Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A new long-term project!

So what do you do when the project you've been working on for the past 8 months is finally finished? Well, you start something brand spanking new of course!

For a while now I have become increasingly frustrated at the price of fruit and vegetables. It really irks me that we, as consumers, seem to pay more and more for these products while the quality of them declines. I have been reading about the idea of self sufficiency for a while now, but lets face it - it takes dedication and determination to make a family fully self sufficient and I am not sure I have enough of either of those things at this point in time.

While self sufficiency seems out of my reach at the moment, it doesn't mean that I can't take small steps to work towards the goal. While I was holidaying in Murray Bridge over the Christmas period I read a book called 'Choosing Eden'. This book tells the story of a couple in their 50's who moved to outer New South Wales to begin a life of self sufficiency to ensure that their family would have a refuge in the event of a Peak Oil crisis.

I am not going to delve too much into Peak Oil here (because it's pretty scary stuff), but basically it is believed that at some point the World's oil resources will be depleted and as a result the 300,000 every day items that rely on oil to be produced, will either not be available or will cost too much for every day people to be able to afford, so life as we know it will change dramatically. I told you it was scary!

So, today our journey into small-scale self sufficiency begins with the setting up of a vegetable garden! Here is a picture of the plot I will be using to grow our vegetables -'s horrible hey!

The soil around our house is TERRIBLE. In fact, you can't even call it 'soil' because it's not. It's clay. Copious amounts of clay. But that isn't going to deter me. See those two wooden boxes on the top level of the retaining wall? Well that's where we are going to do our vegetable planting.

The boxes were made by my dad out of reclaimed packing crates, so they were FREE (rather than the $60 each Bunnings were asking!). They are roughly 1 mtr in length and about 80 cms wide, which is just perfect for our family of two, soon to be three!

The next step in setting up the vegetable garden is to fill the crates with suitable material to grow the vegetables in and order the seeds. It took me quite a bit of reading to understand the best way to make a raised vegetable garden, so I am going to blog the process for you so that you too can join in the journey of small-scale self sufficiency! Stay tuned for more!

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