How to Remove a Hedge and Grow Food Instead

Grow strawberries not hedges Go Gingham

Remember when I shared with you 5 spots to start a garden? One of the spots was a hedge we removed. It was small and manageable and the results were so great, guess what? I talked my husband (read: nubbed him into it) into digging out 30-feet of hedges!

It has taken me years to get him to agree to remove the hedges to grow food rather than hedges but we had help. Help from Craig.

Removing hedges Go Gingham

As in Craig’s List! I listed the hedges on Craig’s List and said, “Free hedges. You dig, you haul.” In no time, someone was in our yard doing the digging work and hauling away those scraggly old bushes. OK, before high-fiving and butt-bumping can take place – this guy only took about half of those hedges. Then his truck was full and he left.

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Harvesting and Preserving Tomatoes

Sungold tomatoes from Go Gingham

I just washed my hands and the soapy water is completely green. That’s what happens after I’ve been picking tomatoes. The tomatoes we planted earlier this summer are coming in fast and furious.Usually, the tomatoes get oven roasted and made into sauce directly after picking.

Go Gingham: Tomatoes from garden

But this year, our weather has been so hot that most days, it’s too hot to turn the oven on. (Our old house has a wonderful front porch but lacks insulation and air conditioning.) This year, I’ve taken to picking the cherry tomatoes and dropping them into a container for freezing immediately.

Buying organic veggies from Go Gingham Stylishly Frugal Living

No rinsing tomatoes or freezing them individually. Large tomatoes need slicing in half – mostly to fit into the containers.

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Connect Locally with JustFreshy

JustFreshy launch party

When there’s a new way to share resources in our community, we embrace it. When we can participate in the “sharing economy” by trading our home or sharing seeds from our garden, we do it.

Buying local when possible is another concept we embrace. When I was approached (on Twitter, of all places!) about helping to launch a business that’s basically an online local farmers’ market, I jumped at the opportunity.

And so, I’d like to introduce you to….JustFreshy! Here are all of the details.

Connect Locally with JustFreshy

What is JustFreshy.com?
JustFreshy is a FREE online farmers’ market community where local growers and makers can buy, sell or trade their creations. JustFreshy allows only items that are grown or made by hand locally.

Who can list items on JustFreshy?
Home gardeners and crafters, local family owned farms and specialty shops, CSAs, and farmers’ market vendors. Farmers’ market vendors can advertise what they will be bringing to this week’s market and they can also advertise items for sale on non-market days and what’s for sale at their farms.

How is JustFreshy different from Craig’s list or Etsy?
We love Craig’s list, but Craig’s list is for used items. JustFreshy allows only items that are made or grown by hand locally. Also, Craig’s list has such an enormous amount of items listed, it can be overwhelming. It’s easy to miss great items. Etsy charges sellers to list items and they do not promote local sales. They are mail order. JustFreshy is free for all users – now and forever. Also, we have a tilt towards produce and plants with a focus on what’s local.

JustFreshy.comWhat types of items can be listed on JustFreshy?
Produce, flowers, plants, eggs, dairy, food items, crafts, and art can be listed on JustFreshy. Anything that’s handmade, homemade, homegrown, and handcrafted qualifies. We already have many amazing items!

How did we come up with the idea?
We had an abundance of cucumbers one year and not enough tomatoes. There was no dedicated site that allowed you to buy, sell or trade your produce, plants, flowers or crafts. We realized there needed to be a way to connect local sellers and buyers. We also have friends who are sellers on Etsy and were looking for an easy way to advertise and sell their items locally.

What are JustFreshy strengths?
We provide local gardeners and artisans a quick and easy way to connect with local, interested buyers. Our website creates a powerful new category for the “sharing economy.” We’re also building and promoting a stronger local community. We’re helping the environment by generating less food waste by allowing growers to sell part of their bumper crop. JustFreshy allows consumers to see, meet, and connect with the people and places behind the items for sale.

When did JustFreshy launch?
Two months ago and traffic is building quickly!

Are there any JustFreshy features we should know about?
Users can set up a free wish list and be notified by text message or email when items of interest are listed for sale nearby or when their favorite seller lists an item for sale. JustFreshy has a community forum where people can learn from others and connect in our online community.

JustFreshy launch party Sara
From the launch party! My husband helped me by handing out t-shirts.

What does the future hold for JustFreshy?
We want to make JustFreshy a household name among area residents and expand nationwide. Sharing our resources and supporting our local economies allows us to connect with the people behind the products we buy and sell – or trade.

I’m sold and I want a free JustFreshy t-shirt?
I will send you one! Here’s what you have to do: Sign up for an account and email me at sara@gogingham dot com to tell me you’ve done so. (Please include the link to your profile page in the email.) Be sure and tell me the size (small, medium, large and extra-large) and color (blue, green or brown) you’d like. I’ll do my best to get you the color you’d like. You have to promise to wear your t-shirt and tell everyone about JustFreshy!
T-shirts are all gone, friends! Thanks for your interest!!

KATU channel 2 news (the ABC affiliate in Portland, Oregon) featured JustFreshy on their “Stumptown Startups” last week. Check out the interview I did with them about JustFreshy in our urban homestead – our yard!

The Portland Tribune featured JustFreshy in their paper, too!

If JustFreshy ends up on Shark Tank, I will definitely let you know. I’ve always wanted to be on that show but when you have a blog about real food recipes and green living, you don’t really have a product to pitch the sharks.

Try it out. It’s free now and forever.

What do you think about JustFreshy? Have you checked out the site?

Go Gingham related links:

Share, swap, and trade – sharing is caring!
Home swapping is part of the ‘sharing economy’ and we love it!
Saving seeds to share – why buy seeds when you can save them and share?

Home Organization Tips with List of Weekly Projects

Home Organization Tips from Go Gingham

Remember how we spent last year organizing our home and sorting through all of our closets and cupboards? We haven’t gone back to our old ways but it has been hard passing up free piles of junk on the street corner or estate sale treasurers.

The house does have more breathing room and fewer piles weigh less on my mind. Less stuff is easier to manage and feels mentally lighter. If you haven’t embraced it yet, try. It’s very freeing.

Here’s how we approached our over-crowding of stuff, and three questions we asked…

  1. Do I really need it, or can I live without it?
  2. Is it something I love, or not really?
  3. Is it sentimental?

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Green Living Tip 27 {Eat Whole and Real Foods}

Go Gingham: Bounty of the garden

Today’s green living tip: eat whole and real foodsunprocessed – and it will be good for you and good for the environment. Mother Nature’s packaging is the best! Most whole foods – vegetables, fruit, fish, etc. – don’t come with a bunch of packaging that needs to be disposed of. Fresh fruit and vegetables are usually on the shelf, in their own “packaging” – better known as their skin. Nothing to get rid of by peeling or cutting off the outer edge – just compost it! Never composted before? Try these handy tips.

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Green Living Tip 26 {Clean with Baking Soda}

How-to-clean-with-baking-soda.jpg

Today’s green living tip: clean with baking soda. Baking soda can be used for everyday household cleaning and in the laundry. It can replace numerous harsher, chemical filled products and has much less packaging. It also costs a lot less!

Clean dirty dishes, ceramic cook tops, and sinks – in all the places you would use scrubbing powders. Add a scoop to your laundry load for a boost of extra cleaning. With a couple shakes of baking soda (from an easy and totally cute baking soda shaker) and some water, pots and pans can soak overnight and they practically clean themselves! Baking soda and a metal scrubby is all we use to clean our cast iron pans. There’s no leftover soapy smell (or taste) on the cast iron after cleaning them with baking soda.

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Green Living Tip 25 {ReUse for Home Renovations}

Green Living ReUse Items Home Projects Go Gingham

Today’s green living tip: reuse items for home renovations. Why buy new cabinets, doors, or doorknobs when there are plenty of those items around for use? Using old items, in place of new, adds character to a home – even if the home is new or parts of it are. Our mailbox used to be a paper towel dispenser. Turned upside down and with a new handle attached, it makes a clever place for snail-mail to be delivered (it even has a hidden lock!)

Where to find old items? Hunt them down – the fun is in the hunt! Discover architectural salvage stores in your area or find them on your next vacation. Be on the lookout for items that may have been used for something else and now they can be used as something different. This laundry chute in our bathroom used to be an electric box cover until we painted it white. (Our bathroom renovation included a free sink, too!)

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