Friday, January 21, 2011
Becoming a Homesteader: Step 1 Growing My Own Food
I figure I need to start small.
My Mother bought me the cute...odd present you see above, for Christmas.
At the time, I just thought it was a sort of funny last minute gift, which is quintessentially my mom's style. But with this gift, she (perhaps unknowingly) supported my desire to homestead and to live closer with the earth...
Talk about synchronicity! I think it was the Universe, speaking through my mom's odd gift, saying..."Go Imogen! Go after your homestead dreams! You can do it!" And since I'm always up for receiving encouragement and mystical signs from the heavens...I accept the challenge & responsibility of this Chia Garden!!!
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So I'm currently in the process of creating a step-by-step plan that will allow my Husband and I to actually buy our homestead...in a couple of years. This sort of venture takes lots of planning and commitment. I don't just want to drag my husband on the bandwagon with me, so I HAVE needed to make sure that this was his dream too...And I'm happy to report it certainly is! But after doing some research, I've found out that the best "from city to country" plan includes learning & honing homesteading skills NOW, before moving to our homestead of dreams
So what can I do now in a small flat? I can't raise chickens or keep a cow!
But there are loads of things I can do! My ultimate goal would be for us to even produce our own electricity. Solar panels, wind turbines, and live completely off the grid, borrowing from no one and only buying from whom we wish! But that's a ways off.
As a beginning homesteader, I will hone my skills in:
cooking and baking from scratch (I'm already pretty good)
(but meal planning and eating locally are very important when you want to be budget and eco-friendly...so I need to work on those things)
making homemade candies and granolas (awesome)
pickling (cool, but I'm scared of Botulism! )
canning (Botulism again)
preserving (and again!)
growing our own food!
(There's plenty more that I want to learn how to do, in my quest to become self-sufficient, from making butter to making clothing....but I'm sticking with my Food theme for today)
So, that's where I'm starting: Growing my Own Food!
And I'm starting with an herb garden. My Husband and I tried to do some container gardening this past summer; and since neither of us had ever grown ANYTHING before...it was definitely a learning experience! My Husband gathered his gumption and built 2 wooden containers for our plants. And we planted peppers, tomatoes, and green beans from seed! AND THEY GREW!!! It was such an amazingly SATISFYING experience: watching green buds burst from the soil, watching the VERY FUZZY unripened veggies form! It was such a miracle. The sweet, simple miracle of growing.
So I'm currently in the process of planning our patio garden for the upcoming spring and I'm very excited! I hope to lay it out with lush, fruit and veggie sprouting plants!
And since I don't plant till Spring, I thought it would be wonderful to start my small herb garden today. Eventually, when we have our homestead (our homestead is my dearest wish. To have a home with my Husband, and to live a long & healthy life with him, is truly my dearest and only wish. If I could just have anything, it would be that. And I'm so grateful I even get to DREAM of such a thing.)
So yes, Eventually, on our homestead, I would like us to have 3 gardens:
A medicinal herb garden
A culinary herb garden
A rose garden...I'd like roses all over really!
A vegetable garden
A fruit orchard
Ok, that's really 5 gardens.
I'd also like to have:
1 or 2 sweet tempered dairy cows
a few beautiful brown buxom hens
3 or so sheep
and much more.
but while my Husband and I do research on these animals and scout out for our farmland, I'll begin buffing my homesteading skills so they'll shine!
So starting with my Chia Pet Herb garden is a wonderful first step.
one of the basic tenants for being a homesteader, is growing your own food.
So Let's get started!
As I took out the Chia pods, I noticed condensation on bags. Maybe something's Awesomely alive!
So this is everything that came with the kit: seed packets, clay pots and holders, plant tags, and Chia dirt pods. And lots of literature! cool!
And through the magic of blogging, I'm done! seeds are planted, pots are covered to create a "greenhouse atmosphere" and I'm excited to see what pops up! (in 5-14 days).
Do the Chia pods have chemicals in them? I hope not!
So we'll check in on my herb seedlings in a couple days! Hope they sprout!
What's your dearest wish? To homestead as well?