Joel Margolis - J. Barrett & Company | Beverly, MA Real Estate, Salem, MA Real Estate


Making your own compost for your garden is a rather straightforward process that won’t cost a lot of money but will offer you some great returns. Basically, home composting is all about turning your regular kitchen waste into a rich additive for your garden. If done the right way, you won’t have to deal with any smell or messiness through the process. 

To make the composting process go smoothly, you will need to pay attention to 3 things:

  1. A good composting container. A container will help you hold all the decomposing material that you are going to use. It doesn't have to be extra fancy or attractive; it just needs to be able to keep all the materials together while the bacteria do their work. The kind of bin that works is one that retains both heat and moisture as they are essential to the process. You can purchase a compost bin from any gardening store near you. Remember to situate your compost container in the sun, so it gets maximum heat.
  2. The right mixture of ingredients. You are looking for a combination of both brown and green plant material along with some moisture so the bacteria can get to work in a conducive atmosphere. Use items like newspapers, dry leaves and wood shavings, kitchen waste and grass cuttings to start the compost. Other things that should go in your compost bin include fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, straw, and wood. Some items are not good composting materials because they cause pests to gather. Avoid things like meat, fish, and dairy products as they will attract rats and raccoons to your compost bin. Also, avoid diseased plant materials as they will transfer bacteria to the soil when used eventually. Also, avoid animal feces. Always add even layers of green and brown materials for excellent balance and an even flow of moisture.
  3. Composting proper. Add water to the compost pile regularly. You are aiming for the consistency of a wet sponge so be careful not to add too much water. Keep turning the compost pile with a pitchfork every two weeks to make sure the process is going on as expected. The mix should always be warm, around 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Final use. You know your compost is ready to add to your garden when it no longer gives off heat. Then you can apply about 5 inches of compost to your garden and flower pots.

Following these simple steps will help you develop your own compost for use in your garden.


Many people find it difficult to find the time and energy to prepare meals at home. Cooking at home may seem like another task on your to-do list for the day, but it carries many benefits for you and your family. It not only benefits your wallet, but it will also create lasting memories with your loved ones. 

Meal Planning

Before you make the leap and decide to quit eating out so often, it is essential to prepare for this new lifestyle change. The initial thing to do is come up with a plan of action. Meal planning can ensure your success. Start by planning which days of the week you would like to start cooking on. These days can be reoccurring in your schedule each week. For example, you can cook on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings and eat leftovers or takeout on the other days of the week. Pick days in your schedule that are not jam-packed with activities. Once you decide upon the days you would like to cook at home, begin to make a recipe list for that week. Find recipes online and print them out so that they're easy to access when you're ready to cook them. If you're not a huge fan of at-home cooking, try to find one pot meals that can go a long way for you and your family.

Grocery Shopping

After you have your recipes for the week, create a shopping list for those recipes. Try and steer clear of buying unnecessary ingredients that will go bad before you use them. Stick to your list as much as possible. If you’re too busy to find time to make it to the grocery store, utilize the free pickup option that many grocery store chains now offer. 

Fall in love with cooking

A love for cooking may not be something that comes naturally to you at first, but do not fret, before long you will be enjoying the benefits of utilizing your kitchen more. To develop a love for cooking, you need to make it as stress-free as possible. Now that you have your meal plan operating make sure you have the right tools to make it work for you. Look into tools like a pressure cooker or a food processor to cut down the tasks of preparing your meals. If chopping veggies are going to add stress to your prep time, opt for pre-cut vegetables in the frozen food section. 

Make it an event

Food often brings people together. Cooking can become a family activity that you enjoy throughout the week. Involve everyone in the family by assigning tasks to each person and work as a team to create a delicious meal. Invite your neighbors over for a family dinner and get to know the neighborhood. If cooking for a party seems too overwhelming, ask others to bring a dish. 

Once you get the hang of cooking for your family consistently, enjoy the quality time you now get to spend with your friends and family at your dinner table. Invite your neighbors over for your next homemade meal!


A commuter is someone who regularly travels from one place to another because of work. Commuters spend a lot of hours per day to get to work daily which may require a lot of sitting or driving in a bus/car. When they get to work, they still must sit for hours in the office and then drive back home while sitting in a bus/car. During this long commute, getting fit through exercising every day for at least 30 minutes might not be possible.

To get fit, you must change your routine. For example, if you're always sitting on a bus or train to get to work, and then sit all day at work, you might need some ideas about adding a fitness routine into your commute.

To improve fitness while you commute, instead of always sitting to get to work, you can decide to stand for at least 10-15 minutes to strengthen your muscles. Alternating sitting and standing burns calories, strengthens your core, and reduces back pain.

Also, if you are riding a car to work every day, it requires a lot of sitting which can cause neck pain and backache. To work out while driving, you can stretch during slow traffic or when there is a red light. Better still, you can simply park your car and take 10-15 minutes break while stretching yourself before you continue your drive.

For more ways to add exercise into our commute consider these: 

  • Get a bike: To improve strength you might need to buy a bike and ride it to work instead of taking the bus. If your commute is very far, you can ride the bike for at least 20-30 minutes and then take a bus at the next available bus stop. Make sure that you wear a helmet and jacket when commuting via bicycle and when you get to work you can change to your office clothes.
  • Park a bit farther from your workplace: When commuting by car, to increase fitness, park your car a distance from your office. Then, walk to your workplace. Your muscles will be active, and you’ll gain energy when you do this every day.
  • Don't use the elevator: Decide to take the stairs to your office. If your office is on the 4th floor, you can take the stairs to the 1st or 2nd floor and then use the elevator for the rest to reduce the risk of knee pain. Practice this every day, and you will become fit more quickly.
  • Breathe In and Out: For sitting commuters to get exercise, try breathing in and out slowly for at least two to three minutes. The aim of this exercise is to reduce stress and make you relax.

A long commute doesn’t mean you can’t get in some exercise, but if you’d rather live closer to work, talk to a real estate agent about reducing your commute.


This Condo in Beverly, MA recently sold for $375,000. This Garden style home was sold by Joel Margolis - J. Barrett & Company.


51 Front Street, Beverly, MA 01915

Condo

$369,900
Price
$375,000
Sale Price

6
Rooms
2
Beds
2/1
Full/Half Baths
Beautiful harbor and sunset views. Year-round or vacation retreat in this spacious, first floor, one-level incredible condominium on Beverly's breathtaking waterfront. 2 en-suite bedrooms, in-unit washer and dryer plus a huge covered deck that overlooks ever-changing harbor views showcasing magnificent yachts, sailing vessels and fishing boats. Enjoy these same gorgeous views from the kitchen, dining room, living room and office. Deeded 2-car tandem parking. Exclusive private entrance off the adjacent parking area. Short distance to the beaches, parks and commuter train to Boston. This opportunity rarely comes up in this historic Beverly location. You'll need to line up for a chance at this one!




Before you decide what grass to purchase for your lawn take a moment to assess your life and yard to select the best warm or cool-season grass variety for you. Here are some crucial items to think about that will affect your choice of grass. 

How will your lawn be used?

Think about where and why you're planting sod. If your installing new grass for your front lawn the use may be more for aesthetics than active use. If planting for your backyard the grass might see more traffic, and if you have children who will play outside frequently or pets that live in the yard, you’ll want to select a more rough and tough variety of grass for your climate zone. If the lawn is just for show, a beautiful but sensitive grass might do well for you.

What are the conditions in your yard?

Does your yard already allow for drainage? Your yard might already have an irrigation system, or you may need to install one. Make sure your yard is or can be well-prepared for the grass you select. If implementing an irrigation system will be difficult, or simply isn't cost effective so it won't fit in your budget consider a grass that won't need so much drainage. Look at the terrain of your yard. Will the area you're planting be easy or challenging to mow? If on a hill perhaps you want to plant a grass that only needs mowing once or twice a month or a grass that looks good if left to grow long. 

Assessing sun and shade

Even if you know what climate zone you live in you’ll still need to assess the sun and shade situation for your yard in particular. Observe your yard throughout the day, over the course of a few days. Track where the sun hits throughout the day and what areas have shade, and at what times. Tracking will help you narrow down your grass selections before you start looking at costs. 

Cost. 

How does lawn maintenance fit into your budget? If you want a grass that needs lots of irrigation or regular fertilizer, you'll need to account for the ongoing cost. Make sure you can afford to continue taking care of your lawn over the long term so that you can protect your investment. 

With this information you can review the grass varieties available to you, that suit your climate zone and make the best selection. If a lush front lawn or hearty backyard that can handle kids playing is essential to you, discuss your needs with your real estate agent so that they can include information about each lawn in the houses they present you and help you find the right yard for your lifestyle.




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