Seeking homesteaders, small farms, niche farmers, urban farmers and all things in between. Please review interview questions here.
Pensioners are having trouble paying the bills due to increasing costs and decreasing pensions. I was asked by a senior if there were programs he could tap into to increase his pension amount which at the moment is only $800 a month. Below is a compilation of some resources I've found for Island (PEI) seniors.
What Every Senior Should Know about Income and Benefits from the Federal Government?
Income assistance - Everyone not just seniors
For Help contact: PEI Senior Federation
40 Enman Crescent, Suite 214, Charlottetown, PE C1E 1E6
Tel. 902-368-9008 Fax 902-368-9006 email@example.com
They are pretty easy to make and taste delicious - if you roll them into balls they are easy to take with you.
Makes approximately 12 balls depending on how big you make them.
1 cup of toasted almonds 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut 2 Tbsps maca powder (optional)
1/4 cup honey or less just enough to have the balls stick together
Either chop almonds and pumpkin seeds or put all but the honey in the food processor and pulse until chopped finely then add in the honey and pulse until it starts to stick together. Take out and roll into balls.
Maca powder is great for endurance and it sports this is a good thing. Learn more here.
It is pretty simple to make your own starter pots and very inexpensive. It is storming pretty hard in the East Coast of Canada right now so made a short video on how to make your own using just a few simple items:
- Newspaper (on full sheet folded will make two pots)
- Scissors to cut the sheet in two....you could also just fold and rip if you like
- An empty can or if you like to be fancy buy a Potmaker
- Sometime to help flatten the bottom of the pot i.e. a coaster will work.
Step 1 - take the one full folded sheet of newspaper and cut length-wise into two pieces, set on aside.
Step 2 - Take your can and start rolling the one sheet of newspaper around the can.
Step 3 - Fold in the excess newspaper in towards the can centre. Using the Coaster push to flatten it.
Step 4 - Put a small piece of tape to hold the bottom.
Step 5 - Put a small piece of tape to hold the side.
See video below - another way is using the Potmaker
This is the time of year I start looking at seed catalogues and start the planning of my gardens and ordering of seeds. As I reviewed Salt Spring Seeds in BC Richters in Ontario and Hope Seeds in Nova Scotia it struck me - just how much we save in grocery costs because we have a garden.
If you want to save big then make 2015 the year you grow a garden. Here are a couple of examples:
Leaf Lettuce or Swiss Chard - both very easy to grow and will keep producing if you keep them watered/nutrients and cut them regularly.
Grow yourself - $3.00 package of seeds, plus possibly some other costs that will be utilized in future years. Versus buying one bunch a week at the store $3.00/week for 12 weeks or $36.00.
Savings is $33.00 on one veggie Honestly purchase a pot, add some soil and seed and grow it on your deck.
Carrots - 100 seeds in one $3.50 package compared to buying a bunch of 8 carrots at $3.20/bag - Savings assuming 80 carrot seeds grow would be $32.00
Strawberry plants - get some runners from a gardening friend cost free compared to $4.50/box at the store....10 boxes from a small bed of your own - Savings $45.00
and on and on. Just those three garden items grown save $110! What are you waiting for, start planning what you can grow either as a community gardener, patio gardener or home gardener.
Make 2015 the year you grow a garden and start saving.
Sweet potatoes, we have been trying to grow them for years and this was year three - we ordered the slips from a local supplier again to try and when they died we tried our own version - going to the grocery store we bought an unknown variety that was organic. Went to youtube to see how to make our own slips, planted them and waited. The vines on top were lovely but we really didn't know what we would get in the end. Pleased as punch we averaged about 8 potatoes a plant with 44 sweet potatoes harvested. We will be saving one to make our own slips again in 2015.
What fun teaching the next generation to cook from scratch. Peter, Lauren, Logan and Lucas all in the 11-12 age range came to learn in the local Community of North Shore kitchen. While two had only ever had microwave pizza the other two had done some baking at home. Everyone brought an ingredient plus two brought their own pan and some materials so they could take a pizza home. Starting off with the yeast setting and all the important information around yeast and how it works followed by making homemade tomato sauce with real and fresh tomatoes from the garden and some spices to mixing the ingredients, forming a dough ball and letting it set for a bit. While the dough rose a bit we made some quick wraps for small, quick, oven pizza and zataar pizzas. Getting their hands dirty was definitely a highlight but spreading the pizza dough out was equally as fun....nothing like feeling your cooking first hand. The kids left with full bellies from eating the quick wrap pizzas and took home a pizza ready to cook and share with their family.
If you have time...teach a group of kids to cook something from scratch the rewards are immediate from the smiles on their faces and long-term as they now have a valuable life skill. A child making a meal all by themselves can be very confidence building plus makes them more independent and helpful around the house. For me, the smiles were the best!
Every year we try something different...this year we had strawbales around our greenhouse. We have framed in our green house 'properly' this year and decided to use the strawbales to create our squash beds.
We used six straw bales per bed - 2 on each side and one at each top. Then we layered with newspaper, then 'leafs' of straw with the file layer of compost. Squash are heavy feeders so they will be pleased. Another few weeks and we can put in the squash plants. I'll post some more pictures then.
We have family and friends who are out of our Province and we therefore need to ship gifts to them. Anyone who needs to ship 'stuff' will tell you the cost depending on where it is going, is often more than the gift in some cases. This brings me to the point.....cost vs value.
If you are sending an item that is a nice gift but not an item that can't be purchased in their area then don't....just send a card with the money to purchase that item. Or in one case I ordered online and had the gifts shipped direct to them saving a ton on shipping as the online store offered 'free shipping.'
When you are shipping books, or other items ask yourself, would it be cheaper to buy the item again than to ship it? Looking at the cost vs value - how valuable is the item to me? Is it worth paying doubt for or is there another way to remember the item or re-purchase the item etc.
Why waste money? If you think it through and you still want to pay to ship the items then at least you know you have consciously decided to pay double for the item.
Tracey Allen loves to research, learn and write on all topics to do with gluten-free cooking, whole food cooking, saving, sustainable living and living life to the fullest.