”Perhaps the simplest explanation for self-sufficiency is the personal satisfaction one gains from the lifestyle. Many people enjoy the practice of growing their own food and the accomplishment of learning something new. They may enjoy raising animals or building their home. And they likely take pride in providing for their family independently. For them it’s about living a satisfying life, working hard and going to bed tired and fulfilled.” – sustainablebabysteps.com
When the snow melted this spring, we got our first true glimpse of the piece of land we now call home. The tall grass that was here in the fall when we bought it was all down and we could actually see the layout we would be working with. Along with crazy amounts of old trash and uneven terrain, we discovered plants and trees, stepping stones, and fertile soil.
I had originally planned to make my garden in our front field, out of the way but as we explored and worked, I fell in love with our little orchard. A beautiful area with apple trees, pear trees, and possibly cherry or plum trees. Rhubard is already growing strong, the sun shines brightly but there is also a bit of shade and some wind block, but best of all, the soil is dark and easy to turn. This last bit is a huge bonus seeing how we are turning the soil by hand with a shovel and a fork!
After many hours and lots of sweat, I had the first section of my little garden ready for planting!
I used an old window frame and some spare boards to support my raised beds and started a little stone pathway between the beds. Although I am very proud of this section of the garden, it was not near large enough for everything that will be planted this year.
And so we kept working! While trying to turn the soil, I found an old door(?) under several inches of dirt that I had to dig out and rip out. Only the metal was still solid, the wood had already started to decompose. My theory is that an old shed of some sort may have collapsed or been dumped here because as I turned the soil, I kept finding odds and ends such as large bolts, hinges and other pieces of old metal. By the time I had finished digging most of it all up, I had a new piece of garden ready to be worked:
I know it does not look like much, but it has actually gotten bigger still since this picture and I am particularly proud of it since I turned that whole patch myself without anybodies help and only some cheering from my onlooking dogs!:)
Although there is still much work to do, I am excited about the slow and steady progress in my garden!