Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Food not Lawns

1st summer - getting ready
Last night our overnight temperatures dropped to 18 degrees. Quite a drop from our mild sunny days of Dec and Jan. As much as I adore mild winters,  living by 3 national forests with lakes and rivers, that flow into our aqueducts (that water the crops, that feeds America)  the reality is, we need our rain.

I've always liked the self-sufficiency of growing your own food. It has always bothered me, when I see so many green lawns when there are people out there hungry. Water is so precious, yet we water and water just to have a green lawn. (Don't get me wrong, we have a little green lawn in our front yard for curb appeal) Many are seniors who could have a garden. I remember my grandparents, were well into their 80's and they had a good sized garden. Grandma also canned. People don't do that anymore. I guess many think "other people" or the "government" should and will  take care of us. Look out on the streets in any urban area and you'll see homeless people who are hungry. Even in my town, we have a very large homeless problem. Because we are the last major city before the Oregon border, many stay here for the winter instead of going up north. Just imagine if everyone would start a garden - they could help feed their family with some extra to share with neighbors or a food bank. I wish I knew more about gardening and agriculture, I would start a business by helping people to grow a garden. It would be like a landscaping service, where I would tend to their garden (because they don't want to) and I would share in the harvest.

Our dream is to turn our backyard into a huge veggie garden. We're going on our 4th summer living here - and have planted the last 3 summers.  We've done the square foot method and last year we did the global buckets. Lets just say, it's not as easy as it looks. I'd much rather grow a little more each year, experimenting with what veggies grow good and what do not, than to go all out digging up the lawn and just planting aimlessly which my husband sometimes wants to do. A good garden needs planning. Knowing the best position for the sun and pest management. We tend to get voles. It is an expensive investment and if done correctly, it could really save us in food.

last summer's global buckets

January is a good time to start planning a garden. Estimating the costs - looking through seed catalogs. So will we be an all-out sub-division sized urban homestead that my husband wants NOW or just a bigger garden than we had last year? More later.

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