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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mind Your Mitochondria

Please watch this short presentation. It is powerful, full of hope, and inspirational. Some of this information, I already knew, but there was a lot that I didn't. I sincerely hope that Dr. Terry Wahls is able to help many people escape the shackles of debilitating diseases through diet improvement.



I am reminded how important it is to grow nutritious food to make essential vitamins and minerals more accessible to people with a limited income. When I tell people I eat organic, they usually comment that it is so expensive, and I agree! It is. But, the costs are worth the benefit of a healthy, long life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Garden Schematics

Planning out the raised garden beds we are going to dig is one of the first steps I'm taking while biding my time until Spring. If you're looking for a place to start, this is where it's at: schematics. Just get yourself some graph paper and have at it!

First, you have to consider what kinds of vegetables and fruits you and your family eat on a regular basis. Do you make lots of chili? Consider growing onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Do you buy watermelon and cantaloupe at the store when they're in season? Try growing your own! If possible, grow vining varieties of plants to trellis up, creating a 3rd dimension to your garden. This saves more space than if you were to plant bush varieties. So, instead of planting bush beans, try to find pole beans. Instead of tomato varieties that bush, find ones that vine.

Next, consider how much space you have to grow your plants. Do you have a small front or back yard? You'd be surprised how much you can fit into a small space! We have a very tiny yard on rented land, and we manage a 6'x4' garden. Why this measurement? Because, any more than 4 feet deep, and we wouldn't be able to reach inside all the way to the middle without compacting the soil. Compacting the soil destroys air pockets within and decreases the yields of your plants. If you are planting varieties that you plan to trellis, such as pole beans, it is best to limit your garden to 3 1/2 feet deep if your length exceeds 6 feet, because again, you don't want to have to step inside the garden and compact the soil.

Once you know the space you have to work with and the varieties of plants you want to grow, the next step is figuring out the alignment of your garden beds to make sure they all get optimal daylight. The long sides of the garden should face North and South, with the vining varieties of plants placed along the North side. Why? To prevent them from shading the shorter plants. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sunlight beams in at a slant from the South. In the Southern Hemisphere the sunlight beams in at a slant from the North. Therefore, if you live in Australia or New Zealand, you'll want to trellis your vining varieties along the South side of your garden beds.

What types of plants do best when planted next to each other and what types of plants negatively affect each other and should therefore be kept apart? This is called companion planting, and a quick search on the internet will bring up many guides to help you figure out which plants do well with which. For example, tomatoes do well when planted with carrots. Peas hate to be planted with anything in the onion family. A lot of gardeners have figured out which plants do well with others by simply observing plant health and crop yields and jotting down these observations in their gardening notebooks. This is why it is also important to keep a detailed journal of your garden - to figure out what works and what doesn't so that you can improve your garden from year to year!

Lastly, you have to give your plants the necessary spacing they need to grow and get enough sunlight. Looking at the seed packages, use the "thin to" measurement for your plant spacing in the garden. Disregard the row recommendations, as mini farmers do not plant crops in traditional rows. In fact, as long as you leave the appropriate "thin to" measurement all the way around the plant, you can space them much more closely than in a conventional garden.

Here is the plan for our small, 24 square foot, 6'x4' raised garden bed. Each square on the grid represents 3 square inches. Therefore, 16 squares equals one square foot.


The tomatoes, eggplant, and squash are all being trellised along the North wall to prevent the sunlight from blocking the shorter plants. Also, I am keeping the peas away from the onions, since they negatively affect each other's growth. You may also notice that I am not planting using a square configuration, but a triangle. This allows me to space plants closer. Carrots, lettuce, and radishes need a minimum of 3 inches between plants. Onions, beets, spinach, and peas need 4 inches. Celery and the various herbs need 6 inches. Potatoes need 12 inches. I am trellising the tomatoes, eggplant, and butternut squash, so they will not need as much space to bush out.


Feel free to use, distribute, and circulate these plans. I claim no rights to any of them, because that's just silly. However, don't feel constricted to them. You can lengthen the garden to 20 feet long, for example. You can also add varieties such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. It's all up to you!

On the families' properties that I am helping to set up raised beds this year, I aimed for about 100 square feet of double dug beds. I created a schematic that utilizes four 8'x3.5' beds which equals 112 square feet and planned out where to plant each crop variety.


Notice that the walking paths are 3 feet wide between beds. You can make them whatever width you'd like, of course. The garden beds and walking paths would be a total of 19 feet long and 10 feet deep, for a total space used of 190 square feet.

Once I made a rudimentary map of the beds and plant varieties, I made more detailed plans. Here's Bed 1 through 4 in greater detail. Bed 4 is the only one that will not need to be trellised on the North wall. This is because I am companion planting the green beans and corn close enough that the pole beans can climb up the corn stalks for support. The corn benefits from the beans which put nitrogen back into the soil that the corn heavily utilizes. The squash nearby attracts beneficial insects to the corn and beans, reducing pest populations.



You may have noticed that I did not include any broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower in the above garden beds. This is because these vegetables have to be space 1 foot apart, and I don't personally use these plants in a lot of my cooking. The following beds have been amended to include these veggies.


I made these plans that extend the length of the garden to 10 feet, still with 3.5 feet of width. I also included cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.


Any questions? I know I threw a lot at you, so feel free to ask. I'm in a bit of a hurry today, as it's almost time for me to go teach student drivers in the car. I'm also trying to make sure my son gets a bite to eat. Multitasking has it's drawbacks, but I hope I helped to get you off to a good start.

Having plans helps you to know how many seeds you need to buy and how many plants you're going to start in flats indoors to get a head start on the growing season. Next post, I will talk about soil blocking. Happy planning!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

11 Random Things

MLoueez from http://www.mloueez.com tagged me in a fun post and asked 11 questions for me to answer! Check out her blog! The rules:

1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.

11 Random Things About Me

1. I am very picky about the coffee I drink. If it isn't an organic light roast and vanilla-flavored, I will drink it to get my morning dose of caffeine, but I won't enjoy it. Also, I have recently taken up grinding my own coffee beans instead of buying already ground coffee. It adds a ridiculous level of flavor!
2. I don't really have a favorite color. I prefer combinations of colors, my favorites being: orange & green; red, orange, & yellow.
3. To me, the sound of chewing mushy food is one of the most annoying sounds in existence.
4. I love baking pumpkin or butternut squash pies. I baked over 3 dozen pies between Halloween and Thanksgiving last year. This year, I want to bake pies made from my home-grown pumpkins and butternut squashes.
5. It disturbs me that we didn't get much snow this winter, even though I don't like it being on the road when I teach my students as a driving instructor. It would be nice to build a snowman with my son!
6. My house is not very organized, and I am working to correct this little by little.
7. This one might be a little obvious, but I love to grow plants! I feel an overwhelming sense of satisfaction when I go out to the garden and pick something off the vine to serve for supper.
8. I want to change the world for the better, and I have been searching for a way to do so for a long time. I hope my project will make a huge difference for everyone interested.
9. I love glass, and I love displaying it in my kitchen even more! I recently bought a glass pumpkin jar that I cannot wait to put to good use this fall (not that I'm in any rush for fall to get here)!
10. I steam distill all the water my family drinks. It tastes awesome, and I don't have to worry about weird things being in our drinking water.
11. I love to crochet and have stockpiles of yarn in my closet.

11 Questions from MLoueez

1. What makes you smile?
Seeing my son do something silly or say something silly. He surprises me every day!

2. What is your biggest regret?
Wasting thousands of dollars going to business school just to glean only one useful piece of information: sba.gov. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have gone to school for business. I would have become a dietitian.

3. Drink of choice?
Margarita. Definitely margarita.

4. Your goal for 2012 and have you been successful thus far in keeping with it?
I have many goals, and some of them I have been keeping well, while I have fallen off the bandwagon with others. Blogging more often? Check. Regularly exercising? Flop. Starting a thriving mini farm? Still in the works.

5. What is your favorite accessory, besides your wedding ring?
I don't really wear accessories on a regular basis, just a simple hair clip to keep the hair out of my face. I don't know what I would do without it.

6. What is your dream job?
Being a mini farmer on my own land while helping others grow their own food. I'd also love to be a musician, as I've written music and I've played the piano since I was 5.

7. What is your favorite item that you have made?
It would have to be my baked goods if food counts. I love baking zucchini bread, cookies, pies, etc.

8. Biggest pet peeve?
A lack of empathy in our society. If we all had a little more understanding and concern for each other, this world would surely be a better place. Whenever someone is exhibiting a lack of empathy, I have a hard time holding back my frustration and anger.

9. What is your signature dish?
Probably my pumpkin pie. I have invested a great deal of time and love in perfecting my crust-making technique and in discovering the perfect balance of pie filling ingredients, including the type of pumpkin or other squash used.

10. What inspires you?
Seeing what others have done to better their lives, sometimes even in the midst of intimidating odds. Successful mini farmers really inspire me!

11. What is your favorite quote?
"Money isn't everything" - A Lot of Wise People


My 11 Questions

If you could snap your fingers and make 1 thing happen instantly, what would it be?
What's your favorite time of day?
What species of animal companion do you prefer?
What project have you undertaken that has fulfilled you the most?
Are you spontaneous or do you thrive on a routine?
One thing that still scares you from childhood?
If you had to choose between a big house on a small property or a small house on a large piece of land, what would you choose?
Favorite fruit?
Vegetable you eat the most?
What #1 quality do you look for in a friend?
If you could do one dangerous thing without getting hurt, what would it be?

There are my questions; time to tag others for answers! Don't feel pressured to participate; it's just for fun.

Grandma Bonnie @http://grandmabonniescloset.blogspot.com/
Bendar @http://adventuresoutsideofazeroth.blogspot.com/
Zaylyn @http://tootsabellarose.blogspot.com/
Steamjules @http://viewbehindthecounter.blogspot.com/
Megan @http://potatochipcats.blogspot.com/
Kim @http://my-bloggityblog.blogspot.com/
My Journey with Candida (Sorry, I couldn't find your name!) @http://myjourneywithcandida.blogspot.com/
Heather @http://www.ratherbechangingdiapers.com/
Terri @http://www.terrislittlehaven.com/
Jeanette @http://jeanette-myownfourcorners.blogspot.com/
Ideas by Mom @http://ideasbymom.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Awesome Inspiration

This is my favorite video from the Grow series, because the couple is so positive, and their message is so uplifting! Raising quail, chickens, fruits & veggies, and having beehives on the roof are just some of the things working out for this previous car salesman and his wife. One of the best lines from this video: "The car business taught me that money isn't everything. It's about the people that are around you." 


If you haven't done so already, feel free to enter the Kindle Touch giveaway that I posted yesterday. It can also be found under the Giveaways tab at the top of this page. I will be adding another giveaway later this month for a CASH prize! Giving back to our supporters is what we are all about, and this is one of the many ways we can do it. Teaming up with other bloggers allows us to offer a bigger prize amount, which is why we have opted to do that so far, but we will offer our own Mini Farm Sustainability Project giveaways in the future when we have the resources.

Our Indie GoGo campaign has experienced a lull that I am confident we can overcome. I am spreading the word through various social media outlets and through offline sources, and I am asking that you please do the same if you are able. Regardless of the outcome of this campaign, we will proceed with our plans to help people in any way we can. Our plan this year is to help at least 2 families start their own mini farm in addition to developing our own 24 square foot garden project on rented land, although we are also making plans with 2 additional families to help them begin their mini farming journey. For details on these plans, click HERE. Thank you for believing in our cause and for supporting us in any way possible. 

We have used the soil blocker to start our first seeds (onion and celery), and I am working on a video to document our experience. Stay tuned, as I will post an update once it is completed for you to view. I will also add the video to the Documentary tab. 

If you haven't voted in our poll at the bottom right of this site, feel free to cast your vote! Your input is very important to us, and we want you to contact us with feedback about this site and our project in general. If you'd like to help by posting our button on your blog or website, the grab button is located on the righthand column. 

Again, thank you for stopping by and helping us make this project a success! We hope to inspire you on your own journey to live sustainable, healthy lives.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Greenhorns

While perusing Twitter for other farmers and aspiring farmers, I came across this completed documentary called The Greenhorns, and it interests me greatly, because it's about young, beginning farmers. I would love it if more people knew that it is possible to make a career out of farming. Though the full feature film is not for sale at the moment, I do have a preview that I can share with you. 


I can't wait to see the whole feature! In the meantime, here's the website: http://www.thegreenhorns.net/

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Trip to Menards

On Friday, we went to one of our favorite stores with gardening supplies - Menards! This is the place where I've bought my organic seedlings the past 3 years, but as you know, this year I'm starting all my own plants from seeds. I'll be making my own starting medium and compressing it lightly with my newly-acquired soil blocker, so I need to find all of the ingredients required to make the seed-starting mix. The author of the book Mini Farming gives his recipe for starting medium:

Finely milled sphagnum peat moss, 4 quarts
Medium vermiculite, 1 pint
Well-finished compost sifted through a 1/4 inch screen made from hardware cloth, 1 pint
Worm castings, 1 pint

The author adds that you can experiment with the ingredients and that you do not have to rigidly adhere to these measurements. So far, I have located 2 ingredients in this recipe: the sphagnum peat moss and the organic compost. Menards sells 2.2 cubic feet bags of peat moss for $6.35, which converts to just under 30 quarts per bag. The compost is sold in 11 quart bags at $3.47 a piece. Not bad! This means that to make this starting medium recipe, it would cost about 86 cents for the peat moss and about 16 cents for the compost. As soon as I locate the vermiculite and the worm castings and figure out how many seeds I can start using this recipe, I will give you those numbers, as well. 



In addition to buying starting medium, I bought MORE seeds! Menards has an awesome organic and heirloom seed variety, and I couldn't resist buying a kaleidoscope carrot pack, sweet carnival pepper pack, beefsteak tomato, green eggplant, cantaloupe, and dill. At only $1.19 per pack, I was elated! I found trays to grow the seedlings in at 89 cents a piece, as well.



The last 2 items I bought were soil amendments for the raised beds were the seedlings will be transplanted when the time is right. I found blood meal and bone meal in 3 pound bags, each for $5.98. The blood meal will add nitrogen while the bone meal will add phosphorous. Now, I just have to find a potassium amendment which will be wood ashes, greensand, or seaweed. 

I will go over these soil amendments in a later post, as I do not wish to bombard you with too much info at once. It all seems overwhelming to me at times, but that's how it is when you're starting something new.

My total bill with tax came to $36.07, but I had expected it to cost more. After the seed order from Horizon Herbs, I'm glad to save money on the remaining necessities! Have you started to purchase your own garden supplies for this season? If so, where is your favorite place to shop? I have a few mom and pop garden centers on my list this spring, and I can't wait to pay them a visit!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Hope My Eyes are Not Too Big for My Stomach!

Yesterday, I placed the biggest seed order in history...okay, just my history. Here is the complete list from Horizon Herbs:


There are many more seeds I wanted to buy, but I decided I was going a bit overboard, so I scaled the order back a little for the sake of our wallets! The only two varieties not included on this list that I will have to obtain somewhere else are eggplant and red potatoes. 

Why so many seeds, do you ask? Well, that is because we are going to help two families in the area start their mini farms this year, in addition to starting our own (24 square feet) very small operation! I am so excited to announce this! We get a chance to help others grow food in their own back yards, one of our major goals for Mini Farm Sustainability Project. We will double dig the raised beds, shooting for at least 100 square feet on each family's property. I am hoping we will be able to harvest about 300 pounds from each mini farm, but as  I said, this is the year for learning, and boy are we going to dig in! Of course, we will document the whole experience, showing you exactly how we transformed a piece of these families' yards into fertile, mini farm land.

We are also planning a successive crop as soon as the first one is finished, seeking to maximize the harvest this year. This means we will need to start a second set of seedlings indoor in flats around late spring and have them ready to transplant into the ground as soon as the first crop is ready to be harvested. After the second harvest, we will be planting cover crops to keep the soil intact and replenish nutrients during the fall and winter. 

We are not charging a fee for the families we are helping. We needed a chance to prove ourselves, and we have it. Now it's time for us to show the world what can be done with a small garden and some determination!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Equipment and Website Updates

Two arrivals from yesterday: the soil blocker I mentioned in the previous post came via U.S. Postal Service, and the spade we bought at Meijer. The spade was $15, and the soil blocker about $35 with shipping. It may seem expensive, but the soil blocker will more than make up for not having to purchase peat pots or peat pellets and/or liquid fertilizer.

Since the tools are shiny and new at the moment, they are allowed on the couch. Here is a close-up of the soil blocker. The spring at the top is pushed down by hand, lightly compressing the soil.


From the bottom, you can see the white dibbles that make small depressions in the tops of the soil blocks for planting seeds. You can also see that one of our cats, Spirit, has taken an interest in the soil blocker.


It's his now.


Along with new equipment, we've made some updates to this site. I added a poll to the bottom right of this website, as I'd like to get your feedback about what kind of giveaways you'd like to enter, if any. Feel free to choose multiple answers if necessary. We will be offering the first giveaway in early February, and you'll be able to enter to win a Kindle Fire! We're so excited to give everyone who visits the opportunity to win some prizes, and we hope it will bring attention to mini farming and, more specifically, what we are trying to accomplish with this project.

The other feature we have added is the Call Me widget located above the About Me section in the right column. You can call and leave a message with any questions or comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Timeline & Starting Seeds with Soil Blocks

If you've read our timeline on our Indie GoGo campaign, you may be wondering why we're waiting until July to apply for a loan preapproval to purchase the land. Because we are self-employed as driving instructors, and I am self-employed as a janitor, we need to have 2 years of work history to apply for a loan. If we were employees, we'd only need 6 months of work history. Since July of this year will mark the 2-year requirement, that is when we can apply for the loan. Believe me, if we could apply for it earlier, we would! We are excited to get this project on the fast track, but the financial constraints have slowed the progress. We can't apply for any credit whatsoever until the 2-year milestone is reached.

I want to assure everyone interested in this project that we are not just going to take the money and forget about it. We have a vested interest in this project, and we'll continue to work at it tirelessly, no matter what the outcome of the campaign. The only difference the money will make is how soon we can accomplish these goals! We've worked hard to keep our c.redit s.core in excellent health so that when the time is right, the bank will have no problem lending to us.

Early this week, I purchased a soil blocker in anticipation of starting the first intensive crop in our small garden. Compressing the soil into soil blocks provides seedlings with more moisture and nutrients, making it unnecessary to fertilize them. When it is time to plant the seedlings in the ground, the compressed soil block virtually eliminates transplant shock, because the seedlings haven't become root bound, meaning the roots haven't wound around the soil with no place to go. Instead, the roots have plenty of soil in which to spread out and grow to the edge of the block - no twisting!


In surveying our garden, I discovered it is a little longer than I thought - 6 feet instead of 5. I'm going to make the garden 6' x 4', as a four foot width is the widest you can go without having to strain to reach inside of it, and disturbing the soil will result in lower crop yields. This means I'll have four additional square feet to work with, and I'm going to make the most of it, though I'm still deciding what the first crop should consist of. Any suggestions for what should be planted in a 24 square foot garden? I'd love to hear from everyone!

Here is our new grab button, if you'd like to link us on your website or blog. Thanks for visiting!

Mini Farm Sustainability Project

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SPIN-Farming

There are some awesome guides available at http://www.spinfarming.com/ that you should check out if you're interested in turning even a small portion of land into a mini farm. SPIN stands for Small Plot INtensive, and people in various urban and country settings are putting these precise methods to the test, making tens of thousands of dollars off their sub-acreage. Need to know where to get supplies? They'll tell you. When to plant your seeds? They'll tell you. There's a wealth of information available, and it's just what we need to get our mini farm operation "off the ground". Hehe!

There are guides that lay out how much land you need based on a certain crop to make a minimum income. For example, the Flowers Specialty Farm tells you how to make $33,750 in gross annual sales using only 6,500 square feet. That's less than 1/6 of an acre! Garlic is another good money-maker at $23,250 on 6,000 square feet. This information has the potential to transform the way we live, improving our quality of life and connecting us to the land we've grown apart from for so long. Learning to work with nature instead of against it is surely the way forward - we just need to know how. SPIN Farming seems to be a great companion in this endeavor!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More Inspiration!

See what this woman did with a back yard of only 1,000 square feet - goats and all!


If she can do so much with such a small space, imagine what you could do!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Looking for Suitable Land

In scouring the areas around us for suitable land to set up the mini farming operation, we found a few plots that may have what we're looking for. One is on five acres, which would provide plenty of space to help multiple families grow their own food! We have to balance location for accessibility of those using the land, amount of land, and cost when considering possible mini farm sites. Many of the properties have access to rural water, which would make irrigation possible during dry spells. 
The land is out there! It's just a matter of raising the money for a down payment. By the end of the day, we will have recorded the raw video footage for our Indie GoGo campaign video. This is the last piece of the puzzle that must be put into place before our campaign can go live, so we will be diligently working at it all day. Thanks for sticking with us as we work around our day jobs!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Best Seeds: Horizon Herbs

I have to give a shout-out to Horizon Herbs. The seeds from this company are all grown organically and with great care, and the prices can't be beat for the quality. When I start my seeds in flats this year, all of the varieties I plant will be from this amazing company.


I highly encourage you to check out the seed collections under the Gifts tab. It is here that I found the Four Sisters Seed Collection, and I think it is only fitting that I begin our mini farm project by paying homage to the native peoples of these lands who grew these plants symbiotically. For $7.95, you can have 1 full size packet each of Anasazi Bean (pole bean), Anasazi Sweet Corn, Yellow Crookneck Squash, and Sunflower. Did I mention they're all organic?? 


 The pole beans use the corn stalks to climb, while the corn receives the gift of nitrogen from the beans. The squash is planted nearby and stays low to the ground, creating a ground cover that chokes out weeds. The sunflowers, also nearby, help attract bees and other beneficial insects, keeping harmful pests at bay. What a great combination!


There are many other seed collections available at Horizon Herbs. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the selection of organic seeds, these collections will simply things and supply you with the essential seeds at cost to the company.Check out the Hoedown Seed Collection and it's relative, the Snowdown Seed Collection. Trust me, whatever seed you're looking for, whether it's vegetable or herb, Horizon Herbs has it.


Oh, and I'm not being compensated in any way by anyone to tell you about Horizon Herbs. They are simply the best!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Inspiration and Motivation

Do you think mini farming is something you may want to do? Are you unsure that you can accomplish your goals? I have just the video for you. This family is finishing up year one of their challenge to stay out of grocery stores and restaurants, eating food only from their mini farm and farmers markets. This has saved them thousands of dollars over the course of a year and boosted their nutrition while bringing the family and community closer together.


Please note that this family is not growing their crops in raised beds. Also, their produce is planted in traditional rows, and I see bare earth with no cover crops planted to hold their soil in place and replenish lost nutrients. If this family utilized intensive farming techniques, they could produce even more! So, are you excited yet? I know I am!
You can watch other Grow Series videos on YouTube. These episodes are produced by Whole Foods Market. Here's their channel if you want to check them out: Whole Foods Market - Grow Series

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Feeding Starving People and Conserving Land

I was talking about our mini farm project with a family member who's earning her Bachelor's degree in Biology, and she had an interesting perspective on the global impact mini farming could have in poorer countries where land availability is a problem. She said if people knew they could use intensive farming techniques which require much less land than conventional farming, we may be able to save the rain forests and other valuable lands that are being plowed for farmland by hungry people who need to grow crops. It's hard to tell people to stop destroying the wildlife when they are starving! What if they knew they could grow their food more sustainably an incur fewer expenses? Mini farming could have global implications! I hope we can help take this idea to the people who need it the most!

I want to encourage everyone who wants to be involved to look into mini farming and see for yourselves how effective it can be. In a few days, I plan to have our IndieGoGo campaign go live and start accepting contributions. This means I have to make a video to complement our pitch. Though this will probably turn into long hours as I edit and refine video footage, I'm so excited to shift this project into overdrive that I welcome the workload. It is better than sitting on my hands, wishing the world would change itself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Journey Starts with One Step

Inspired to make a healthy change, my family and I are embarking on a Herculean journey to living sustainably. Most of us have lost our connection to the land that sustains us, and we no longer have the knowledge of our grandparents and great grandparents on how to grow, harvest, and preserve our own food. We aim to reclaim this knowledge by acquiring a piece of land and using intensive farming techniques to grow almost all of our own food. We will refer to this as mini farming as described in the book "Mini Farming" by Brett L. Markham. Using this intensive gardening method, we will be able to provide for our family of 3 plus have a surplus to sell at the markets in our area.

What does this mean for our community? We will establish our mini farm as a community resource for anyone wanting a tour to gain an understanding of intensive gardening techniques and see if this knowledge can help reduce the inquirer's dependence on fossil fuels, rising food prices, etc. Our goal is to start our mini farm in as cost-effective of a manner as possible, doing all the work by hand. This means no expensive, complicated, and sometimes dangerous farm equipment. If someone in or outside our community needs help, we will be that help. We will answer questions based on our own mini farming experience and refer people to another resource if we can't answer their question. With the unemployment rate high and the job prospects in our community low, we wish to help people stay in their homes by saving them money, helping them eat more nutritiously, and eliminating the need to seek multiple jobs to stay afloat.

Our goals are ambitious, but attainable through dedication, and we will succeed! More posts will follow explaining our plans in detail. Thanks for joining us on our first step!