"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Over Time

Beginnings and endings.  Where would we be if we couldn't define a period?

A "chapter" in a book. A "season" in a year.  The first "rise", the "proof", the finished bread.  Childhood, adulthood...the senior years.

I re-read my profile the other day:

Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy reading about our efforts to create a fruit and vegetable garden in our backyard in suburban NC. Our hope is that we will, over time, become competent gardeners and that our efforts will help to sustain us as we move into our retirement years. Knowing that our future income will be MUCH less than it is now, we've decided to learn to grow and preserve as much of our own food as we can.

Companies routinely refer to their "Mission Statement" which basically outlines their goals, their ethics, their vision.  My profile page is kinda like that.

My "mission" hasn't really changed. Everything I wrote still applies.  But as I re-read it, I realize that I haven't done all that much this year.  There is not a word in that "statement" that can be changed. Hmmmm...

So I'm still in the idea stage...hunting and seeking and educating myself to discover the best way to achieve our goals. 

(I guess that's why I visit so many of your sites.  How do you do it?  Why did you do it?  What pitfalls have you discovered.  "Teach me o wise one.") 

I consider us in the "childhood" phase of my garden.  And looking back I can see that while we have moved forward with the idea,  we didn't take a very big step.  And I can't be a student forever.

So my big "To Do" list for 2011 is actually pretty simple.  Be more aggressive.  Time is short...and the learning curve will take a lifetime.

*We plan on expanding the vegetable garden in 2011.  I want to put in raised beds and till up a patch of ground and supplement it and utilize it the old fashioned way we did as kids in Ohio.  I want to "test" different growing techniques.

*We planted 2 fruit trees, and 2 blueberry bushes this year.  I want to add two more apples (for sauce this time) and I want to experiment with Asian Pears and raspberry/blackberry bushes.

*Having a freezer for food storage is nice but I really need to get back into canning.  I learned as a teenager, but that's been over 30 years ago.  I froze SO much fruit this year.  All of it can be canned.  Cucumbers coming out of my ears this year.  Did I pickle any?  Nope.

SM and I were talking about an article I read on Yahoo this morning: Baby Boomers Near 65 With Retirements In Jeopardy

It's really more of the same, but the thing I really took away from the article is that some people trust that the future will take care of itself. 

I can't really look at it that way.  My freedom and independance depend on the skills that I choose to develop now.  Not later.

So stick around...it should be an interesting year.


  1. Tami, well no one said it would be easy, that's for sure. Plus, don't you work and commute every day?

    Don't beat yourself up too bad there missy! I think one thing that I have learned since this past year of being 'jobless' is that others assume I don't have much to keep me busy. But let me tell ya...it's a FULL TIME job.

    So it's perfeclty ok (in my humble opinion) that you have made steps. And I think most everyone who sees this would agree, that our work is never -ever- done. We are constantly trying new things, making the garden bigger, adapting etc. It just seems to work out that way. So really, we are no different than you in that aspect. We all had to start somewhere!

    So if you can freeze, great! Can your crops, awesome!! But look at it this way...at least you 'get it'. I think that is amazing! We are here to cheer you on the entire way!

  2. Thanks Diana...

    I can hear you "cheering" all the way down here. (Grin)

    And I agree, the fact that "I get it" is probably the most important thing. Baby steps...

  3. Each step you take, you are going in the direction of where you want to be. Even if you didn't can this year, you still preserved your very own food. Consider that most American take a step everyday to depend on someone else to provide ALL of their needs for them. You may not have gone as far as you would have liked, but you are so far ahead of most of the population. Good Job.

  4. Great goals Tami! The hardest part (I'm finding) is the change of lifestyle. We're so used to doing things a certain way, and having particular routines when it comes to our time and food, that I'm learning that these are what I have to change. It's all baby steps. Just hopefully over time they'll all make a difference.

    I've been meaning to tell you that I found Henry Field's seed catalogue to be a great resource. Not that I ordered much from them, but because they noted varieties that do especially well in the South. Very helpful. You can have them send you a free copy at their website.

  5. Thanks to all for the encouraging words.

    I agree that the hardest thing is to change. Our generation has had it easy with anything we want available for a price. But the price we pay for that "instant gratification" is too high for me. I'm so glad that there is a community out there who can help those of us with questions.

    (Thanks Leigh for the link. I've added it to my favorite places.)

  6. Tami,

    Emma and I are dealing with some of the same issues you are, although we're certainly further behind. We're both pretty cerebral, and can plan our way into circles if we're not careful. One of our big goals for this coming year is to not just read about what we want to do, but to start taking action and actually developing needed skills. It's one thing to read how to do something, and quite another to actually know how to do it.

    So, while I'm glad that you "get it", I'm also glad to see that you're wanting to create action from it too! We'll help encourage each other as we continue on our own homesteading / self-reliance journeys.

    City Roots, Country Life

  7. Hey Joseph...Glad to know that I'm not the only perpetual "student" out there. (Nice blog by the way)

    Whenever I get asked what I'd do with a million dollars, I have 2 answers:

    1. Travel (duh...)
    2. Go back to school. (grin)