sustainable living

which is not really the right wording- but i didn't want to scare folks. based on what i know of world events- the fact that there are current food shortages and droughts ravaging the planet and the fact that the corporatocracy of this country and elsewhere is basically doing bupkus to even address the issue of global climate change- i am not terribly optimistic that the 6+ billion folks on this planet are all going to make it. here in the land of plenty, it is inconceivable to us that the drought and famine would ever touch us- but it's coming. there are parts of the south and southwest that have been in drought conditions for years- hell, georgia and tennessee are already battling over water rights. so, what can we do?

it isn't easy to do over night- and i began last year trying stuff out- but my plan is to grow as much food as i can at my home. the meat thing is for another post- but the short answer- when possible buy from local farmers. again, that will be another post. i have invested in heirloom seeds but hey, if you don't want to do that- go to your local nursery or garden center and pick up a few packets of the basics. i intend to save seeds from my plants from year to year- and since i haven't had time to devote to really looking into how- i will save that for another post too. i am lucky to have a backyard at my disposal at my mom's house and i tilled up a patch for a garden this year- and i will get into tilling versus no till methods-- yep. another post :)

there are many americans who live in urban settings or have homes that have a postage stamp yard- like me- so what do you do? well, i am of the opinion that any arable land should be given over to growing food or flowers. i am not a big fan of grass. last year i gave it a try in the front yard with one row of cucumbers- i dug up the flower bed by hand- which is why it was so small :) that, my friends, is very hard work. the cukes came along fine and would have fared better if i watered them at all. being lazy- i didn't want to have to lug 2 mop pails of water down 2 flights of stairs every day. no hose outside.

there are other alternatives to lugging water or ripping up your yard- container or porch gardening is one. community garden plots is another. my area has community garden plots and farmer's markets. square foot gardening can be utilized in small spaces too. really, all it takes is some dirt and a container- add some water and seeds- and give it some sun. it really is that simple. i made compost too- out of paper, yard waste, and veggie peels and whatnot. i didn't add any meat products because of the smell and because it takes a long time to break down. it came out great- and all i did was convert a rubber maid bin with a lid into an urban compost bin. the smell was not as strong as it could have been- had i added meat- and only really smelled funky when i stirred it around. i don't know if i had worms- but ants are ok too- and i had those. i started it in may last year and spread it on the flower beds in late october or so. the soil is great now. i grew veggies in pots and window boxes like there was no tomorrow. i actually overdid because i put too many seeds in the containers. it was trial and error but i learned by doing and got an idea of what plants looked like and how they grew in certain conditions and now, i feel more confident growing more things. i intend to can and freeze as many veggies as i can grow- and i have a bigger compost bin this year. i am planning on adding water catchment and storage this year- as this is going to be important as well. but-- you guessed it (another post.) :)


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