Pathway to Food Freedom.

After tearing down an old decripit shed, and reusing some broken concrete to make a path around gardening beds, this piece of our backyard will soon feed us. Garden by Kerri. Photo by Christopher.

After tearing down an old decrepit shed, and reusing some broken concrete to make a path around gardening beds, this piece of our backyard will soon feed us. Garden by Kerri. Photo by Christopher.

This past week Christopher and I had a fence built so that I could give gardening in the backyard another try. The dogs are confused that their backyard is just a little smaller;  they don’t seem to understand why they can’t go behind the fence.

Learning to garden has been quite an experience for me, I feel like it will take years to master, but it is worth the time. For right now I am enjoying heading out to the back yard several times a day to check the progress. I planted late, so we still have not enjoyed all of  the fruits (actually veggies) of my labor, but every once in a while a bit of my garden is center stage at dinner.

I am finding out some tricks as I go along, such as there are several places where you can get cheap or inexpensive compost. Yesterday I enlisted the help of a friend with a truck and he took me down to the Mira Mar landfill where San Diego City residents can get 1-2 cubic yards  of compost for free and other county residents pay only $10.  There are several other places in San Diego county with similar offers. Of course, my load of compost ended up being more expensive than I had planned. When we got past the gates of the landfill, a large truck kicked up a rock and shattered the driver’s side window. While my friend was midsentence in telling me he was willing to help us get compost anytime, a shower of glass poured down over him. I wonder if he will retract his offer.

I bribed him to go with the promise of a car wash and free access to my garden as soon as things really started growing. After the broken window and the time he spent helping me fill my raised beds, I think he earned it. One of the joys of growing my own food is sharing it with others.

One co-worker stopped by the other day and dropped off peaches and plums from her yard just because I mentioned that I would be willing to share and trade any access that we have. Christopher’s mom stopped by  and I was able to send her home with lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, green beans, and figs and lemons from our trees. There is a certain amount of pride I feel when I hand over the bounty. I am  quick to note which ones I planted from seeds and which came from seedlings.  I am most  proud of those I grew by myself and thinning my seedlings is hard on me.  I don’t want to get rid of anything I worked so hard to grow.

Share with those you love,

Kerri

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Pathway to Food Freedom.

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  3. Very nice. I grew tomatoes and cucumbers a few summers… than I got too busy(work and other activities)… but missed that feeling of seeing something grow and than eating and sharing it.

    Nice reminder.

  4. Welcome to the club Kerri! After years away from gardening I started back up this year. I am having a hard time with desert heat. If we can just get through the next couple of weeks. My best advice is don’t be disappointed if everything isn’t a routing success. Be happy with what does well. And it’s not all about saving money, I don’t know how I can go back to store bought bell peppers. These tender, crisp bell peppers are amazing!

    Good luck!

  5. nonegiven

    Do you have worm bins yet? Worm castings are great for your garden and really reduce the amount of organic waste going into the garbage can or the garbage disposal. The Solana Center sells greatly discounted worm bin systems on Tues & Thurs (discount varies depending on on residency).

    I tried homemade worm bins for a few years, which do work, but harvesting the castings and maintaining the system is more time consuming and inefficient compared to a ready made system. I much prefer the composting speed and efficiency (& less work) with the Worm Factory bins. I now have two bin systems going on our patio, and the extra liquid that drains off via a built-in spigot (I reuse milk bottles for collection) is wonderful to add to the water for houseplants and my patio containers.

  6. Livia

    One of the problems with gardening is that sometimes you have to be really ruthless. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it eventually.

  7. We’ve had marginal success with our garden at this point (a few string beans is about it), but I can see the cucmbers starting to take shape, as well as the zucchini & yellow squash that are working so very hard to grow up.

    If you haven’t heard of it, you might really like hyperlocavore. It’s a free yard-sharing community that helps you connect with other gardeners to trade produce, as well as seeds:
    http://hyperlocavore.ning.com/

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor!!!

  8. Glad I came back to this site some new very interesting items which I wanted to know more about. Great work on your site.

  9. Nice. Self grown food tastes better than any other.

  10. Hello!

    Gardening has saved us a lot of money this year….

    Renee

    gardendesk.com

  11. What a cool looking backyard. It really has a lot of potential. Can’t wait to see it finished.

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