Okay, so yesterday I talked about what you can do to begin if you have big homesteading dreams. But… then what’s next? Grow food where the people are! And after taking almost a year of permaculture classes, I’ve seen ways this can fit in ANYWHERE. And good lord does it need to, I’m sensing easy access to affordable organic food might perhaps be problematic in the future. Unless…. we can all come together and grow.
While in a quest the last few weeks to get good answers to your question of where do I begin, I asked some other homesteaders I know too. My next door neighbor from Crow Ridge Homestead Mark’s answer was the simplest and because of that, was one of my favorites. “Well, I guess I would just tell them… stick a seed in some soil. I mean, we did all that WWOOFing for years and now have owned our land for a year–and that part is still scary. and you still worry it won’t grow. So, I believe I’d get on with that part of it.”
It’s SOW True (shameless plug for our favorite nonGMO seed source)–you DO need to get on with that part of it. It’s time to spend some time with your hands in the dirt. To take all the tears in your heart over the turmoil in the world and turn it into turnips. To make peace with all your neighbors over peas. To choose vegetables over violence. To bring racial issues to rest over radishes. To create community over carrots. It can all start by you being willing to sow a seed. and see what grows. I can promise you will, just for trying.
There is the awesome project going on that I just love. It’s called Food is Free. And those folks are doing such a damn fine job, I’m not even a little bit sad I didn’t think of it first. ;-P They did such an amazing thing in their neighborhood in such a short period of time. Now, they are onto changing the world in such HUGE flipping ways. you go, you two, GO! Here’s an awesome vid about who they are and what they do. This is SO something you can do with your friends and neighbors. Check in with your landlord, HOA, or neighborhood rules on what you can do. Then, stop pushing that lawnmower around and start pulling food out of your front yard instead. If you live in an apartment, try out some container planting or see what you can get going in soil on your windowsill. You can share the surplus with your friends and neighbors or trade with the yard next door. You will likely not only learn your neighbor’s names–but who they are and what they like to grow and eat too. You can change the face of where you live, of how your community comes together, and… you can do it right now.
Yeah yeah, I can hear you wondering…. “but, hey there lady–it ain’t spring, what in the world can I do about this now?” But, never fear, there is plenty to do right now!
You can read and study up about organic gardening. Decide what kinds of things you want to grow. Start replacing sod with soil and build some raised beds. You can try out these cool ideas about winter gardening and plant some cold hardy things like greens. ( Neat-O cheap, cold frames. A massive winter list from Mother Earth News. More neat cold frame ideas. ) You can build compost bins. You can decide what seed to order next season. You can build up your book collection. You can refocus your emotional energy from politics to planting, you know–in case you need a flipping break from it in the coming month.
SOW, see? There’s plenty to do and think about! 🙂
My favorite thing I’m growing right now is turnips, mustards and austrian winter pea. They are great for fall and winter too if you are willing to cover them. They are dead easy for beginners, and the grow great together as a cover crop. Win, win. Now, I know you might say there is nothing tasty sounding about turnips–but man have I fallen in love with cooking these beauties this year. They are a wonderful green and also a delish root. They store well and are simple to cook. More winning! This combo of stuff is also perfect for garden side stop and snacks.
Here’s me last month on Sept 11 in the turnip and mustard patch, stealing a snack. Man, that stuff is SO good!!
So, there you go. The next step…. sow a seed. Grow. And see how it feels and what you learn. It might just make you smile or stuff your belly.
-Rain, the farmer