Whilst I wait for the revolution, I've been busy... Learning how to live within my means and by my own hand.
After some economic disasters--job loss, forclosure, another job loss, crippling surgery, job loss--and watching our government turn it's back on below 30K-a-year workers, I was worried about security. Real security. Not just "money" but the basics. Shelter, food, water, air conditioning.
Thanks to a death in the family and a small bequest, we were able to purchase two and a half acres with a crappy 25 year old mobile home. Paid cash, and settled down. I started with a small herb garden. Then added a small vegetable garden. Both were planted at the wrong time, in the wrong place in poor soil. But I had fresh parsley, oregano, chives and more for a short season. Only the chives still live, much to my surprise. Planted too many radishes. Found out the French eat them sauteed in butter. The squirrels got the corn. One little squirrel, pulled up an entire stalk, sat on my fence post and peeled back a cob, stared right at me and nibbled away like a six-year-old on a summer day. I think he wanted to know why I hadn't provided salt, pepper, and butter.
The next year--well, it was better. Sort of. I learned some more. Which is my way of saying only the cucumbers made it through the summer. Even though surgery laid me out for 3 months. I could still water the poor lonely veggies. Which the weeds thought was damn skippy! Each year I added more. I ate from my yard for 4 months. And I just, JUST, discovered I could eat for 3 more months by growing winter crops (that had failed in the summer heat). Who knew Florida has 3 crop seasons? We just finished the Bok Choi off last week. Looking forward to the cabbages. Then there was the edemame soy beans (went to the crows), and the lettuce, and the spinach, and dehydrating, canning, and preserving.Then we added chickens... Cluck bawack. Boy are they easy. And ya get to have breakfast fresh every day. While they did get names, I have no romantic notions. Buffy the Chicken was quite yummy, though small. Chicken Pot Pie was all I was able to manage. And what the heck can ya do with all those feathers? There's got to be something to do with them! Thinking about adding bees. Maybe a couple of milk goats in the Spring?
It's funny and satisfying. My fingernails are filthy, the dogs dig in the chicken poop hay. And the sun arcs across my day. And I wait for the call to revolution. I'm ready for that too. And I'll bring the eats.
Faith Carr is an old, retired political activist. Started backyard farming for REAL in 2006. And for the first time we ate out of the gardens for all 12 months.
The mission now is to get as many people growing food as possible. Raised beds, (more...)