Friday, February 17, 2012

Gardening and lifes lesson's

There are so many ways to garden. We each need to find our own system that will work for us.

Some of us have large acreage where others might only have a lot or even be in an apartment. And. Yes you even have gardening options in an apartment.

When I first married we were living in a tiny apartment in Japan. We kept a 3 month food supply in boxes which we made our furniture out of. 3 months before moving we started eating our furniture! But we also had garden. I filled all of our windows with flower pots. I had lettuces, carrots, green onions and radishes growing. It gave us fresh salads twice each week. You can have lots of options even living in a tiny apartment. We left Japan in 1976.

The next few years kept us running from place to place and we ate our food stores faster than we could get them. Newly weds, no worries.

Then we bought our first home. An old farm house on 10 acres with etched glass windows. We ripped out the plaster and slat walls and had wiring added along with insulation and added water lines even though we still didn't have water just a 20' well with hand pump. We had a milk cow, goats, chickens and a garden. We thought we had it all until our first depression came knocking. When the Auto plant shut down everything else did too. Our garden failed to boot. Our food stores lasted most of a year then things got desperate. Dark days I try not to think about. Many of our friends committed suicide, got divorced, etc. We got stronger and grew from our trial.

The window garden so far had worked best for us and it sure was a lot less work! Eventually we moved on and in the middle of kids, 3 young boys and twin daughters just starting to walk, the Lord impressed upon us that we needed to grow our food. Homeschooling 3 and having 2 she devils that kept us all on our toes lead me to some mighty prayer. The Lord showed me how to plant a huge garden and then lay down cardboard and cover it heavily with mulch. My whole family loved that garden. It was a blessing to go out and collect food there. The kids would just go out and sit and talk to each other and snack on what ever was at hand to eat.

Life marched on, lots of ups and downs. Until we felt lead to buy this farm. We had searched a 200 mile radius. We found this 99 acre farm listed at $2,500 per acre and felt it was ours. We couldn't afford it so ended up making an offer of $450 per acre. They accepted our offer! We were shocked! Happy but shocked!

We closed this deal in late 2000 and in the spring of 2001 we came up on weekends and started working on putting up a pole barn. Our neighbors told us later that they hated to see us show up! Every weekend we pitched our tents it poured rain like you wouldn't believe. We got all the poles in and about ¾ of the roof before we gave up for the winter. My husband and I we're both working 2 or 3 jobs each. Then September 11 came. Just when we thought we were seeing light at the end of our tunnel we got bombed. We knew instantly that my husbands income was going to be lost to us and without it we would not be able to pay our debts. But the Lord is merciful. In the middle of all this trouble,  a cash buyer showed up with the full price of our home. The catch was we had to be out in 6 days and my husband was with his guard unit and couldn't help. My 14 year old son had to have surgery right in the middle of those 6 days so we lost a day from that and the help he would of provided. Only 2 sisters from church came to help. God bless them for packing up my kitchen and watching kids the day I was at the hospital with my son (tumor in knee) . We rented a storage unit and threw everything in there, leaving a bog of personal stuff for each of us and the camping gear. We rented a trailer in town that lasted all of 30 days. We fled to the unfinished pole barn. It snowed clear up until May 2002 that year.

But the Lord is merciful. People just showed up. One had a guest house available to us free of charge for 30 days. We had a 4 day 70 degree period where we were able to get a cement floor poured. We laid plumbing lines down under it. By the end of those 30 days we had all the roof and most of the walls up. We had people show up as far away as Minnesota.  they felt impressed to just get in their car and start driving without a clue of where they were going.  they had the exact skill we needed at the exact moment they pulled into our driveway. It was an incredible journey we went on that year.  We all developed "faith" in a big way.  Unfortunately my husband was not here to travel this journey with us.  

He spent the next 8 years gone most of the time.  But his employer decided to give us 3/4 of his income and most creditors put us on hold and several even reduced our interest rate during that time.  Living in a tent and eating from food stores and what we could glean from the land.  We were able to pay off most of the debt within 2 years.  The Lord is truly merciful.  

We fenced off a 100' X 75' area and put in 32 raised beds made of double stacked cinderblocks.  We filled them with compost, peat moss and rice hulls.  it took us 3 years to get it all done and to get a decent crop from it.  After watching the movie that special garden we all loved came flooding back to me.   We will return to mulching around our plants and keeping it all covered.  It should greatly lessen the amount of watering we have to do and it should stop all weeding.  I will continue to use the Mittleider preplant and weekly feed solutions as the soil in my are totally lacks iodine.  Even in areas that have never been tilled it is lacking.   

That is my life lessons and my gardening solutions.  If you do not garden, I highly suggest that you do so this year.  Even if it is just a pot on your window sill.  To know how to garden may save your life and those around you some day.  Don't wait until then to learn!  You might be to late! 

Have a great day and plan out your garden however big or small it might be!


No comments:

Post a Comment