Sunday, April 6, 2008

Well, I decided I am going to have a garden this year. Just a small plot—4’ by 25’--but I’m going to try bio-intensive gardening, so I may be able to produce quite a lot from it. And if that goes well, next year I’ll make it even bigger. I spread my three years worth of compost on it, and then a good layer of aged manure that John brought over. Next I need to double-dig it to loosen the deeper soil, and then it should be ready. I’m doing a simple mounded bed (without wood sides, so no expense there) and I’m going to interplant my beans with the corn, so I won’t need trellises for them. I’ll need to stake or cage the tomatoes, but that’s probably it. Peas can climb up the outside of the compost. So, I got around my ridiculous idea that having a garden required the outlay of too much cash up front.

I did buy a fan type sprayer for the garden hose, a V for the outdoor faucet so I can have the sprinklers on one and the garden hose on the other. I need to buy one more length of hose still, plus probably some garden fencing to keep the cat population out. I’ve got most of the seeds already and I’m building seed flats this weekend from lumber scraps. I also got a few clay pots to start some indoor herbs (but I’m also doing an outdoor herb garden as well).

Yesterday I started my first batch of sprouts (for eating, not growing). I’m eager to add them to my regular diet since they’re so full of enzymes and nutrients.

This is one more step towards becoming self-sufficient that I can be doing right now--raising at least some of my own food. I’ve gotten beyond the idea that it all has to wait until I move back to Pennsylvania. I’ve been reading up on bio-intensive methods and it’s so exciting to realize just how much food can be raised in a very small area.

I also took a book out of the library on solar gardening. It combines intensive gardening with solar aids to extend the harvest. It’s cool to know I can have at least some kinds of fresh vegetables virtually year round.

It’s funny how voluntary simplicity reaches into every aspect of life. Food is definitely one of the most vital aspects and it’s so much fun to be delving into it now. Gardening is just the next logical step. I already cook everything from scratch from whole foods, but to be able to grow it too will be awesome.

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