After I used an iPhone App to help plan my home garden…it occurred to me that I have a long way to go on the journey back to simpler times. Nevertheless, that journey has begun, with some of our family goals detailed below.
To take responsibility for producing some of our family’s food.
Backyard gardening has been a pleasure. As a child, I always had a garden, but got sidetracked by the rat race and “growing up.” Somehow in the frenzy to get an education, get married, have children and find a job, I forgot to live everyday life.
Returning to gardening is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It forces you to slow down and appreciate things. We live in a subdivision, so there’s not much room to plant. However, another family goal is to move to some acreage within the next two years. Raised-bed gardens seemed to be a good start in my small space. Sam’s Club in Roanoke had a kit that snaps together, so we began there. Far too many seeds were stuffed in the little garden, mostly caused by the over-enthusiasm of the gardener. It all worked out, however, and we had fresh, chemical-free vegetables all Summer long. No pesticides were used at all; I decided the insects could have their fair share and I think they talked it over and decided to let me have mine! We lost very little.
It’s nice knowing I have friends who will help. My longtime buddy Steve Turner, known as “Mater Man, gives me gardening tips and answers my questions patiently. My friend (and employer), Tom Wilson, offered use of his tiller. Roanoke, VA is that kind of town; people help one another. A fantastic place to live.
This Fall, my husband Eddie and I will hunt for venison to fill the freezer. Certainly it won’t supply all of our meat, but this isn’t an all-or-nothing activity. We know we can’t supply all of our food; we just want to cut down on prepared grocery store food items and move in the right direction.
To Enjoy Family Time not Spent in front of a Television
Gardening started out as “Mom’s thing,” but over time the whole family got involved. My son helped place the raised beds, my daughter helped harvest and my husband pulled weeds. Even granny came out back for a look. I’d much rather have family activities centered around the garden than the television.
There was hard work involved but it was fulfilling; when we finished, we felt a real sense of accomplishment.
Cable TV is so overrated-have you noticed that, in addition to the regular commercials, now they use up part of your screen to put more commercials at the bottom? And we pay them to watch… their own commercials! What are we thinking?
To Live a Life that is not dominated by “Stuff.”
We cleaned out our garage this week. Borrowed a truck from our friend Chuck Campbell. The garage is not empty, but we made a significant dent. When my husband returned from the dump, where he took the junk, he told me it had weighed 1500 lbs.!! Until he showed me the ticket, where they weighed the truck before & after, I thought he was joking. Never again-we are de-cluttering and will no longer be ruled by “stuff.”
In the End…
This process is going to take time, but at least we got started. So far, here is what we’ve done to move towards a life of self-sufficiency:
- Started a garden
- Planted Basil and Vanilla indoors
- Grew carrots indoors over the winter
- Started looking for a home on some acreage
- Made garden starter pots out of newspaper
- Made our own body wash for 1/3 the price of store bought
My job is as the Director of Technology for Prudential Premier REALTORS. Surely I won’t be removing all technology from my life. That’s not the goal at all. It was great that my iPhone could help me plan my garden. Technology should assist you when you need it, but it certainly isn’t what’s meaningful in life.
We’re always open to more ideas of small changes or projects we could do …feel free to share yours in the comments.