Vegan finds at the Dollar Store!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

I plan on doing a Dollar Store post every time Vegan MoFo rolls around, but somehow I never find the time to make the trip. Or the store’s selection is poo that day. Or I lose my photos. Or they just flat out suck. Whatever, you get the idea. So fuck it! Let’s do a mini “vegan finds” post right here, right now!

 

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The Topsy Turvy Hot Pepper Planter! (AS SEEN ON TV!) I was so excited to see this that Shane had to physically restrain me from emptying the display. I don’t really care for hot peppers, but hopefully it’ll work well with tomatoes and strawberries. *crossing fingers*

And THEN I shall empty the display!

 

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West Soy Low Fat Soy Milk! Usually we drink non-fat West Soy – but at a buck a quart, low fat is good. Hell, I would settle for the full fat at that price! Besides, it’s soy milk; how much fat could there be?

And yes, we pretty much cleared the shelf. Vegan Doomsday Preppers over here!

 

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Striped Shortbread Cookies! We polished off the cookies before I thought to snap a pic, but our local Dollar Store has a pretty decent selection of vegan junk food, cookies included. The Striped Shortbread Cookies are my favorite, and the Fudge Graham ones are good too. (Pictured above is a banana soft serve dessert I made with my most recent score.)

Always bring your phone for on-the-spot ingredient checks!

 

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got produce?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

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A baby pepper, just planted!
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As you’re planning and planting your garden this year – tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and zucchini as far as the eye can see – please consider including an extra row or two (or three or four!) so that you can donate the excess to a local food pantry. Ample Harvest is a free service that connects gardeners with local charities in need of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and herbs – you know, all the good stuff that any self-respecting vegan gardener might already be planting in her plot.

Here’s how it works:

The Idea

While more than 50 million Americans live in food insecure homes (including a quarter of all children under the age of six), more than 40 million Americans grow fruit, vegetables herbs and nuts in home gardens – often more than they can use, preserve or give to friends.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

The Opportunity

Struggling to feed their families, many Americans, both those chronically economically challenged as well as those now impacted by the economic downturn have come to rely on the more than 33,500 food pantries (also called food shelves, food closets, food cupboards or food banks in some areas) across America to help feed their families.

These food pantries, relying on donated and purchased foods, almost never have fresh produce and instead rely on canned or processed produce shipped from across the country at significant cost, both economic and environmental.

At the same time, millions of home and community gardeners nationwide with an abundant harvest do not know that they can share their harvest, do not know how to share their harvest and do not know where to share their harvest. AmpleHarvest.org solves that for them.

The Vision

AmpleHarvest.org envisions an America where millions of gardeners eliminate malnutrition and hunger in their own community.

The Mission

AmpleHarvest.org diminishes hunger in America by educating, encouraging and enabling gardeners to donate their excess harvest to the needy in their community instead of allowing it to rot in the garden. There are no costs to the food pantries or the gardeners for use of AmpleHarvest.org.

The Message

A number of America’s problem could be diminished or even solved if everyone valued our resources, especially fresh food, as the treasure it really is. Our message to America is:

No Food Left Behind

While this doesn’t solve the problem of food access – not by a long shot – growing and donating fresh vegan foods is a small step that you can take to help alleviate hunger in your own community. As Ample Harvest explains, locally sourced foods are also beneficial for the environment: unlike processed foods, fresh foods donated by the community don’t travel as far, don’t require excess packaging – and can even be grown organically, if that’s your thing.

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Frugal vegans throw the most productive – err, "awesomest" – garden parties.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Oneida Square Community Garden

Families gather in the Oneida Square Community Garden –
complete with a popcorn machine! Story here.
CC image via Flickr user The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Cos.
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The seeds of this week’s frugal vegan tip were planted several years ago, when I read a piece written by Lauren of the (seemingly) now-defunct blog Faux Real Tho. If memory serves correctly, Lauren described a sort of “work party,” wherein a group of friends and family members descended upon her backyard in order to help her and her husband create a garden space in their new home. In return for food and alcohol – naturally. The ultimate garden party, if you will.

Work + wine = a work party
Work + wine + dirt + produce = a garden party

Of course, bribing and plying your friends with alcohol and shiny happy vegan cupcakes is a great way to procure a little extra help when needed. But let’s take this concept a step further, shall we? Why split only the work when you can share it all: monetary expenses, land, labor, knowledge, materials and yield?

Let’s say, for example, that you want to start growing some of your own (VEGAN!) food in order to save money and become more self-sufficient (the apocalypse, it’s coming!). You have the space to establish a good-sized garden and the funds to cover any start-up costs – but are lacking the know-how and expertise to make it a rousing success. Or perhaps you’re an experienced gardener but are currently living in an apartment space which only affords room for a small window garden. Maybe you have the time to devote to weeding, watering, harvesting and preserving, but no money with which to buy the supplies. By pooling your resources with friends, family members and/or acquaintances, all of these potential pitfalls can be overcome.

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your random oddball composting tip

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Being a good lil’ greenie, I try to throw as little waste in the garbage as possible. When it comes to plant-based waste, I usually compost it. Well, not “compost” so much as recycle: instead of a compost bin, I scatter my plant waste in a field at the back of my property, and let the critters have their way with it.

Scraps are dealt with pretty swiftly this way, actually; for example, I had to discard many wheelbarrows full of rotten and half-nibbled apples and pears last summer. I dumped it all in the pasture nearest my house, because that wheelbarrow was just too heavy to cart any further. The bees, butterflies and (I assume) deer got to work on the heaps fairly quickly, and six months later, there’s barely a trace of the fruit piles.

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(Click through to embiggen and see all the little buggers.*)

During the spring, summer and fall, I’ll usually gather banana peels, potato skins, watermelon rinds and the like in a garbage bin in the garage, and empty it out as needed. It starts to smell if I leave it out too long, but it rarely sits for more than a day or two; leaves and sticks fill it quickly. Or if I’ve got a few minutes to spare, I’ll walk to the perimeter of the property and toss my waste as soon as I’ve made it, while the evening’s dinner is cooking or whatever.

Naturally, in the coldest months of the year, I’ve no inclination to go for a stroll – not even out to the barn. And storing food waste in the attached garage isn’t really an appealing prospect. So sometimes I find myself getting lazy and (*gasp*) tossing orange peels in the garbage. Bad Kelly, bad! Since I’ve been doing more and more cooking lately, I wanted to make it as pain-free as possible to recycle my plant waste, so I won’t find myself tempted to send it to the landfill.

Here’s what I came up with: when I generate plant waste, I toss it in a designated Tupperware container, which I then store in the fridge or freezer (whichever has some extra space). When the weather’s sufficiently agreeable, I’ll go recycle whatever I’ve gathered, and start the process anew. Of course, the freezer is the safer choice, but I haven’t yet had anything go moldy or goo up in the fridge (*fingers crossed*). I suppose our wacky Midwestern 75 degrees one day, wind chill of zero degrees the next day, winters help; so far I’ve been able to discard of my waste once every 7 to 10 days.

If you find yourself getting lazy about your composting in the winter months, give it a try. What works for you?

* Can you tell that I’m totally jazzed for spring?!

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WANT!

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I was channel surfing last night, and accidentally stumbled upon an infomercial for the Topsy Turvy Tomato Tree. I’m not usually one for infomercials, but I caught the program title (Tomato Tree), mistook the channel code for SciFi instead of SRI, or whatever it was, and thought the show was a cheesy SciFi original about a killer mutant psychic tomato tree…and naturally, I just had to stop. Still, I ended up watching this for a full 15 minutes before changing the channel. I blame it on all the gratuitous food porn closeups.
 


 
Anyway, TOTALLY WANT. I bet this would be great for growing tomatoes indoors, during the winter. Just as long as the mutts don’t knock the stand over. Normally, Shane’s the one cajoling me to buy crap marketed on late-night teevee, but I might have to add this one to my birthday list.

Sigh. Next thing you know, I’ll be wearing a Snuggie. Or a Slanket. Probably a Slanket. For some inexplicable reason, they’re currently donating a portion of their proceeds to NRDC.

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VeganMoFo, Day 17: Pumpkin Applesauce & Plant Porn

Friday, October 17th, 2008

As I mentioned last night, yesterday Shane and I spent the day outside, disassembling a fairly large planter. No complaints here, though; it was a gorgeous day, and I’d much rather spend a sunny day doing manual labor outside than be cooped up in the house, plugging away on office work or somesuch.

And can I just say that Midwestern autumns are effin’ gorgeous?

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VeganMoFo, Day 1: Eating Locally (X-Treme Edition)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

As I mentioned in yesterday’s link roundup, the Vegan Month of Food is upon us!:

Join us for VeganMofo – the Vegan Month Of Food. The idea is to write as much as you can for the month of October about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related – your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu – you get the idea.

Last year we didn’t come up with strict guidelines for how often we wrote, but I think the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month. Don’t forget to tag your stuff “veganmofo” and you can use the VeganMoFo banner (^up there) on your mofo posts. If you’d like inspiration or would just like to whine about how hard it is, check out the MoFo forum on the PPK message boards.

As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about.

One last thing – you may remember that VeganMoFo was in November last year, well, this year it’s in October because there’s more produce and stuff. Also, I’ll be in NYC this November and not really near a computer.

To be included here, just leave a comment on this blog entry with a link to your URL. I will then include you in the RSS feed, once I remember how to update it. You can also join the VeganMoFo Flicker group. Happy writing everyone! If you’re feeling at a loss for how to start this off, why don’t you make your first entry about that?

If you want to participate, it’s not too late. Head on over to the Post Punk Kitchen to register your blog, join the Flickr group, and grab a banner.

There’s been quite a bit of talk on the internets lately about the (dis)advantages of eating locally, eating organic, “voting” with your dollars and “happy” meat. All of which has gotten me thinking about where I shop, how I shop, how much I spend and whether I’m using my “vote” wisely.

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