Kombrink Real Estate Group: The Green Experiment

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance

 I hate the word "Green".  It is overused and too "Hollywood" for me.  However, I've always loved the idea of being frugal and making the best use of my resources.  My husband, who is an architect, is very fond of frugality as well.  We both grew up in very practical homes.  My husband's family were farmers and my parents came from farming cultures as well.  However, being busy people working in the corporate world has caused us to stray from some of the lessons we learned from our ancestors.

In an attempt to simplify our lives and save money, we have decided to embark upon an experimental life change.

My husband and I have been spending some time going through books written by others who have lived frugally or "green" if you will for more than 30 years.  We have also tapped into the knowledge of some of our older relatives to learn some skills that we had never before bothered to develop.

I have decided to start a series of blogs about what we are doing and the results.

In our planning for this...my husband felt that we needed to sell our home and our 2.5 acres of land in order to do what it is that we would like.  However, I challenged him in that I would like to see if we can make the most of what we already have and go ahead with some of our plans.  He, being a detail oriented person, sat down with his CAD program and drawings of our current property to see if it could be done efficiently with what we already own.  He has developed the layout and we both believe we can implement some of the ideas we have developed.

The Garden

Kyle has developed a working plan and layout for a garden.  So what's the big deal?  Most people have gardens.  I dare say, that not many have gardens like this one.

Rather than just plowing out a plot and throwing some seeds out, Kyle has done research on vertical gardening, 4 season gardening, and hydorponic gardening in order to maximize our crop in the least amount of space with the least amount of work.  (We both hate to weed.  It was obvious with our garden last year that weeding would not get done.)

Kyle has done much research on what plants produce the most yield for our area and what nutrient needs they have as well as what companion plants will help increase the crop.

His next task was to develop a hydroponic garden for certain vegetables we are hoping to produce.  Hydroponic set ups can be quite expensive and we felt that the investment would go against what we were hoping to do...which is be frugal and efficient.  So, he set out to see if he could develop a hydroponic system using common items from the hardware store that would require very little cost or energy to run.

I am so proud to say that he has done it and managed to make the system attractive to the eye!

I have begun starting seeds in the house, so that our plants will be ready to set out at the earliest possible time.  He has also developed low cost cold frames, using items from the hardware store as well.

I in turn have researched plants for my kitchen garden that will grow in the light available in the house and provide fresh greens all year 'round!

Stay tuned....
In my next excerpt I will talk about how we plan on fertilizing our garden without purchasing fertilizer while cutting down on our garbage!

I will also talk about what I found when I took a walk through the woods behind my house that will help my family fight those pesky winter colds.

...and much more!  Check us out and find out how this experiment turns out!

Comments (4)

Linda Bourgault
lulugraphix-creative photography & fine art - Flower Mound, TX

Laura—An online friend and author of These Days in French Life

blog is doing this with her family in the South of France. She's the one who inspired me to try to my hand at making home made goat cheese. Her story is very interesting and one I think you'll enjoy. Hope you'll check out her blog. Good luck on living your frugal life. I think you'll be very successful!

Feb 05, 2009 05:18 AM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

Thanks, Linda!  We are really having fun with it!

Feb 05, 2009 05:20 AM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Laura, I can't wait to hear more. I am an avid recycler. I carry most of the paper from our office each weekend to a place that not only recycles, but does it at an Elementary School where it teaches the kids and raises money for them.

I have wanted to start catching rain water and composting but my husband is not on board yet.

Feb 05, 2009 10:34 PM
Laura Kombrink
RE/MAX Alliance - Collinsville, IL

That's awesome Connie.  Stay tuned on composting....We are implementing a composting system that can compost food scraps very quickly and will provide liquid fertilizer as well as solid fertilizer.  It also has other benefits.

Stay tuned......and thanks for stopping by!

Feb 05, 2009 11:30 PM