I've always loved the taste of fresh tomatoes tossed with fresh basil and it's always been easy to purchase a tomato plant or two, plop them into a pot, and reap the rewards of regular watering with mouth watering flavor. Yum, yum, yum!
That's about all I did during the years I worked outside of the home. After having kids, I wanted to garden earnestly so that my children would benefit from seeing and learning the love of gardening. It was something that I wanted to do so that my children's children would inherit a love, desire, and understanding of gardening and working with Mother Earth.
A few years ago, my three year old son and I started with a little patch of dirt. The following year we moved our garden plans to a more sunny local in the backyard (darn Maple tree leaves!) This year we have continued in the same area, adding another bed.
It's been three years now of gardening and I have to say that - although things grow and thrive, sometimes - I have no idea what I'm doing. I've planted in the shade and nothing grew. I planted 12 tomato plants practically right on top of eachother and they thrived. I borrowed wood pallets to make an open air composting area in my backyard and I think I'm doing it right... The kids and I have fun making and creating a garden together, and, honestly, this haphazard style of gardening has worked for us up until now.
What's different now?
Necessity has come into play. With food prices and gas prices going through the roof - again - I am fed up with having to worry if I can have fresh organic food for my family come dinner time. So, what's a green mama to do?
I'm challenging myself with the ultimate goal: to become as self-sustained as possible. I want to grow as much food for my family as possible. I want to eat fresh organic food everyday, and freeze and can what I can so that our little harvest will go the distance.
Only problem is, we own 0.17 acres that a house and a pool set upon. So that leaves me some room in the backyard, a side yard, and possibly some of the front yard. I live in Podunk East Coast with no HOA to worry about. If my neighbor can park his car on his lawn for the past 14 years, I can have a veggie farm in mine!
And that makes me so giddy and excited! I asked my darling husband if he'd mind NOT having a lawn to mow. He said he'd be all for it.
So that got me thinking...
My inspiration to start farming my little land came from the Dervas Family of Pasadena, CA. They converted their entire front, side, and backyards into a "Little Homestead in the City", complete with all the food they need for the year, a means to create an income, and their own chickens, goats, ducks, and more! This summer while in California I'm going to take a field trip to their homestead and check it out for myself...a Green Mama's destination for sure!
While I'm patiently and excitedly awaiting my trip, I will be frequenting their Freedom Gardens website, "an online social community of gardening enthusiasts who are fed up with foreign oil, frequent food miles and high food prices. Gardeners of all types of gardens are welcomed". Awesome. I'm sure they won't mind a haphazard gardener then ;)
This year I will be adding another bed to the veggie garden, but that's all. I'd love to do more and would if I had the green...(oh, will the gas prices stop rising!)... That said, I better start making a list of all the supplies and materials I'll need to save for for next year's growing season. Maybe I'll find some frugal ways over the summer to start extending my garden sooner... I do love that Craigslist!
Here's to dreaming and planning...wish me luck! ;)