After many years of living off the grid we have come to know what is really important in our everyday lives here.
As spring turns to summer our focus changes to the garden. Our aim is to eat 3 meals a day with at least something from the garden, if not the entire meal being grown here.
It may be a bit of a lofty goal but most days (even those hot lazy days of summer) we achieve our aim here at the off the grid homestead. Why is it so important to focus on this seasonal bounty.
I can probably best illustrate it with a little story I just told to our son. In the end he discovered that his life really did depend on our garden for many months of the year.
Obviously we all must eat healthy food to sustain ourselves. And our aim here is to grow most of that food ourselves so that we can maintain a pesticide free food source.
Our son Andre' was helping us with some weeding last week and obviously as many teenager are guilty of, his mind was somewhere else. He was doing a sloppy job and needed some correction of his technique. As a family we think it is very important to share the work and the criticism.
The weeds in the onions were pretty obvious so we took a minute to discuss his work. I asked him if he liked eating onions?
And, knowing that he did, he told me so. I then asked him how well the onions would grow if weeds were present.
He immediately grasped the concept when I said ' I would rather you did one row perfect, than 2 rows crappy.'
Sometimes the lessons living off the grid are not really profound, more like simple lessons that can apply to any job. One perfect row beats 2 that are crap any day, in whatever we do.
Since we are talking about food here, and food is a necessity to survival and self sufficiency then it is imperative to grasp that your life does depend on this garden for months at a time.
That is not extra pressure either, physical or emotional, it simply means that our job is to do the best we can in the garden and it will give back in kind.
For many years we worked harder than our garden did. The soil was poor and needed a lot of minerals and compost to make it productive.
Now, by simply applying a certain amount of work that is no where near what we used to put in, we actually receive much more.
The inputs of time and materials have allowed our family to now reap long term benefits that far outweigh our yearly input time and costs.
If you would simply take the time and view the garden as a long long term project for your family these rewards could be yours. Spread the work over the entire year, and amongst all family members.
They will all take a proprietary interest in the results as they stream towards your kitchen table.
Living off the grid is never better than when we sit down to a meal that was entirely produced from our own efforts.