The Daily Tightwad Tutor– Lesson #6: No Moldy Berries
Wash berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.) in a large bowl with one part white vinegar to ten parts water. Gently mix berries in this vinegar/water wash and immediately drain and dab with paper towel to dry. The vinegar kills any spores so berries will last one to two weeks in the fridge.
Last year I was the lucky recipient of a cherry tomato harvest from Aimee’s garden. (Tasteless cherry tomatoes go for $2.50 [on sale] and up per package at stores.) My family loves them, eats them for snacks, on sandwiches, in salads—it’s one of their favorite foods. I’m ready to start growing my own cherry tomatoes, but it’s not going to be easy for me.
Yes, I know, growing cherry tomatoes is easy. Easy for whom? Not for me, as I wrote in an article for AOL about my black thumb-itis. I was able to grow wildflowers a blue moon ago, not anymore. I kill every plant given to me. A neighbor’s tomato plant gifted to us – dead. (We have plenty of sun, we water, but no success.) I’m willing to start small—again—with a container garden. Aimee has seeds for me. There are free seed packs at our library. I even ordered a tomato plant from my son’s track-and-field school fundraiser (…and I never order expensive fundraiser stuff, so I must be serious…). If I’m successful, maybe, just maybe, I’ll move up to a square-foot garden. And, maybe add lettuce to my garden. Gulp.
Another Goal for a Reluctant Gardener:
Composting: I went to a talk at our library in March on “How to Start a Vegetable Garden,” and though most of this basic talk went over my head, the presenter and long-time gardener, Eric Frisk, said something that made me want to compost. He said he started composting ages ago because he was just too cheap to buy dirt. Well, I’m cheap, too! So, now I want to compost for free dirt. Aimee is also my inspiration because she is guiding me on how to start composting to save on garbage and, yes, get my free dirt.