A Penny for Your Thoughts

I am participating in Word Press’s Blogging 101: Zero to Hero Challenge, so you will see posts over the course of the next 27 days about things that aren’t necessarily what I want the main point of my blog to be. But I am doing this to improve my writing skills, to reach out to more followers, to gain and give support and encouragement, and to hopefully learn something. No worries, I will still post about my garden and all my other ideas 🙂

Today’s assignment is to talk about what was on my mind when I started an account and began to blog. This is a relatively easy request to fulfill as I have only been blogging for about 6 weeks. I was starting something new and needed help.

As I have stated in other posts, my goal is to live a fairly sustainable life. I would like to say this is a 5 or 10 year goal, but it is an ongoing goal, it’s the way I want to live my life forever. I want to grow as much of my own food as possible, I want to raise chickens for eggs and meat, I want to use solar and wind power, I want to lessen my carbon footprint and treat Mother Nature with love and respect. I want to eat healthier, know where my food comes from and what went into growing it. I want to rely on myself for everything I need and not depend on anyone for my food and care. I don’t want the government to control what is on my food and what I put into my body.

This is a relatively new desire. It started about 2 years ago when I visited a few friends in Florida and I realized how much less expensive it is to live there. The housing is so inexpensive compared to Colorado. So I pondered the idea of leaving Colorado. Then I thought, ‘well if I am leaving the only place I have ever known I want land, and as much of it as possible.’ I wanted a buffer between myself and my neighbors. I wanted my own space to live my own life. But how can I do that if I still needed to buy everything for my survival.

That’s when gardening came into my mind. I wanted to grow as much of my own food as possible. So last spring my mother (who lives with me) and I decided we wanted to have raised garden beds and do square foot gardening to hopefully yield as much food as possible out of our small yard. We spent most of last spring making beds and creating fancy dirt to put in them (made of vermiculite, peat moss and 5 types of compost). But this is still Colorado and the air is dry and the weather is unpredictable at times. Also, last year when we finally planted, which was late in the season for some things, our space was bigger than our knowledge. We were not successful in anything.

There is a lot to know when it comes to gardening. Ph levels in soil, the difference in soil and what will grow in what type of soil, what plant needs what type of watering schedule, what will grow great next to each other and what won’t (called companion gardening), diseases, compost feeding, pest control, time to plant different things, what does well in full sun, what needs shade… I can go on and on.

So this year I am taking a different approach. I am growing a few key things for canning purposes. We are focusing on cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, peas, lettuce, spinach, and a couple of other things (check previous posts for what we planted last year, it was crazy). But I need help. So I started the blog to discuss things with other gardeners, sustainable lifers, DIYers, and the like. But because this idea has opened a flood gate of inspiration, I am also blogging about other things too, just to keep it interesting.

We have also decided after so much effort in Colorado, we are going to stay here. Our friends, family and jobs are here. We still want land and are planning on moving next year when my son graduates high school, but no sense in wasting a growing season. Also, to gain knowledge, I am going to start volunteering with Denver Botanic Gardens in their agriculture area to learn more about gardening, farming, watering, pest control, ect. Exciting stuff!

On that note, the peas and lettuce are doing really well and the carrots are starting to show. We planted onion seeds this week. The stuff we are trying to grow in peat pots inside are not doing well. I don’t think that they will here, we need to try again when I can build my greenhouse. The little orange and lime tree I ordered are in a south facing window and are starting to grow new leaves!

I may consider bee keeping in the future as well, as they seem to be endangered and we cannot live without them. We see how brave I get later in life. I am 36 now, so I have a long way to go and lots to learn.

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8 thoughts on “A Penny for Your Thoughts

  1. Liz Kibby says:

    You have a very interesting story! And I love Colorado so much – definitely on my top 5 to visit in the next couple years. Your topic of sustainability is something I also hold dear to my heart. Right now I am experimenting with re-purposing leftover aspects of food into new growth, such as celery, pineapples, and broccoli. Here’s an example: I find it fascinating and easy to maintain! 🙂 http://www.17apart.com/2013/02/how-to-plant-grow-pineapple-top.html

    • Tara says:

      I am actually growing a pineapple top! My boyfriend started it for me from the first dinner he ever cooked for me. It’s so fun. I have trouble with celery and broccoli. I tried both last year. Not as easy in our climate.

      Colorado is a great place. Don’t try to hike your first few days here, or drink too much alcohol. Just a tip 🙂

  2. luckymermaidx2 says:

    me too! I also live in an unpredictable weather state. Hard to use my greenhouse (recycled stuff, cobbled together by friends, but still usable, if it is ‘warm enough’ hah!) I know living in the south is cheaper, but I love Maine, lived here for 10 years, and it is beautiful, and not nearly as many folks as in Fl……Plus, if I went back to Oklahoma, where I lived a few years as a kid, I would always be looking for snakes, and I’ve lived in enough places with those critters, and am happy for the trade off right now. (there are snakes here, but they aren’t venomous, though I’ve heard of a rare siting of a timber rattlers in western part of state)
    I have garden beds, this year, changing them up. Using more large containers, and ‘hoop things’……some years have been very ambitious, this year, not sure. Last summer was awful for growing. Too late here to start from seed this spring, because of the long long cold season ….
    I will watch your blog. Want to hear what you’re doing…

    • Tara says:

      Maine is beautiful. I have never been there, but have friends who have and have seem pictures. It is on my list of places to visit. I thought Colorado had a short growing season, I bet Maine’s is really short. That is why I want to have a greenhouse eventually. Get a jump on things and extend my growing season. Thanks for the follow!

  3. aishasoasis says:

    I am sooo with you, all the way! ♥♥♥

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