We have to start preparing for the gardens! The plan for this year was to start my seeds in the windowsill, however, as soon as the weather brightens up a bit I will be constructing a 10×12 ft greenhouse!!! I am so excited! Every year we expand little by little, so we don’t have to borrow any money to do it. We also expand slowly as to not overwhelm ourselves either. Our 1/6th of an acre has such potential to feed our family and build skills and relationships. My children will grow up knowing where food comes from, and that is a foreign notion these days. Even if you have a small suburban lot or a balcony on the side of an apartment building, you can grow food! Teach your children to cultivate the earth! I promise you will never regret it. Once you harvest your first crops you will be hooked! Some small things you can do to start where you are…
1. Start seeds in your windowsill. Buy a few trays from your local gardening store, some potting soil and a few packs of seeds! Keep them in a warm place in your home (like near a heat vent) for the first few weeks until they germinate! Once the seeds sprout, move to a south facing window and watch them grow!!
2. Start cooking from scratch. Cooking from raw ingredients is so fulfilling. It is healthier for your family, and it allows you to control what you eat! Prepackaged, commercially made food is not healthy and causes many health concerns later on in life.
3. Buy Local. Build relationships with the farmers and small businesses around you! You will be better off for it. Buy locally grown produce, and bring it home and feed it to your family! Supporting local farmers ensures that they stay in your area.
4. Start a garden. It doesn’t have to be huge, but start! Every year you can add to it, building your garden knowledge and skills along the way. There will be ups and downs as you learn about weather, soil and garden pests. It is a journey that is worth it, I promise! Once you pick that first veggie from your garden, you will be hooked!
5. Food Preservation. Canning, drying, root cellar, curing and freezing!
6. Small animal husbandry. Check with your local bylaws before you put out any money for this. However, quail, chickens and rabbits can be kept on small properties and are awesome for the homestead. They provide meat, eggs, poop fertilizer and entertainment! (Chickens are hilarious to watch)
7. Become a producer instead of a consumer. Try and make things you need, instead of running out to buy everything! Candles, cleaning products, body care products, baby food etc the list goes on! The more you can produce yourself, the better!
You don’t have to have your dream property to start building skills now! Take the leap, but start slow! Living a simple lifestyle is so rewarding!