Haphazardly Homesteading: Vol. 1

Last week my 7 year old said to me, “I wish we had a garden so we could grow our own food and share with other people. Because sharing is so fun and so is playing in the dirt.”

My little windowsill garden. Orchids, flowers, avocados, flowers, oregano, cacti, and a whole bunch of junk

This was sort of prophetic because I’ve been recently musing on how much I miss gardening. I grew up gardening with my parents, growing all sorts of fruits and vegetables and flowers, canning food, and making tomatoes into spaghetti sauce. One year, we had so many different kinds of tomatoes that my mom would send me in between the vines to crawl around on the dirt and pick the ripe tomatoes because she couldn’t reach. My best friend’s family also gardened and her parents and my parents would often swap stories and techniques.

There’s this great communal aspect to gardening. Sharing which varieties of plants taste which way or are best for canning or sauce or what have you, which ones grow best in your climate, techniques you’ve found that work well. Then there’s the actual reaping of the harvest, which is the aspect that alights my child. Taking baskets of tomatoes and zucchini and others to neighbors was such a special part of my childhood. Another great memory is strawberry picking weekend at my friend’s house.

Food brings people together. In getting down to the roots of our needs for existence and in partnership with actual earth (the dirt and all its little creatures), we fulfill our basic needs and live out the first call of mankind to tend to the earth and all its inhabitants. I miss this. I want to participate in this again.

So here we go. I’ve actually kept my orchid plant alive for a couple months now, so I think I’m doing okay. The 7 year old planted some flowers from one of those kits and both kids got avocado growing contraptions for Easter. Simple, easy starts. I found a few more plant kits in our garage (probably from some Easter past??) and started the pots for flowers and oregano. The 6 year old is going to do the other pot of flowers. Since we rent and aren’t sure if we’ll be in this house for much longer, this is all the more gardening I’m willing to do right now, but it’s a start. Let’s see how this goes.

Maybe I’ll buy some chickens and just not tell my landlord. Maybe not, though.

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