"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."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

Most of us who garden (or Homestead) start to do so because of a desire to eat better.  When the gardening bug hit's you it's like being a "babe in the woods."  You have to start at the begining.  Babysteps.  You have so much to learn.  Mostly through trial and error.  But these days you most often get your tips from online sources.  At least I do.  Funny, I rarely find a knowledgeable nursery person anymore.  Maybe it's all about the "sale"?

As we go along, we discover that we like providing a sustainable food source for our families through the use of veggie gardens, fruit trees and berry patches.  Then we want to do more. 

Some of us will take it to the next level and go down the road of livestock management.  Others will grow grain for personal and livestock consumption.  We learn to harvest, process and preserve our bounty thereby ensuring a self sufficient lifestyle that is astonishingly rewarding.

Most of us start this journey by digging deep in our own backyards.  We'll start off with the thought "How hard can this be?".  I know that's what I thought.  "Plant the seed.  Watch it grow.  Easy."

Ha!  "Oh, there is so much to learn grasshopper."

I've documented my own journey on this blog.  But I love visiting other blogsites and watching You Tube videos.  If they had a TV channel all about farming, gardening and preserving, I'd watch that too. 

During the dark days, when I'm dreaming about Spring and what I hope to do within my own little world, I start trolling the internet. 

Today, I thought I'd share some of the links and videos that I've found recently.  Some are videos that you may or may not have seen.  They're new to me so I thought I'd toss them out there.

River Cottage Urban Small Holding is on You Tube and is a series of 5 short videos about 5 families in Britian who have never been exposed to growing veggies and raising animals.  With the help of their mentor Hugh, they take an acre and a half of raw land in an urban setting and create a sustainable "small holding."

What a charming series.  It's an introduction to the whole "grow and raise your own food" concept.  I love to see the "awakening" in the minds of the families (watch the kids faces) who are participating in this project.  The idea of providing for oneself was (and is continuing to be) a life changing experience for SM and I as well.  Wouldn't it be lovely if everyone was exposed to such ideas? 

Another nice site is Peak Moment . 

I found Peak Moment by watching Four Acres and Independence a video about a self sustaining homestead.  Mark discusses raising his geese and sheep for personal consumption.  He shows us his orchard, his homemade food dehydrator, mushroom logs and kitchen garden.  I just love to tour other peoples gardens and homesteads.

The Peak Moment site appears to offer up a lot of interesting topics that would appeal to a broad audience.  To be honest, I haven't really investigated their site very much but from what I've seen so far, I think I'll be spending some time scrolling though and taking a peek at a lot of the shows they offer.  Here's a description from their site: 

Peak Moment is a biweekly series about resilient, locally reliant living for these challenging times. Programs feature host Janaia Donaldson's conversations and tours with guests responding to accelerating energy and resource decline, climate chaos, and economic uncertainty. Sample topics include: local food production; simple living; renewables; transportation alternatives; sustainable building; intentional community; personal, economic, business, and governmental responses.

Here is a video about Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute which is here in NC. They introduce an idea called "Transistion Town Movement" which I'd never heard of before.

I googled it and found endless links about Transistion Towns.  Communities who are coming together to address the economic issues of energy, food and climate change that are impacting them.

This got me to thinking about putting out a flyer in my neighborhood to see if anyone is interested in starting a gardening "club" of sorts.  It's hard to be "snoop-y" trying to look in my neighbors back yards, but I'm pretty certain there are at least a dozen families with sizeable veggie patches like mine. I'd love to pick their brains about what is (or isn't) working for them.  

Have you found other links or videos that you've found interesting that you'd like to share?  Let me know, I'd love to check them out.


  1. I have a favorite video from youtube:

    This guy's garden is unreal. BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Thanks for the link Sue. His plot is wonderful. Interesting layout with all the raised beds and cement(?) block walkways. Obviously a colder clime than what I have here. Everything would be "roasted and toasted" down here.

  3. Nice blog! This info is great, will have to watch these. Love hearing about how people work towards self sustainable living!

  4. Hi Kelly...Thanks for stopping by! Back attcha Baby! (Nice blog yourself...)

  5. What a great idea to start a neighborhood gardening club! Love it!
    I'm a farm/garden junkie too. I could easily fill up my days with learning all about it.

  6. I spent the morning watching the video's at the links you provided. I really liked "River Cottage"! I'm amazed at the number of people who have no clue as to where their food comes from.
    But given the resource's and a place to work with the land and animals, to grow at least some of the food that get's to the table is eye opener!
    Thanks for the post and the links!