Family Garden: Why We’re Growing

It’s no secret that most working families could stand to do a lot better in the healthy choices department. As for me, as an individual, there’s a whole lot of room for improvement. When there seems to be very little time to do anything it can become very easy to take the quick, cheap route in order to just make sure everyone gets fed and move on to the next thing. Cheap may be somewhat of a lie because when you really look at the numbers it is quickly becoming more and more expensive to eat fast food and I won’t even begin to try and estimate the amount of money we spend paying for the health and emotional problems that are all mainly a result of our diet. Deep down inside I want to be a lot more independent in terms of the food that I, and my family eat. Although, I’m not quite ready to pitch the idea of leaving everything behind and moving off the grid to kelly ( there’s a few things I like a little too much for that anyway). I did make it a goal to take some steps forward when it comes to giving the kids the opportunity to see what it takes  for a vegetable or a piece of meat to reach the table. I mean shouldn’t a child at least know how to grow enough to survive if the grocery store and McDonald’s ceased to exist. I mean growing food is survival basics. I am not really trying to approach this from a fearful perspective. But to know what’s happening when it comes to the production of processed foods and knowing that for many of the producers profits are the main concern, not the health of those purchasing and eating the food. I just think it is selling our kids short to not put the in a position to have the knowledge to make a choice when it comes to what they eat. Not only are we selling our kids short we are selling ourselves short and in many cases making our time with them in the land of the living shorter than it has to be. True enough we are all going to leave here someday, but why not do what needs to be done to keep our bodies healthy while we are here. So in order to line my actions up with my thoughts on this matter I am starting our first vegetable garden. The goal is to have a few meals this year with all the ingredients picked from our backyard. At first I thought to myself what difference will it make if you eat a few salads that were grown by you and you know what it may not make that big a difference at all but one thing I do know, whatever we are blessed to harvest we will know it from seed to plate and as crazy as it sounds that’s a feeling I want to feel. I am starting with 3  4 x 4 feet raised bed gardens and I am going to be using what’s called the square foot planting method.  Keep in mind, I am doing this within our budget so some of what I have done may not be considered best practices as far as materials methods and times of planting are concerned. But another thing I’m working on is just doing what I am able to do when I am able to do it. Hey that’s better than sitting around talking and thinking about it. Maybe some of you have or currently maintain great gardens if so, feel free to leave a few tips. This is just another something that I’m doing and hopefully it will spark  others that are thinking about it to do the same. So here’s what I have done up until now and I will be sure to keep you updated on the progress. If you would like to get more detailed info on our setup make sure to check back because I’ll be providing a detailed “how to” according to Stan in the future (Let’s wait and see if we actually get anything to grow first, I’d hate to lead you wrong) LOL. One thing I love about trying new things is the fact that there always seems to be some kind of perspective I gain on a much deeper level. As I was removing the grass in the areas I plan to place the three beds using only a shovel. The whole reaping and sowing principle hit me in a very significant way. Now a days we here so much talk about seeds and harvest and many times it can become easy to think that the process is magical. But the spiritual breakthrough I got I am sure is going to help me in such a profound way going forward and it is as simple as this:

           The Work can’t be underestimated 

Hey, it sounds good to talk about planting all kinds of seeds and receiving all kinds of blessings but although it is as simple as that at the same time it’s not that simple. If the seed is going to have a chance you’re gonna need to prep the ground. I haven’t planted the first seed and I already have a few blisters and a little soreness ( which one must be willing to endure to get to the harvest). As I began to prep the area with the exception of a few carpenter bees the yard and the area around me was inactive. This was work I was doing alone. This sweat equity was being paid with enthusiasm and excitement about what it could possibly bring but nonetheless it was being paid alone. But as I finished the first plot and dropped the bed I begin to hear more birds chirping and flying and perching in the trees above. I could hear the eagerness in their voices and it quickly grew from the chirps of smaller birds to the loud call of crows. You see, the dirt that I was moving was exposing what was beneath there where earthworms and grubs  and all kinds  of other bird treats that were going to be easy pickings as soon as I was out of the way. I realized then, planting this garden and keeping it watered and weeded won’t be all I have to do in order to reap the harvest. I will also have to keep watch and protect every plant from seed to full growth. Because there will be those that will find great benefit in taking what is planted and grown without doing any of the dirty work. It’s a whole lot like life. I gained understanding of the fact that I have been thinking a lot about a big harvest but I haven’t really done enough of the dirty work. I haven’t really seen any blisters or felt any pain. I realized as far as many of my goals are concerned I haven’t even planted the seed yet. I realized I’m just beginning to prep the ground. It’s early Spring so it’s as good a time as any to get this seed in the ground. There’s nothing like a lesson that’s learned through a positive experience (Lord knows I’ve had enough of the life lessons learned through foolish Mistakes and decisions) If you’ve made it to this point THANKS for reading. DaddyBEGrowing



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