Friday, April 8, 2011


Our early spring peas are growing well.

It's been reasonably cool and has included a few rainy days--The peas love it.

I can't wait for the peas.  Last year we only had about a dozen plants.  The boys loved eating the peas and pods straight from the vines but we almost had to ration them out to let everyone have some each time.  This year we hope to have less rationing necessary.

Next to the peas I planted two varieties of carrots.  We're still waiting for those to come up (I really hope they do).

I have a cabbage and broccoli plant that actually wintered over in the hoop house.  I planted them late (too late) in the fall.  The plants were really small and I kept them covered in plastic and in the spring they started growing again.  So hopefully there will be something to harvest soon.

Our onions are just starting to come up.  I walked by our neighbors the other day who had a whole plot of 6-inch high onion shoots and was worried--we seemed way behind. But ours have started shooting up this week and they really grow quickly once they break ground--so I'd guess we're only a week behind our neighbors.  Last year our onions were not a successful crop.  We're off to a better start since we didn't even get them in the ground last year until after the baby was born. 

This is simply how gardening has gone for us.  Every year we've had failures and successes.  Every year we've learned more about how we'll do it better "next time".

We literally are cultivating the skills in our lives in order to live in a more self reliant manner.  Self-reliance isn't something you can just buy--like a 72-hour kit.  A big part of self reliance is developing the skills necessary for providing for your own needs.  This takes time and effort.  I cook well not because it was a skill that I was born with, but because it is a skill that felt was important so I have devoted time and effort into learning it. (Most of that being during the last seven years since I have been married.) 

As I have learned basic skills that appealed to me I have found that more areas of self-reliance start to look interesting--the more I'm interested in seeing if I can provide for that need myself instead of depending on someone else to supply it.  I may not choose to always do so, but that can be my choice. 

I want my children to have that choice as well--to have the independence that comes from being able to do many productive things for themselves.  I don't know if our boys will ever need to know how to spin wool into yarn, but they do need to know how to feed their own bodies.  We invite the boys into the garden with us and particularly into the kitchen--teaching them principles and cultivating within them important skills, as well as cultivating within them the desire to provide for themselves.

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