Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Looking back

Today while looking through my blog, I realized that I have written 204 posts. When I started it, I never thought I would write that many or end up having 112 followers. It started as just something to do on the now gone Yahoo 360, but I brought it here when I realized that no one ever read it but a handfull of Yahoo friends. I transferred some here and started writing regularly. Sometimes I would post 3-4 a week, and sometimes I would miss a few weeks alltogether. I like looking back and seeing the accomplishments here at home, and reading the comments from all of you followers. It's been a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to writing more this year.
My subject matter tends to jump around quite a bit. I started off sticking with the garden/homestead idea, but that's not all what I am about. I want to write and share all the things I enjoy, read about, or am passionate about, which leaves some entries with 12 comments and some with none. I've considered going back to just the gardening and homesteading for this blog, but I have decided not to. It's not all I do, so it won't be all I write about. The only place I can write freely about all of my interests is here. I frequent several online forums, but never quite fit in. The typical "suburban homesteader" sites are all about being pretty, and I am not. The hunting places are all about that trophy deer, and I'm about putting food in the freezer. The eco-green places want to talk about small trendy things they do that they saw on tv, where I want to go off grid and live like it was 1884. I'm too homestead for the survival folks, and too survival for the homestead folks. My only outlet of openly talking and sharing my life is here, and here it will stay.

Today I'll start with something I have never really talked about in just one post, and thats why we garden. I've talked about gardening hundreds of times, how we do what we do, and what we do with the produce, but I have never really said WHY. Well, there are several reasons. The first and foremost is not having to go buy something I can simply grow myself. I dispise the thought of going to the store and buying cans of green beans when I can spend a little time planting seeds and have the ability, like last year, to can 60 quarts of them at home. I can't imagine not looking out this window at all that we have planted and at the vegetable garden space and remember what it was like to go have to buy everything, I just can't. The work isn't all that hard, and the end results are amazing. I will never not have a garden simply for this one reason.

Reason number two is I know what is in my plants or what has been sprayed on them. NOTHING. We use no fertilizers other than compost. We use no pesticides or herbicides. I know that my tomato's came from my own backyard and not from Mexico where they are sprayed with chemicals that are banned in the US. Most produce you see at the stores is picked and shipped unripened, and sprayed to make them ripen in transit. This why you see big red apples and tomatos that taste like nothing, they aren't ripe. In the past, I have bought tasteless tomotos, dyed apples, and green onions with a slimy god knows what in the center of the stalk. I don't want to eat that, or anything else I have listed.

Another reason is to simply live simpler and save money. With a few dollars in seeds, and my time (which i DON'T put a price on), I can grow and harvest for myself a large amount of food that I would normally have to buy. Someday I would love to add up everything we harvested last year and compare it to what it would cost at the grocery store. Besides the cost of the food itself, we are saving money on gasoline and wear & tear on the vehicles. I find it insane to spend $3 in gas to get $10 worth of groceries. I have no need to go to the store for potato's, I just walk out back and dig some up...just like everything else.

Along with our goals of living simpler, the garden helps us towards our goal of being as self sufficient as we possibly can. By not relying on the stores to buy fruit or vegetables, we're one step closer. We grow what we eat, and we can, freeze, dehydrate, and store everything we grow. Trips to the store are usually less frequent, and normally just for basic items. Each new thing we raise or plant in the ground is one less thing we are reliant on the grocer for. That alone is worth the effort we put into our garden and plants.

My last reason I wrote a bit about in a post a few days ago. With everything I grow and eat myself, I am sending a message to the big boys. I'm telling the grocery stores I don't need them. I'm telling big agriculture the same. And I am telling the chemical companies we won't buy their product or anything treated with it. With the population exploding, we rely on the grocer more and more since there are only a handfull of people who produce their own compared to the total population. This pushes the grocer to need more, which pushes the farmer to produce more, which pushes the chemical companies to make and market products which help the other two. Being out of this loop gives you freedom. It gives you independance, and it tells them we are not all going to fall into their trap. My garden is a big " * you" to all of them.

As I was proof reading this entry, I had another reason and wasn't going to add it, but decided that I will. I know it's far fetched for a lot of people, and sometimes even for me, but I'm going to include it anyway. While reading some of the preparadness and survival wesites I frequent, I see a lot of people talking about learning gardening for those big SHTF scenerio's they are all so fond of talking about. Many of them plan to have gardens after some giant disaster, and there are actually companies that sell garden seeds for long term storage, marketing them as basically a "survival garden in a bucket". While I don't think much about giant disasters or such things, I do know that I have the skills, the means, and the know how to have my own garden if one of their scenerio's would ever come true. Now I don't see anything like that happening, but in case it ever does, I'll trade ya some potatos and onions for that case of .223 ammo, LOL.


Call me "MOOD", Mahmud. said...

Life can be very convenient if we can pick up the vegetables and fruits we need just outside the window.This is an excellent policy to live by.Over here I chose to buy "jungle produce" vegetables, fruits ,herbs and nuts at the local jungle produce markets.They are not only healthy ( no chemicals etc) but also fresh and relatively cheap to buy because these are not 'cultivated'since they grow wild in the villages.At the same time I do grow some useful and commonly used herbs and spices in my edible garden plots for emergency cases, thus saving on transport costs.Carry on gardening my friend!

small farm girl said...

I'm glad your here to stay. I enjoy reading your blog and I agree with a most of it. I like growing my own food for the same reasons as you do. Glad to know there are more of us out there.

Keep on growing!

Barb and Steve said...

I have always enjoyed your post no matter what you are writing about. Keep going like you are :-)

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