Gardening with Kids with Purpose

EditedtitleThis is the season where most families are finding things outdoors to do and taking the time to enjoy the spring air.  

After a long winter (if you live up North) it’s a great time to get the kids outside and do a garden or start planting flowers!

A wonderful and cheap way to do a project with your children is planting seeds (but with a purpose in mind)!  

Go to your local Walmart or even dollar store and for a few bucks you can pick up some supplies like:

  • planting trays

  • potting soil

  • little shovels

  • seeds

  • watering can

  • fertilizer

After you pick up supplies, pick a nice sunny day and gather the children to make a gardening project with a purpose.    

How do I do gardening with purpose?  What does that mean?

Here are a few examples of how to garden with a purpose:

Simply….take the moments while filling in the dirt and adding the seeds to teach your children about the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-23.  

As you are planting talk to your children about how some seeds fall on stony ground, some by the way side, and some take root and flourish.  

Ask them which kind of  heart do they need to have the seeds of God’s truth take hold?IMG_3616

If you’re not planting, and you’re just clearing out weeds…. This is a great time to teach how weeds are like sin in our lives.  

When unconfessed and not dealt with it grows bigger and stronger and can overtake your whole heart.

Another way to teach while gardening is about the things that God created and how each flower and plant has a purpose that is part of God’s perfect design.  

This a wonderful opportunity to open their eyes to creation and how God’s world was designed.  

IMG_3635 And last….as you finish up with watering and fertilizer your plants, remind them what they need in their life to grow as a Christian.  Prayer and reading God’s Word.

 Just as every plant needs sun and water to grow, we need to pray and read God’s Word to stay a healthy.

So next time you go out in the yard with the kids….make it purposeful and take  these moments to add in a spiritual teaching while doing your planting and gardening!

 Make these moments special, make them fun, & make them purposeful!

Gardening with Kids with Purpose

How to Build a Raised Vegetable Box

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

A lot of people want to grow a flower or vegetable garden this year but may be thinking it’s too hard.

For me, gardening projects shouldn’t be complicated and hard to do.

In fact, I taught myself to garden and am going to share a really easy tutorial on how to make a raised garden box. This is not going to be laborious. In fact it’ll take less than an hours time and be remembered as on of the those fun garden projects.

How to Build a Raised Vegetable Box

The first thing you want to do before you even begin constructing your raised garden box is get some seeds planted.

You can buy germinated plants but I like using seeds simply because it’s cheaper per plant and gives me a higher yield.

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I start my seeds indoors four weeks before I plan to plant them outside. I keep them near a sunny window and rotate them every few days so that they’ll grow upright and not slanted in the direction of the window and sunlight.

To build my raised vegetable garden box I use a 12 foot long piece of pressure treated pine and have it cut down to four 4 foot long pieces.

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Using scrap wood, I insert braces in each corner. This project is as simple as creating a square using the four pieces of wood and hammering everything together with deck nails.

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If you look at each corner, you’ll see where I nailed a square scrap piece of wood for extra support.

After getting the raised vegetable box in the ground I fill it with soil and get everything planted. This is the ideal time to use a little Miracle-Gro Shake’n Feed All Purpose Plant Food.

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At first your garden will look like nothing much.

WEEK 1

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After just a few weeks of sunlight and watering you’ll begin to see your vegetable garden box come to life.

WEEK 5

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I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy garden project.

For more gardening ideas “follow” the A Proverbs Wife Gardening Board on Pinterest.

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You’ll be able to access their expansive library of articles and videos full to help them keep a healthy and beautiful garden.

 

South Carolina Vegetable & Flower Garden Tour

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Today I’m taking you on another tour of my garden.

Germaine and I flew to Maryland a few weeks ago and was able to spend some quality time together.

While we were gone I didn’t want to bother my mother with watering the recently laid sod twice a day on top of keeping the kids for us so I prayed and asked God to send some rain.

It didn’t rain when we were gone but the afternoon we got back the rain came pouring down.

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My gardens showed how grateful they were by the new show of blooms.

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I could save the best for last but I love these Asiatic Lilies so much I have to talk about them first.

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I have two mature plants near my back door and recently added two more to another part of my garden which I’ll show you in a second.

A few feet from my Asiatic Liliy is Yarrow a medicinal plant I germinated years ago to help with my daughters menstrual cramps.

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Yarrow tea is made using the leaves of the plant but they create pretty white flowers as well.

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Earlier this year I added a different species of lilies in my shade garden. They are just as pretty as the Asiatic Lilies only much smaller.

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These will fill my shade garden with pretty pops of yellow and tangerine.

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They will complement the beautiful green hues of the Hosta plants in my shade garden which also have pretty blooms this time of year.

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Before the full heat of the Summer arrives my Hosta’s will show off the pretty white petals. Once they dry the seeds can be collected and used to grow more plants.

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Another plant I’m really excited about are the two Upright Stonecrops I bought earlier this year.

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I didn’t know anything about them and they had not yet bloomed when I purchased them.

I bought them solely based on the picture on the plant tag. What attracted me was their unique leaf texture. They almost feel like a succulent only they are tall and have colorful blooms.

The blooms come in several colors and I happened to get a pinkish hue.

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One of my two rose bushes is growing.

The other…not much.

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The newest Asiatic Lilies in my garden will bloom any day now.

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Finally, my vegetable garden looks amazing. The rain from yesterday is just what they needed.

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The tomatoes are getting bigger.

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The lettuces and spinach although sagging from the weight of the rain look healthy.

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Also the basil is growing well…

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…and so are the snap beans.

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I hope you enjoyed the updated tour and have been inspired to do something special in your garden this week.

Backyard Renovation Sneak Peek

Germaine and I are still knee deep in home improvement projects but we are falling in love with what we’ve done to the back and front yard so far.

If you remember my post from a few weeks ago, we completed some major overhauling to the yard including building a concrete patio, raised vegetable boxes and landscaping.

Today I’m going to give you a backyard renovation sneak peek showing how everything looks now that the sod has been watered and some of the plants are maturing.

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The plant above is right below our deck in a flower bed created to provide something visually pleasing to look at when looking down from our 12 foot high deck.

In that same flower bed I planted two rose bushes, one of which is finally producing leaves.

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The grill patio is one of our favorite parts of the backyard now.

DIY Concerete Paver Pation

We grilled out Memorial Day weekend and enjoyed using it even without the grill gazebo we plan to buy soon.

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Not to far from our grill area is our vegetable garden which has grown even more from when I took the picture below. We plan to install a total of four vegetable boxes this year.

Vegetable Garden

Some of the smaller projects have been touch up painting. I repainted the bird feeder Germaine Jr. made me a few years ago.

Bird Feeder

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I love the way it looks hanging in the tree above my shade garden.

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We are going to build a small patio in this area and set up a three piece bistro set for Germaine and I in the back half of the shade garden.

From this picture you get a feel for how things are situated.

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The grill patio is on the fare right, the shade garden in the center of the photo, the patio will be built behind the shade garden where there’s currently pine needles and right behind the patio area is where the four vegetable boxes will be.

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The whole back half of the yard starting at the vegetable box needs to be sodded but it’s gotten to hot to do anymore now so we’ll wait until the weather is milder in the fall.

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The sun here is so intense it would decrease the chances of the grass surviving unless I watered it twice a day which I don’t plan on doing all summer.

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Which is why I love the centipede grass we chose. Once it’s established it does not need much watering but to get it established in this South Carolina heat you must keep it wet.

Finally, my Hostas are the joy of my garden. Hostas are so easy to grow and easy to divide. Plants that can be divided mean less money out of pocket if you are trying to establish a garden on a budget. Plants are not cheap so I’ve been dividing them for a few years now and they are starting to fill in the space.

The goal is to have them fill this area until there’s no longer a need for pine needles.

We are learning a lot about our yard, our likes and dislikes and our own abilities to do more on our own than we expected. We have several more projects in the works including building an under-deck patio, installing under deck roofing, and  building outdoor table for the deck.

Shh!..Germaine doesn’t know about the table yet. I try not to overwhelm him all at once with my ideas.

If you are considering some DIY projects, I really hope this post inspired you to give them a shot.

DIY Yard Renovation Ideas & Cost

We started this Spring with a big family cookout.

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My daughter, her family, my Mother & Father in law, sister in laws, nephews, my grandson, my mom, my husband and children were all here.

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The house was packed there was lots if food, love and laughter.

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This was the first cookout of the year before Germaine and I started working on some major outdoor projects to make our yard more hospitality friendly.

This is going to be a quasi long post with a barrage of photos do grab a cup of coffee and sit tight. I want to walk you through the process not do much for your benefit but for mine. I need a way to remember this year because so far the last eight or do weeks has been a blur.

I have been working on a three month sponsored project, training my blog team and still blogging and being active on social media.

On top of that I do have a life outside of the Internet. I have been consistent at working out 4-5 days a week, fellowshipping with another family once a week and becoming more active in serving at my church. Germaine and I were asked to be the guest services team leaders at church. Germaine was already an usher but I hadn’t quite found a place to serve. Now I help coordinate volunteers to serve in different areas of the church.

We have been working consistently to remain faithful to our commitments and also complete our personal goals.

DIY Yard Renovation Ideas & Cost

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The biggest personal goals for the last 90 or so days has been this yard. We have waited 11 years to do this because we wanted to pay off all of our consumer debts before spending money on our yard. Now that we just have a mortgage (and a small hospital bill — long story for another post) we felt it was the right time to budget for this project.

The first thing we did was get our seeds planted. I bought a seed started kit from Walmart for around $6 and several $0.20 packs of vegetable seeds.

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After writing out our goals for the yard we knew the seeds had to be started weeks in advance of any of the landscape project to ensure we had seedlings to put in the raised garden.

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Once those were planted and growing we could start on the outdoor projects.

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The first thing we tackled was getting 10 tons of dirt delivered to prepare the back yard for sod and level out the front lawn. 10 tons cost us $14o including delivery.

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It took 72 hours for Germaine, the kids and I to move 10 tons of dirt to the backyard.

By day 2 I wanted to quit. I was hurting everywhere and was just tired of bringing dirt back and forth.

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Germaine used his lunch break and after work time to get the job done.

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By day three we had most of the dirt in the backyard and just had to spread the rest around in the front yard and move on to the next project.

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The next thing we wanted to do was build a concrete paver patio for our grill. We had been buying a few concrete pavers every few weeks leading up to the Spring so by the time we started actually working on the yard we had the 77 we needed for the project.

Spring Landscaping - AProverbsWife.com

(Ornamental Lilies – Clearance $2.50 each)

After getting the dirt to the backyard we began laying the pavers in place and leveling them. If you look at the image below on the right you’ll see some of our progress.

It took 2 days to get the patio laid but an additional 2 days to sweep concrete into to cracks and let it set.

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By now I was feeling re-energized and loved how to patio turned out. It isn’t perfect, but I love it because we made it ourselves and didn’t incur any debt to get it done.

Each paver cost between $0.99 and $1.49 each. We used 77 or 72 pavers to make a 12×8 patio for our grill.

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After the patio was in place we needed to order sod. We weren’t sure how much we needed so we ordered a pallet at a time.

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We also ordered it this way because with just the two of us laying we knew we couldn’t lay more than a pallet a day.

We used the first pallet to surround the paver patio and most of the yard closest to the back of the house. After getting the sod around the patio, I was completely in love with my new backyard.

Sod

By this time we had been working on the yard for about 4 weeks and it was time to tackle one of our biggest problems projects.

As you may know, we were remodeling the lower level of our home during the winter but stopped because of a leak in the den. Apparently the concrete had tiny cracks in it and we had to tear out the sheet rock and re-cement the walls.

We also decided to install a gutter on the house and take out the huge foundation bushes in the front after seeing tiny roots behind the wall inside the house where the leak was. Ugh!!

Removing the bushes was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. I dug a ditch in the military but pulling up this massive bushes was HARD!! Halfway through the project I thought about just cutting them down instead of salvaging them for another part of the house.

To get them moved we trimmed all of the leaves off. You can see how bare they were in the pictures below.

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Then we dug a trench around each and cut through the massive root until we got the bush loose. We were able to dig up and replant one bushes per day over a span of 9 or 10 days! These bushes were strong and we were advised several times to tie it to our truck to pull them out. Now that they are where I envisioned them and are growing new leaves…I love them! I also love how much light is now shining into the lower level of the house.

By week 6 we were sick of working in the yard plus it was raining and the temperature dropped into to fifties. Whenever the son came out, I planted new flowers in my flower bed.

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I’ve always been scared to grow roses because I think they are high maintenance and expensive, but when I saw some on clearance at Aldi for $1.99 I snatched up two to use as my experiment plants.

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My neighbor has several beautiful rose species and I love looking at them. I am going to see how these do in the garden. The weather was cold and rainy for about 10 days so I decided to work indoors on the first of two 4×4 raised vegetable gardens.

I bought a 16 ft long piece of pressure treated lumber for around $12 and got it cut into 4 ft long pieces. I had some left over wood at home to use for corner supports. The picture below is my den which is a work in progress. The wall an insulation where the leak was which you can’t see needs to be replaced and then we can install the hardwood floors.

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After assembling the 4×4 box, Germaine put it in the ground once the weather warmed up. Once it was in the ground, I planted the seedlings.

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(2 – 20 lb. bags of soil for the vegetable box $2.99 at Walmart)

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The weather was warming up again and because of it we got a much needed break. Now we were ready to dive back in.

We wanted to get started on the front yard again. After the bushes were pulled out we built the area up with dirt but it looked bare.

We will not plant any more bushes in this area because of what happened with the last bushes. We are going to plant foundational perennials that are green and some flowering.

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This week I shopped for some flowering grass to plant. I bought 14 of them for around 44 each and was able to get them all in the ground within an hour. The next plant to go in the area will be lantana and peonies to add some year after year color.

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Just as I was about to go inside I saw this lurking at my back door. It was the door I used to come outside so I had to wait until it slithered away to run inside.

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After seeing that snake I was too scared to plant anymore flower this week so I decided to repaint my bird feeder with the FREE paint.

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I bought Herb Cornucopia which is a pretty apple green.

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After one coat the feeder looked better but before hanging it back outside, I’ll add another coat to make the color really pop.

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I can’t believe I’ve been so busy offline yet still had time for my blog. It’s all God!!

I have a great team of ladies including my daughter helping me behind the scenes and

I am so thankful for them and for everything that God is doing in my life. I could not manage this all without them.

I hope this post inspires you to do something new in your life, home, relationship, business or blog.

Top 3 Tips for Gardening on a Budget

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It’s officially time to get in the garden here in the South.

If you can’t tolerate gardening in ninety degree or higher temps and you live in the South, you only have a small window of time left before the temps go bizerk.

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I have been kicking butt in my garden this year just because we have so many major landscaping project this year.

I am excited about our plans but I am equally excited that I finally know enough about gardening to claim the elusive “green thumb”.

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We’ve been in this house ten years so it only took me 10 Summers to get my act together.

What do you expect?

I was born and raised in New York City and I knew absolutely nothing about gardening.

Now…I not only know more, but have several tips that will help you garden on a tight budget.

In addition to giving you some great gardening tips, I’ll also share some pictures of my garden with you as you read along.

Okay?!

3 Tips for Gardening on a Budget

1. Shop your local Dollar Tree.

You’ll be surprised by how many great Dollar Tree deals your can find on gardening supplies.

You’ll save money by buying flower bulbs, garden gloves, planters and garden accessories here.

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The only things I wouldn’t buy from the Dollar Tree is potting soil and heavy duty gardening tools.

For those items it just makes sense to invest higher quality products or else you’ll end up spending more money replacing them.

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2. Buy plant bulbs versus germinated plants.

Bulbs and seed are much cheaper per plant when bought pre germination. If you have the time, space and a little bit of patience this is your best bet for saving money in your flower and vegetable garden.

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In fact I always start my vegetable garden from seed because it’s too cost effective not too.

To me, this is the funnest way to plant and easiest way to learn without losing a lot of money by killing more expensive versions of your desired plant. For instance, a 2.5 quart Asiatic Lily can cost anywhere between $7 and $9 for two plants.

Purchased as a bulb you can get 7-12 plants for that price.

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3. Make your own compost bin and compost.

This is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to obtain compost. All you need are a few items you probably already have around your house and kitchen scraps.

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It literally takes 30 minutes to make a compost bin and Starbucks will even provide some material for you FREE of charge.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and are ready to get started creating your budget friendly garden.

For more pictures keep scrolling and for more gardening ideas read Green Thumb Gardening Tips.

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    Gardening on a Budget - AProverbsWife.com

To see more images from my garden be sure to follow my “gardening” board on Pinterest.

Easy Garden Composting | 3 Step Method

Compost, Garden Composting, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

 

Easy garden composting is by far is the easiest method of composting that I’ve tried. You already know that I’ve composted using my DIY compost bin but during seasons when I’m feeling lazy, I do something a little bit different.

Instead of layering my kitchen scraps in my compost bin, I take them right out to the garden and layer them. This is what I call garden composting.

Garden Composting

1. Dig a hole in your flower bed around 7 – 12 inches deep.

2. Pour in your compost material. (See list of acceptable compost material)

3. Add a layer of cardboard or newspaper.

4. Fill the hole back in with dirt.

Like I said, garden composting is the simplest form of composting I’ve ever done but here is a warning regarding this method.

  • You probably don’t want to do this on a daily basis unless you have a humungous garden or more than one garden bed. I’ve never had a problem but I’m sure that over dumping scrap can attract bugs and  unwanted critters.
  •  It takes several months for scraps to decompose so if you don’t overfill your garden with scraps, they will feed your plants and not attract bugs.

Reasons why do I compost?

  1. It saves me money on fertilizer
  2. It helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste in landfills.
  3. It allows me to do my part to create a sustainable planet (Genesis 1)
  4. I’m passing on good habits to my children on how to manage their homes, keep a garden and reduce expenses.

Composting is very easy to do, doesn’t require a lot of time and provides a wealth of benefits. When I open up my compost bins each year, I am excited about how the scraps turn into fertilizer for my gardens.

Not only does my family get to use the material in my compost bins for its main purpose, we also get a second and sometimes third reward from a single item.