Creating Abundance, Gaining Independence and Decreasing my Footprint
Growing your own food benefits the environment in so many ways. You are not contributing to the waste of industrial processing, no packaging is needed and many gallons of pollutants are not being released into the air for transport. Of course, then there's the personal gains implied by the title.
My garden planning has been three seasons in the making. Last fall I decided to go with Hugelkultur Mounds as the best no-till method to grow my own food. I put in a few days of hardwork that'll pay off for up to 25 years. I published a how-to article showing you the process here.
I live in the U.S. Hardiness Zone-5, so it's common practice to plant after Mother's Day. It's after this date that we're unlikely to get frost, but this spring has been a bit colder than usual. When I say 'usual', I mean 'ever'.
The extreme swings in temperatures have lasted much further into Spring than at any time I can remember and we even had snow just nine days ago. It's as if the seasons this year has been pushed back by a month. We are getting April rains now and still waiting for most of the flowering plants to bloom.
This is why I am just now planting my sprouts outside. I'm hoping the weather has levelled out, so there are no issues. Of course, I am building mini-greenhouses to cover the mounds, so I'll be able to deal with any frost that comes my way and to extend the growing season this fall.
This is the first year I've planted this much, so it's a bit of an experiment for me. Some of the produce I've planted are cantaloupe, kale, spinach, snap peas, green peppers, broccoli, cilantro, oregano, summer squash, a mesclun salad mix, onions, carrots and tomatoes.
According to my mental planning it didn't look like I had enough planting space, so the first mound may have been over-planted. I'll have to decide over the next few days if I need to thin it out.
Since quite a few of the veggies are vines, the plan is to add a few posts and rails over the mounds to droop them over. I've installed cattle panels to achieve the same effect for a homesteader I helped out in the past, but it turned out to not be the best option.
The vines still over grew the space and the gridding in the cattle panels made it difficult to harvest on both sides. This is why experience is important and that we each share these experiences with the world. Mistakes and failed experiments that have already been tried simply creates unnecessary waste.
The tomatoes are Tom's baby, since he plants them every year. He has a little patch on the side of the house set aside just for them and usually tills it under.
This year I convinced him that tilling is unnecessary and even harmful, so he let me sheet mulch it instead. I found a consistent aged manure source and trucked in five tonnes just to cover the four mounds and Tom's flat patch. It worked out pretty well and I'll be publishing an article about the technique and process in the near future.
If all goes well, I'll be canning, freezing and dehydrating goodies throughout the summer. I can't wait to get started and it was fulfilling to get my hands into the dirt.
Every new experience adds to the respect, wonder and awe I feel when bonding with this living entity we call 🌎.
Please make sure to take the time to get outside and bond with your environment. Your health will thank you at every level of your being and please share your experiences with the world. Personal communal knowledge is beneficial to us all, because this interaction is essential to our evolution.
Thank you and I hope your day unfolds on your terms.
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