The picture to the right is our Three Sisters Garden in 2008. Shed, composter and some mini fruit trees in the background.
As a consumer, wife and mother, I got fed up with all of the contaminated produce alerts we got. Can't eat spinach this week. Can't eat grapes that week. Nope - definitely not the strawberries. And now the peanut situation? Argh! I started to watch the PBS show "Victory Garden" in hopes to find more information about food gardening for my family. Boy, was I surprised! The shows that I watched very rarely discusses food gardening. What's up with that? So... I came up with this phrase, "Backyard Grocery" Gardening, in early Summer 2008.
None of us in this family had ever had a real garden (as adults) until 2008 when we bought our first house. I had done indoor container gardening throughout many years, but this was the first time we had space! We went nuts... tomatoes, squashes, corn, pumpkins, eggplant... we grew a LOT. Even planted miniature fruit and nut trees, berry brambles and ivy. We made some mistakes (like our 3-sisters patch needed more space in between plants). The ivy died. The berry brambles got mutilated by an un-thinking child. A stranger cut off our filbert tree. Our cranberry bushes died no matter what we did.
We learned. We ate hearty. The few raspberries, blueberries and strawberries we grew were sweet, warm from the sun, and unbelievably wholesome. We ate zucchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn and beans almost daily. We stocked our winter pantry with butternut squashes, Mexican X-Top squashes, pumpkins, and sunflowers. And we're even better than ever.
We had planned to do great here in this house! Then we discovered we aren't allowed to keep bees here. Or chickens. We can have 2 ducks and a pig (huh?) but really nothing else. NOT a great place for a homestead.
However, Hubby's office has transferred to a new location - almost an hour away! It IS closer to Hubby's Mom (MIL) who is getting a little older and needs to be checked in on more often. (Gosh I hope she doesn't read this!). So... in order to cut down on the drive time, be closer to MIL, and to homestead the way we want, we're moving. The house will be put on the market June 2009 and hopefully will sell soon after. Thus, we're planting most of our garden in containers so we can take them with us. We're also planting tomatoes, cantaloupes, and other things in the ground here to help (we pray) sell the house. Who wouldn't want a new house that has a grocery in the backyard?!?
We also write a blog at http://www.survival-cooking.com/ which often posts articles about gardening, but we thought it was time to split the blog again. So... as of today March 28 2009, this blog is active! We'll discuss:
- starting seeds
- container gardening
- square foot gardening
- companion plants
- planting fruit and nut trees and bushes
- raising animals for food
Guest posters are always welcome. Please e-mail your article to admin at newviewgroupllc dot com. If we like it, we'll post it!
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- I/Me/Vikki: I'll write 99.99% of this blog. I plan the garden, order or purchase the seeds, and basically tend the garden, with the help of VHTS and Hubby. I don't do any of the heavy work because I'm disabled, but I do as much as I can. I'm a very picky eater so eating fresh veggies and fruit is perfect for my tastes. Just wish we had our own chickens and their eggs!
- Hubby: We've been married since April 2007. My husband has a full-time outside job so doesn't contribute much in the way of writing for this blog. He is learning how to be a father and husband. His family had a garden when he was young but didn't get much hands-on experience. He too wants to eat more healthy. So he helps me garden: he gets more potting soil when we need it, or drills holes in containers for water seepage. He moves the pots around, works the compost, sets up the watering thingies, and so much more.
- VHTS: Very Hungry Tween Son - he turned 12 in 2008 and has a hollow leg. He has a problem with wheat/gluten so we have a strict diet. He loves fresh fruits, and some raw veggies. He has some problems, so is schooled at home. He loves organizing, writing stories, and discussing movies and TV shows (even tho he doesn't watch much TV). He doesn't get an allowance, but does chores like emptying the dishwasher, watering plants, caring for our critters, vacuuming, etc. He also likes to write things for the Kid Whispers blog (http://www.kid-whispers.blogspot.com/) where we also post some of his schoolwork.
- MIL: Mother in Law - Hubby's Mom who lives about an hour from us, where we are now.
- Chihuahua/Spirit/Dog: In October 2008 we got a chihuahua from the humane society. At 4 years old (at that time) she weighs about 10 pounds, is very stubborn and has many bad habits. Her name was Spirit when we got her, and decided to keep it.
- Dal-Rotti-Mute/Sparky/Puppy: On February 16 2009, we got Sparky, who was 10 weeks old at the time. He's a combination of Dalmation-Rottweiler-Alaskan Malamute. He's smart, learns quickly, and even (sometimes) puts his toys away when he's done with them. At 14 1/2 weeks, he weighed 30 pounds! He's going to be huge.
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Check out our other blogs noted at the top of this page!