If you have been reading our blog for aw while you might be wondering why so many of our posts have to do with gardening. One factor we consider is where to put our efforts into many of self sufficient options. One of our focuses has been with gardening, we do eat every day after all. Over the last few years an especially this last year we have been moving away from as much of the processed food as possible. We have always ate pretty healthy we cook meals nearly every night and rarely ever use those "box" meals. We now almost never use them and make most meals from scratch. We are even trying to avoid a lot of the canned goods from the store. This takes either a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables or home canned (bottled) foods to accomplish this. However it is hard to do this when, we don't always had the money to buy the good fresh fruits and vegetables.
A garden is a way we can provide ourselves with more fruits and vegetables than we can otherwise afford. Gardens can be extremely productive and very very cost effective. Additionally these foods will be of higher quality and more nutritious than can ever be found in the stores. We can even surpass the "organic" foods, with foods we produce that are far better than any "organic" food you can find. We can plant varieties that can't be found in the stores because they don't ship well. There are an untold number of gems out there to find grown and enjoy. There are some wonder foods full of antioxidants we can grow in our own yards, at fractions of the cost of the new "super foods" marketed in the stores.
There have been proven benefits found from working in the soil including increase serotonin levels, anti depressive affect as well as causing addiction. Yes I said addiction, just check if you are listening, but gardening is addicting. Especially when you start to harvest and taste what these vegetables really taste like. When you taste a home grown tomato you pick ripe off the vine you will wonder what that thing is they call tomatoes in the grocery store.
It is inspiring to plant these little seeds only to watch them grown and bear fruit. It is fun to learn what makes a certain variety excel and what pests are causing issues with it. What happens if we plant it over here or next to this other plant. After your season growing jump online and order some free seed catalogs. Spend the winter reading them and learning, planning and dreaming. Plan to try out some new things next season. I love to do this, I pour over the catalogs all winter.
When we garden, even if it is in some pots on a balcony of an apartment we are gaining a little bit of independence and a level of self reliance. Any effort we make in this effort helps us along this path. I have a friend that was explaining to me that he had a seed bank in a #10 can among his food storage. He indicated that it could plant a 1 acre survival garden if he ever needed it. The issue is he does not garden now, he has no green thumb he says. Well if you have gardened a little bit you know that you will have troubles, you will kill plants, you'll over water, overlook pests, plant things in the wrong area, plant too soon or too late etc. All of these happen in good garden beds even excellent garden beds. Expecting to just plant seeds when you most need them and gain a harvest is a little bit naive. You may well be able to harvest some but with even some basic experience gardening he would be better able to pull a harvest out.
You know one thing that keeps people from gardening is the fear of failure. When you garden you will have failures, count on it, but you will also have successes. Start out simple, pick up some vegetable plants from from the nursery or even home depot and plant them. You will find it enjoyable and you'll love the results. Get out there kill some plants, plant some seeds to deep, water too much, learn by doing. Most people will only have 40-60 growing seasons in their adult life, that is not many opportunities to learn and try to master this art. Every season, you will have even more success and increased harvests. But, you must start sometime. Please make it this year. Or if you are already a gardener try to incorporate some new things to your garden, explore other methods of growing, help someone new get a small garden started or even share a corner of yours with a friend.