I grew up in a small town and for a lot of years we lived on a farm. We had horses , cats, dogs, tons of farm fields and a huge garden. I love eating green beans, raspberries and rhubarb straight from the garden. I’ve been missing that for awhile now but, there is hope!
When we bought our house I was so excited to learn that we had raspberry plants, three apple trees, two raised garden beds and a compost bin. The first two summers I planted a few of our favorite things (didn’t use the compost). We were able to get raspberries, green beans, colored peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes and lots of strawberries. I tried to plant squash but erm, it died and I didn’t get any squash! I was a little bit lazy when it came to gardening mostly because I actually really didn’t know how to work with the soil we had and I was in a job that I hated. I didn’t get home until 6 and when I did , the last thing I wanted to do was go weed a garden.
This year, I want to really focus on my garden not only because we fill our counters and bellies with fresh fruit and veggies but also because Payton is at an age where she can start learning how to help take care of a garden. She really enjoyed picking things (that weren’t always ripe) out of our beds last year so this year should be extra fun! I completely believe in letting our kids learn where our food comes from, how to take care of that food and how to appreciate it! We are planning on filling our garden beds and hopefully , we can till a little plot as well. It would be great to have an abundance of different fruits and veggies (can you say homemade canned salsa!?). My family always goes in on a cow too so we will have amazing fresh beef in our freezer this year. There is just something about FRESH produce/meat/eggs , so much better from buying from a store and usually MUCH healthier. Through all this though, I am most looking forward to spending time in the garden with Payton like I did with my mom. I think what we teach our children at young ages will stick with them. I’m not suggesting we slaughter a cow in front of them but showing them how to grow their own food and letting them pick fresh eggs seems like an important lesson(to me at least).
Speaking of fresh eggs, I really want to get a couple of chickens! I recently found out that we can have chickens on our property. I went to Sean with the idea thinking he would say absolutely not. My husband and his support constantly surprises me though. I think he is really loving being healthy and the way it makes him feel. He wants to continue down that road, even if it means shoveling some chicken poop once in awhile. My best friend has quite a few chickens that she raises and gets eggs from, she offered to give us a couple of them this spring! There really is nothing better than fresh eggs. Now that we are Paleo, we consume a TON of eggs. At the store, the eggs we prefer are about $6 a dozen. Chicken poop is also an absolutely amazing compost for gardens. There is probably not a better manure to use. The other plus is, they are pretty darn easy and cheap to take care of. Half of our one acre lot is fenced and we have a shed that we may convert into a coop. Although, you can get a pretty nice coop for around $100 so that might be an option as well (Sean/family , if you are reading this my birthday is next week. Wink Wink!) . My only hesitation is that I don’t think I will be able to slaughter them for meat. In my mind, fresh chicken meat would be amazing but..once Payton names those darn things I think they will become strictly egg hens. We will have to get our chicken from other local people who are far braver than I.