Becoming a greener me in 100 steps – food from garden

overwintering nasturtium

(nasturtium overwintering in greenhouse)

I like to think of myself as living a fairly green life style, but I know I’m not perfect. I also know that out of convenience, or laziness, I’ve dropped a few greener choices, which kind of bothers me.

So I am going to challenge myself. One small change a week, or so, towards a greener lifestyle, until I feel I’m in the right place again. (100 steps not meant literally!) Big changes are unlikely. I need to keep it possible. Either something that I haven’t done for a while or never contemplated in the first place.

It has to be something that fits in with reduce, reuse and recycle. Hopefully it should save money in the long run, but most of all its about peace of mind, for me.

vege

(this week’s vegetable box)

Step 1 -Eat more from the garden

Before we had children, we were pretty self sufficient in terms of vegetables and fruits. Not totally, but we did eat from the garden all through the year. Really, we did! Zero food miles.

Gradually over the years, this has slipped. Especially the last 2 years. Maybe due to the children all being at school now.

TF planting runner beans long shot

(planting the bean house)

 So step 1 is to plan the kitchen garden for the whole year. How am I going to achieve this:

Make a list

Each year I ask the children what they would like to eat from the garden. No point growing something they won’t eat. Then check list to ensure we have enough that will store or harvest for each month of the year.

winter veg

(winter veg from garden)

Many hands make light work

I need to encourage the children to help. In all fairness to them, it really doesn’t take much for them to help in the garden. As an added bonus this year, they each will have their own little corner of the garden, as well as the main kitchen garden. They do love to help, so I need to make the most of it. I need to enthuse them.

digging potato patch 2

(previous year’s digging)

Make it easy

I’m cutting back on the amount of digging and weeding this year. We avoid chemicals in the garden, so all weeding is done by hand. I’m making good use of the recycled plastic netting left by the builders. I’m using it to suppress the weeds. I was going to remove it as I planted, but husband has suggested that I plant through it. Also will use the chickens to tidy up some areas.

weed suppressing

(children helping last weekend)

Feed the soil

My neighbour and I have ordered a truck load of manure from a local farmer. Not organic, but free. If I feed the soil, then I feed the plants. More bountiful harvest, I hope. Although this did back fire one year when moles moved in. Hoping sheer bulk will make the difference. Also I have two compost bins full of kitchen compost (no weed seeds) which I will put in the greenhouse.

water butt on shed

Water butts

I need to check the existing butts, repair and reposition if necessary. We have six water butts, so I need to make the most of these, instead of using the chemically treated water from the tap. Rain water is free after all!

children in greenhouse

(My greenhouse needs serious tidying up!)

Love my greenhouse

I’m down to one greenhouse now. Love to add another one, but first the existing one needs some TLC first. Apart from adding the compost, I need to clean the windows, replace broken panes and check the automatic window opener. I’m sure I’ll get a helper or two with this job.

 

There is more on my list for the garden, but they really deserve their own “Becoming a greener me” step. When the time is right. Watch this space.

Joining in with the inspirational Fiona over in #CountryKids:
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Also joining in with a snowy Sara over at MumTurnMom. #ThePrompt

16 thoughts on “Becoming a greener me in 100 steps – food from garden

  • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 4:18 am
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    Wonderful plans for your garden. I wish I had more space for planting vegetables, I would love to grow more especially as the climate here really lends itself to it. #CountryKids
    PS, this post would fit really well with #ThePrompt this week which is all about Spring plans and projects, if you fancy linking up x

    • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 8:11 am
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      It is amazing how much can be grown in containers. Nothing beats picking fresh food from your own back garden. I’ll be over to check out the linky. 🙂

  • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 8:43 am
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    So many great plans. I’m looking to add a small fruit & veg patch to our garden this year, within my redesign, and I’m really looking forward to the feeling of producing our own food.

    • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 9:01 am
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      I think its the idea of popping out into the garden on a warm summer’s evening to fetch fresh salad, that keeps me planning and preparing at this time of year. Almost taste the fresh cucumbers!

  • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 10:56 am
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    Hi Cheryl
    Just thought I’d tell you about a man on our allotment’s who very rarely weeded, his allotment looked like a jungle but he had the best produce. He only pulled out anything that was a real threat to the crop and left the rest. I think maybe because the soil was not disturbed by constant weeding and also they kept the moisture in the soil as the sun couldn’t get right down to the ground. Might be worth and experiment on a small patch. Don’t forget the butternuts, they grown so well and keep all through the winter.
    Briony
    x

    • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 12:42 am
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      Interesting strategy. I’ve probably inadvertedly done this in the past, but not left it for years. We love butternut squash. I used to grow lots of squash, but the last couple of years they’ve failed. I’m hoping the manure will help and my revived determination. Fingers crossed.

  • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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    What a great action plan for such a rewarding endeavour as garden to table seems to taste that much better for all the effort and pride of growing your own. It’s good that you have a willing workforce to help you and the bonus is that it’s time spent together outdoors. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 12:38 am
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      They love gardening. They love to eat vegetables and fruit, which I put down to them all getting the gardening habit early on. I am blessed to have so many willing helpers.

  • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 7:45 pm
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    Wow, that’s serious gardening. Ours is embarrassing in that it’s still ultimately like a paddock. Though the in laws do have a small patch themselves, and one at the back of our lodgers garden which was set up by my sister in law before they moved down the road. So we do get seasonal veg and fruit from the garden. I like the idea of having a veg patch, but I just don’t like gardening, have no idea about it, and other things I need to do first in the garden.

    • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 12:33 am
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      Start small. Grow a little of what you like to eat. You’ll soon be hooked on eating fresh from the garden. That’s how I started.

  • Saturday 15 March, 2014 at 9:00 pm
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    It is great growing your own. I am off to the allotment tomorrow to plant onions and lettuce – very satisfying to tend to them and finally eat them. I am trying to get my 4 yo more interested but he just likes running around rather than helping to weed 😉

    • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 12:31 am
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      Always found that my children enjoy sowing the seeds and digging more than weeding. As they’ve got older, they have helped more. Mainly to be with me. Some of my favourite times with them are working together in the garden.

  • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 2:10 am
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    Thank you so much for popping over and linking up with #ThePrompt x

    • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 2:21 am
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      Really enjoyed reading the other links. Great prompt and I’ll be back to check out the next one!

  • Sunday 16 March, 2014 at 8:57 pm
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    I’d love to be more self sufficient. As you say, small steps are much more manageable. Belle wants to grow some strawberries this year and I think I will plant some lettuce in pots etc and build it up from there to prevent becoming overwhelmed.

    • Monday 17 March, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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      I started with tomatoes in containers. The taste was so much better than supermarket ones and I was hooked. Not looked back since. Good luck with the strawberries and lettuces.

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