The Rules

For this garden to work, I have to stick within certain boundaries.  Some are built from necessity (I have no money, there are rules where I live), and others as ways to stick to a moral code (stealing is wrong).  The 8 rules that guide the project are summarized below, with more thorough explanations after the jump.

  1. Stay within ground space permitted by the landlord.
  2. The outdoor garden must look decorative.
  3. Spend no more than $5 on the whole project (cannot raise additional money).
  4. It's permissible to use tools and supplies I already have.
  5. Do not ask for sympathy donations.
  6. Do not inconvenience non-gardeners who live in the house.
  7. Ask before taking anything, and don't take what won't grow back.
  8. Remember this is a hobby.

The Expanded Rules
  1. Stay within my small strip of ground space.  The rules of our housing complex are that we can only plant in the small strip of soil between the hedge in front of our house and the lawn.
  2. All outdoor plants must appear decorative.  I think edible plants are beautiful, more so than their "beautiful" peers because they are also useful.  But, our rules are that all gardens must be decorative.  That means even the recycled garden materials have to look good.
  3. Spend no more than $5 total.  I have no money.  So I can't spend any.  However, I've never gardened this way before so I want to give myself a little leeway.
    • Raising money to spend on the garden is cheating because I need any money I make for bills and necessities. 
    • Money spent on heirloom groceries that is above what I spend on normal vegetables counts against the $5 total.  So, if I buy organic garlic as part of my groceries for $1 instead of regular garlic for 50 cents so that I can plant a few of the organic garlic bulbs, then the extra 50 cents I spent counts against my $5 budget.
  4. I can use the tools and supplies I already have.  Last year, I bought some things at the end of season sales.  I can make use of those.
  5. No sympathy donations.  It's cheating to tell people about my project/plight in order to get tools or seeds.  However, if I'm discussing gardening with someone who has extra and offers to share, it's fair game. 
  6. Don't inconvenience any non-gardeners in the house.  My husband is not a gardener.  He likes the garden but doesn't want to do it and isn't a fan of the dirt and bugs it tracks into the house (he may be looking over my shoulder as I type this).  It's not fair to inconvenience the only person still in the house who still works (and pays my way) by messing up the house or his world.
  7. Ask before taking if possible and don't take what won't grow back.  Taking a small leaf or cutting from somewhere no one will notice is fine; taking a plant or large cutting is not.  As always, ask before taking something from someone. If it's a barren field or overgrown abandoned garden and there's no one to ask, then it's ok to take a leaf or cutting.
  8. Remember that this is a hobby.  Do not spend time on the garden that could be spent on any work you get.  Work pays money.  This doesn't, so don't lose sight of the need to make money too.

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