Self-Reliance in the Backyard

Self-Reliance in the Backyard

TomatoesSo if you have read any of my past posts, you know that I think that our dependence on the many systems in our lives gives us a false sense of security. It is absolutely misplaced trust. Go back and read The Intertwining Systems for kind of a scary eye-opener. But we’re about doing things around here, not just complaining about the systems or being too stuck in our ways to do anything. We’re doers, aren’t we? So what can we do to put a buffer between our lives and the food system?

Grow your own food

Having a garden and growing what you ate used to be a normal part of life not too long ago. It just made sense. Why is it not the case today? Why doesn’t it just make sense in our culture? I don’t know. I have many ideas but I don’t want to get into it now. Let’s get into growing your own food and why it does make sense.

Roma TomatoesIt doesn’t matter if you live on 5 acres, 40 acres or in an apartment with a balcony, you can have a garden. They may look different, but they do the same thing, grow food. They grow food that you plant, that you cultivate and you know what is going into the plants, thus you know what is going into you. It is your own food security and it’s healthier to boot.

For the first time gardener, it does require a little bit of extra work. You will have to prepare the ground or build raised beds if you want to go that route. But you can do it, it may seem a little daunting at first, but it really isn’t that bad. I have had to start a few gardens from scratch because of relocations and I started all of them with a pick mattock, six inches at a time, which is probably the hardest way possible.   It didn’t matter. I knew what I wanted and I just did it. Then go get some compost from your local supplier and work that into the soil. If you can find a supplier that you can get bulk compost from, do it. It will be a lot cheaper than getting bags of it from a Lowe’s or Home Depot. Some will give you all you can take for free. But if bags are all you can get, get them, your plants will thank you for it in a big way.

Small spaces?

Gutter garden - Vertical garden
Credit: GreenUpgrade.com

If you only have a little balcony space, start container gardening. Get on YouTube and get some ideas to build some containers. Or just buy some good sized pots and go at it. Look up Square Foot Gardening and apply that to your containers. You will be amazed what you can produce in a relatively small space. Learn about Vertical Gardening and Gutter Gardening and you’ll be able to produce even more. The possibilities are nearly endless if you want to spend the time learning and doing. And that is just your first year.

The second season and beyond, things get much easier as most of the work is already done.   The ground is already loosened or raised bed already built, the containers are already purchased. And most importantly, you have the knowledge of the last season stored in your cranium. Now you know what did well, what didn’t do well and you have probably already researched why certain things failed and what to do about it. Knowledge is the most valuable thing you will take away from your first garden. Whether you did very well or your 4 tomato plants gave you 3 tomatoes. Total. You come away knowing what you will do the next time around, little tweaks here and there or completely revamping the first year’s plan.

Breaking free

If you have a garden in your backyard (or front yard), you will be producing (hopefully organic) food for your family that isn’t depending on another country’s agricultural system, their climate, their distribution system, customs coming into our country and our distribution system to land it in a super market for you to purchase.   It will be right outside your door. And let me tell you, you will never forget the flavor of vegetables produced in your backyard vs 3,000 miles away. Those vegetables are produced with transportation and durability in mind, not flavor. They are specifically made to withstand the harvest, transportation and time thereof.

If you want to be a little more free of the systems, this has got to be one the first steps. This is food security, this is empowerment. This is staying free.

Until next time,

Stay free.

 

2 thoughts on “Self-Reliance in the Backyard

  1. This is awesome! I’ve gardened for the last couple years (you’re right about learning a bunch from previous seasons) but I never tried vertical gardening. I’m gonna try the gutters! Good article!
    E.

    • I think you’ll be amazed with how much you can grow that way. I have also seen the gutter idea done with like 4″ PVC pipe as well. Both are pretty good ideas, especially if you don’t have a lot of space. Or if you just want to make use of a wall!

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