Small victories, big motivation.

G’day it’s Steve here again with another rivetting instalment of ’20 dollar garden challenge,’ and this post I’m going to be talking about some of the little victories that we’ve had in the garden to date, that may not seem like much on the surface, but help to provide good motivation with continuing the project.

One of the little victories that we achieved was when we took our two youngest sons, Hunter and Jensen, out into the backyard and picked all 9 apples from our resident apple tree. We’re kicking ourselves that we only bought one of these trees, a fuji tree, as it only cost $15, yet is self-pollinating, and despite being in a pot, has given an increasing crop each year.


Our fuji apple tree, that is ripe for use to espalier.

Our fuji apple tree, that is ripe for use to espalier.

Hunter with some of the apples, adding them to the fruit bowl.

Hunter with some of the apples, adding them to the fruit bowl.


One of the benefits of growing the apples ourselves is that we know what has gone into the soil, and consequently the food and our bodies. It also gives the boys an indication that the food they get from the supermarket actually comes from plants, or animals, not just boxes or packs. Plus it’s a lot of fun to get into the garden with the boys and get a little bit messy, it’s great to see the look on their faces when they get their hands dirty, or pick apples or strawberries from the garden and eat them fresh.

We have a plan to transplant the apple tree into a bigger pot by one of the fences, or even to plant it into the ground, and then espalier the tree to grow into a certain shape. Hopefully it turns out well and we can get a decent supply of apples every year, we certainly consume quite a few!

The other benefit of this idea is that the tree doesn’t cost any money under the rules of the challenge, as it was already in our possession when the challenge began!

If you’re not familiar with the rules of the challenge, they were crafted by my lovely wife Linda, and are as follows:

1 The budget for each week of the challenge is, surprise, surprise, $20.
2 I can’t spend any of the budget in advance.
3 If something costs more than $20, it has to be paid off in instalments.
4 Receipts for ALL items, materials, etc, have to be kept and displayed.
5 If I don’t/can’t spend any money in a particular week, I still have to do something in the garden, (for example pruning or removing trees, making a garden feature from available materials/items, or from items I salvage, have donated to the challenge, etc.)
5a If friends or relatives want to help with the challenge, paying them in kind with BBQ and some beer/wine, etc, is perfectly acceptable.
7 Have approximately two years to complete the challenge.

(No doubt there may be a bit of tweaking of the rules during the ongoing challenge, but that just makes things interesting I reckon.)

The current budget for ’20 dollar garden challenge’ now rests at $120, so it is slowly building up, and the progress is slowly building some momentum.

That’s all for now, I look forward to all of your wonderful comments and hope that you’re doing well with whatever project that is currently occupying your time.

Cheers, Steve 🙂


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