Gardening — Grow green, save green and raise some green

Woman plating in the gardenYou’ve probably heard of a Cookie Swap, a favorite holiday tradition across the country. Guests arrive with an abundant supply of their favorite homemade cookies to “swap” with seasonal specialties made by other guests. Everyone leaves with an assortment of holiday goodies and the recipes to go along with them.

Now that it’s “outdoor time” again, why not borrow the Cookie Swap idea and host a Plant Swap? Instead of the holiday desserts, bring plants, seeds, cuttings or bulbs from your garden beds to share, along with used gardening books or tools you no longer need. It’s a great way to save money, learn about new plants, and socialize in the sun with friends.

Green Thumb Fundraisers

Plants and flowers are also a good, environmentally friendly way to raise funds for your child’s school or your favorite non-profit organization.

Gather a group of friends, or enlist the help of your local Garden Club and devote a Saturday morning at the school — or maybe at the local Farmers Market — to the sale of plants, seeds and flowers donated by individuals and local nurseries and garden shops.

PTO and parenting website sites are a good source for tried and true “green” fundraising idea for your school or group. For example, host a garden tour of private homes in your community, and make it educational, too, by asking an expert from a local college, extension service, nursery or garden center to be on hand at each home to provide information about the features of the garden.

There’s more to it!

Whether you’re gardening for food, fun or profit, there are benefits far beyond the obvious rewards of penny-pinching, exercise and fresh air. The Mother Nature Network says your time in the garden will make you more satisfied with your life, lower your risk of osteoporosis and diabetes, and help you sleep better!

More saving of the green

With just a quick search of the Web, you’ll find lots of other money-saving Green Thumb ideas and helpful gardening advice. Here are a few we found:

If you’re a newcomer to gardening, don’t start in the dark. Sites like Houselogic can guide you along the garden path and provide tips for making the most of your time and money.

If your gardening goal is tomatoes not tulips, Southern Living offers a quick start beginner’s guide.

Time to roll up your sleeves and start digging in the dirt!

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