This season has been full of up and downs, not unlike this roller-coaster of life.
Just when I thought the whole thing was a total waste, we miraculously received the most plentiful application of rainwater that seemed to revive and restore the land to a time before concrete jungles and rush hour traffic.
In fact I don’t think in my 29 years, that I’ve ever seen the Colorado plains so green and lush for as long as they were this summer. Normally July is about the cutoff for anything green that grows on the ground here and whose life isn’t artificially extended by sprinklers or irrigation systems.
And the result of that rain on my back to eden garden, was more impressive than even the green prairies surrounding the urban sprawl of my native city. It was an explosion of life. Fungi, plants, bugs, spiders, even the chickens and their eggs seemed to grow.
I will post photos, but they don’t do this phenomenon any justice.
I can quantify the value for you, in a way that you can understand that pictures cannot convey. I have not been grocery shopping for anything other than Butter, Cream, Honey, Cheese, pumpernickel bread (don’t judge) and Chocolate for the last 2 months. Why, do you ask? I think it is quite obvious. I’ve managed to sustain myself on what has been produced as a direct output of my sweat months earlier.
On some level, I was beginning to wonder whether I would obtain a return on my investment. After all, toiling for more than a season for a mere crop of vegetables seems like foolishness when you can simply take a trip to the store. And I’m still debating that even now, after my experiment, but what I am also taking into consideration, is that I’ve merely laid the foundation. That was really the hardest part of the process. Going forward, while I still have some work to do, (filling my garden beds with compost and woodchips) it won’t be nearly as taxing an endeavor as was the act of building the soil on my entire property.
I’ve learned a great deal mind you, that is not to be discredited. But some of what I’ve learned is input & output mechanics. Energy in and energy out are the difference between me and the people who don’t see the value in this lifestyle. And maybe it is a common thing to be fixated on, as in the obsession of the common man. I’ve never been ashamed of my agrarian tendencies, but I can see why for centuries another model was created for humanity by humanity. An industrialized mass produced method, which provides the luxury or other pursuits. In a way, I feel like a slave to the land. And I guess that is the point, because this is truly the miracle that is life and learning about what is required to sustain it.
And knowing that makes all the difference to me, because I have a profound respect for that system, and it’s delicate nature. But I do question my commitment to it at times, and wonder how much sense it makes for a person in my situation. Working a 40-60 hour work week doesn’t lend itself well to this type of “hobby” and unfortunately, I’m starting to get burned out. I guess that is why we have winter. That will force me to take a break, although not the type I would like, as I just so happen to detest the cold and early darkness that winter brings with it. In fact as I get older, I like it less and less.
So with all that out in the open, I have to say, I’m still very proud of myself for what I’ve managed to accomplish. I have an abundance of food, which I am presently harvesting each day. My chickens have been very thoroughly fed with any excess and I have learned to cook certain things I can’t even pronounce because of my dedication to fully exploiting these efforts.
Next year, I will be VERY selective about what I plant because I’m not wasting any space or time on things that I just won’t eat. Mind you, with the help of the fowl, this has officially become a no waste household, as in nothing that is edible, ever gets wasted. So even if I planted something I didn’t necessarily like or want to eat, there will always be chicken around who will.
I’ll update with photo’s as soon as I have a chance. I’ve had 2 phones break within the last few months and photos will need to be manually downloaded from social media accounts.