In a society that is addicted to having a supermarket equip their lives with everything they need and with me living as plastic free as I could, this got me thinking……Could I be self sufficient?
As I write this post I am marvelling, yes marvelling as the fact that we have arrived at a ‘new normal’. Not sure I would agree there is anything normal about the apocalyptic littering we have witnessed since lockdown ceased but nevertheless we are here. We did it. My little family survived lockdown, all of the highs, lows, worry and exhaustion it brought. Part of the reason I got through it was because literally two days before it was announced I decided to buy what plants I could afford from the Garden Centre to make a big step to creating my own resilience … growing my own food.
I know how to cook from scratch but I don’t know how to grow my own food, I can’t survive without food so I want to embrace being in charge of what I eat, changing it from how I shop to what I grow.
I’ve made it easy on myself and only grown the easy beginner foods! Tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, alpine strawberries, onions, kale and potatoes. It’s not all gone well but I’ve got the bug. I cannot tell you just how it nourishes the soul. You have to live slowly because seeds don’t bear their yields overnight, you have to live with acceptance because not everything will grow or flourish and it is a perfect way to share this with children. To anaesthetise them away from thinking every food they eat is from a shop.
Because my husband worked in the construction industry, we fortunately had plenty of wooden pallets at home that he’d saved from a skip so he built some raised beds – great in theory but not enough spaces for potatoes and their roots – learning curve for next season! Pinterest is a great place to get ideas so next year we will be doing this (image from a search on Ecosia)
I chose the title of this post as The Good Life. It has been hard to see that since Covid-19. I wrote how my husband lost his job on March 20th and since that date he’s not had full time work, money is a real worry so the garden and jobs in it have been a therapy. A place to sit and think, a place to feel we connect. Now I feel comfortable in the garden, my confidence isn’t at peak but I love it and the mistakes I’ve made I’ve learnt from, it is also going to be a place I can save us money by growing salad veggies – you only need to pick what you want to eat for your meal, I can save food by pickling what I want for the autumn and winter. I wish everyone in this world could see a real need for us to connect to nature again because I think this is what self care looks like. Even if you only start small to supplement your purchasing elsewhere it is an awesome start!