By Michael Nolan
Some might say that I have an extreme interest in frugality and simple living, largely because I feel a spiritual connection with the Earth.
There is no more profound experience for me than to spend time with my hands in the dirt, nurturing seeds into seedlings and seedlings into plants that then return the favor by nourishing me.
You probably have a mental image of me with long stringy hair and a tie-dyed t-shirt, but I assure you that I’m not the stereotypical hippie who might normally talk this way.
The bottom line is that I believe there are less expensive and often entirely free ways of doing things, and I feel that it is my responsibility to find them and share the information with others.
One good example of this is my penchant for seed collecting and saving. Every year I take great care to collect seeds from my vegetable plants — especially the heirlooms — and I store and label them so that I will be able to sow new crops the following year without spending the first penny on seeds or seedlings.
I haven’t had the need to purchase a single tomato for any purpose in nearly eight years, and aside from the obvious nutritional and taste value (have you seen those anemic looking hothouse things in the store?), I realized that I have saved hundreds, probably closer to thousands of dollars over the years by not wasting money on produce.
Does that make me a hippie, smart or just plain cheap?
I’ll leave that for you to decide.