing them a favor and they are doing you one.  It's a win-win.  I "throw" the grounds into the soil, mix and water it in.  Must keep the soil damp.  Shortly you will see happy worms wiggling and working their way in your soil coming to feast off the grounds.  It's like a party to them.  Food and drinks without getting drunk. They love this "activity" and I love seeing my soil broken up too.  We all win. The birds are happy flying around and eating their meal or treat of the day.

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My 2 different heirloom tomatoes and cucumber 

 3. Build or buy a worm box

Recently I was over at a friend's house who had a million and one red wiggly worms having a party in breaking down his kitchen scraps. I believe he even used some shredded papers in their "home." His online unit cost about $100.  I don't have name of the unit. It was small and can go under a counter.

Talking about a budget I am looking to create my own using recycled plastic tubs or wooden crates from the thrift store.  Then I can drilling holes on the sides and on the bottom of each, putting one smaller tub inside the other, purchase worms for this purpose as he did and be ready for my "pot of gold."   His soil is super black which I call "super gold soil" and smells sweet. Since my friend's is rich like gold and smells sweet as honey from the kitchen scraps I believe mine can too. 

If you can dream maybe you can grow it…

I feel like a gardening expert based on years and fun doing it.  Going out to the garden to water, pick and eat is exciting. Whether it be one variety of a tomato, cucumber or squash is beauty before my eyes. However, I am not quick to bite into a zucchini before I prepare a dish with it.  Here's an idea to whip up a fast salad: Cut up zucchini adding to it fresh garlic, olive oil, and pinch of salt with herbs. Tomatoes could add pretty color and flavor.  Can you see how it will look on your plate? Smelling that garlic now?  Go enjoy.  Recipe compliment of me so please give me credit.  

Kids can help make money too…

Here's a great way to get the kids involved in family time.  They can learn with and from you.  In order to sell they have to market themselves too.  Let them  enjoy playing in the dirt as they "grow and harvest" their "pot of gold."

Reflecting and taking Action…

I have assumed all along you have an outside garden, but that may not be the case and you are thinking it won't work for you.  You can make soil for your indoor plant  use without having a garden too. How about taking up the hobby of worm casting or even have a plastic tub stored under the counter or in laundry room for making just a compost bin you can heat up that will break down the soil.  This way you can have your own "pot of gold" soil.  Just ideas. 

Are you seeing how to implement and make your own soil with great dollar savings from your kitchen scraps?  Make one decision now and start today. 

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IMG 5565carolgiambri6 08 photobucket twitter 3 Tips to Help Kids Save Money, Make Money and Sell Homemade Garden Soil

Carol Giambri is a gardening expert. She is obsessed with the garden and eating healthy as a frugal shopper.  At a 12 step program she would probably stand up saying "I admit I am addicted and obsessed with the garden and its foods."  She even shops for unique shapes of fruits and veggies.  From worm composting, which is a new desire, to homemade cleaning products, eating edible weeds, coaching programs, speaking, writing content for blogs, green/recycle talk, dogs and hubby she enjoys encouraging people.  Carol plans to write several books on healthy living as well as a pet book where her heart still remains having seen so many go to heaven.

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PinExt 3 Tips to Help Kids Save Money, Make Money and Sell Homemade Garden Soil

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

denny hagel August 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Florida soil is basically sand so anything that is not native needs to be in pots with purchased soil…miss the days in New England where the soil was rich and dark and would grow just about anything!! Thanks for your tips!

AJ August 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Nice post Carol.

Jen Bennett August 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Great tips Carol!  Thanks so much for sharing! 

Lori Thayer August 12, 2011 at 8:41 am

Love hearing about your great soil. We started with composting last year and have yet to get "finished" soil out of it. We just need to spend some more time on it and keep it damp.  It may be about time to switch to a worm composter though. Ours has 3 different compartments and isn't meant for worms.

michele August 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

Carol, Love the enthusiasm that comes through in your post. Wish I could visit your garden in person!

Carol Giambri August 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

Thanks for sharing Lori. Living on over an acre I can pretty much compost anywhere. The worms really make pretty rich soil. I saw my friends and tempted to start soon.

Carol Giambri August 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

Michele, It’s not a picture perfect garden but I don’t mind some weeds hanging with the growing plants as long as they don’t choke the plants out. Then they hoed out. What’s holding you back from coming out here? Weather is great and we would have a blast. Loaded 180 pictures today of veggies. Is that overkill? I’m glad you are enjoying my post. I am “overdosing” on writing them way too much in time and editing. Where does it end? Now? I thought goal was imperfect action.

Carol Giambri August 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

Thanks Jen for coming by and reading. Glad to always share.

Carol Giambri August 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

Thanks AJ for your comment. Fun taking pictures besides writing. Just have to break out of the length in writing as always editing to make perfect when in the “head” I know get it out even if IMperfect. Hope to remember this on next post around the corner.

Carol Giambri August 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

Denny, Wonder if there is something your extension service would recommend to help “balance” the soil out. I purchase when I have too but I’m into saving money and finding other ways to make it happen with all the produce scraps I have here. Gardener? If so, then lots of pots around your house? Would love to know where and see the houses there to see how they landscape. Would be great to see it on FB. Thanks for sharing Denny.

Sue August 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Carol – great pictures and great article!  Your enthusiasm is contagious!!!  What a great activity to do with kids.  Even our little 2 year old grandson loves going out to the country garden and bringing in the produce.  Did you know there is even "play" veggies and fruits that you can literally "cut" with a plastic knife (they stick together with velcro) Judah has both the fruits and veggies and this little 2 year old knows what broccoli is — plums, pears — great teacing tool and fun toy!!  

Olga Hermans August 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Carol, you wear many caps. Thank you for keeping us excited to garden wiht our children

Solvita August 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Thanks for information, I must admit I'm not a gardener and  might never be, I'm more like a "city girl" :) … but I'll pass this to others! Thanks a lot for this simple living advice!!! :)

Carol Giambri August 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Soliva, I never was a gardener till moving to this state. I then saw a neighbor’s garden, got intrigued and the rest if history. I’m living in the country among the horses on one side and mules down the other with chickens down the block. It’s fun seeing things grow–especially that I can eat. Thanks for sharing.

Carol Giambri August 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Olga, Thanks for sharing. It is so much fun gardening and sad that my granddaughter lives far away so not possible unless I do the 15 hour drive. Kids are teachable and making it fun excites them more but also us.

Carol Giambri August 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Sue, loved taking pictures. Sharing is the best part of writing an article to me. Glad my enthusiasm is contagious as I want all to learn how to be more responsible gardeners inside or out to save money and be fresh. My granddaughter loved the fun but she’s 15 hours away so not an every occurrence. Thanks for sharing your comments Sue.

Carol Giambri August 14, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Thank you for sharing with your audience my article relevant 3 Tips to Help Kids Save Money, etc. Surely a great homeschool project as I referenced. Feel free to put my name in the post vs. staffwriter. Hope we can find the blessing to network together as believers.

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