I’m a very enthusiastic amateur gardener, plant collector, chicken farmer and avid Do It Yourselfer. I am on a journey toward increased self-sufficiency by focusing on growing and preserving more of our own food.
After some recent health concerns, I have been learning more about our food supply and what passes as ‘food’ in this country. The more I learn, the more worried I get. Huge corporations control big agriculture and promote the use of GMOs. The government that should be protecting citizens from harm turn a blind eye to the dangers. We have to look out for ourselves and many of us have not been paying attention. I’m trying not to over react, but the more I find out about our food supply the more un-settling it is.
My answer: to continue to educate myself and starting to take more control of our food, by growing and preserving more, and having a better understanding of where our food comes from and making better choices. For the time being, we will grow some fruits, vegetables and herbs. We also have 6 laying hens that lay a beautiful organic assortment of colored eggs.
My husband doesn’t have strong feelings about any of this but is completely supportive of growing more of our own food. He has built us a wonderful concrete raised bed kitchen garden, complete with 7 fruit trees, 20 blueberries, 4 blackberries, 12 raspberries, 150 strawberries, lots of herbs, a table grape and enough space to grow a fair number of vegetables in a way that is fully fenced and attractive. We balance each other well. I would try to grow everything, while he makes me prioritize what I really want and more importantly, what we can reasonably manage. I’m very lucky!
Below are links to my articles that chronicle the considerations, design, and implementation of a very well planned, reasonable sized , flexible, very low maintenance, kitchen garden.
The ideas used to plan this garden would apply to any kitchen garden, from one small bed to something much larger than we are willing to take on. I’m sure we will learn a lot this season. I hope we can learn from and inspire others to grow more of their own food.