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.