The Start of Something New

The Start of Something New

This is the time of year when seasonal affective disorder really kicks in for me. I miss being outside with my garden. And the truth is that spending so much time inside often makes me feel claustrophobic. I am definitely an outdoor kind of person. When I'm outside I feel like I can breathe again. I think that is why I love to set new goals in the winter, because I need something to focus on during the darkness.

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A Year of Homegrown Food and a New Goal for January

Around new years last year, I made a goal to grow all of our vegetables from the garden for the year. May 2017-May 2018. So far, I'm at about 90% veggies from our garden and 10% from the store.  It has been so worth it to learn lots of new things.

[Little Gem lettuce on the left. Turnips on the right] November 27 2017

I think the main thing I've learned is to be a better steward of all the life, plants and animals, that God has given us. I waste way less food than I did before. I realized all the labor and money that went into every plant. We butchered our rooster this year and ate the meat. Butchering our own chicken helped me to be more conscious where the meat comes from and I think I naturally started to eat less meat in general. (Someday I hope to do more meat chickens but our current location won't allow for it)

[May 20th 2017]

Another bonus of eating our own veggies only has been savings on the grocery bill. We are consistently saving $700 a month from last years average grocery bill. That is no exaggeration.  Even though using our own vegetables helped us lower the spending, going to the store less (twice a month) was a major savings. We didn't have a chance to impulse buy. The other thing that came out of eating homegrown food is I cook way more from scratch and that cut down the grocery budget as well.
[Arugula November 27 2017]

Even though gardening is fun, another huge motivator for me is health. I still struggle some health problems, acid reflux being one of them. Conventional medicine barely makes a difference in the pain level but consuming more veggies and less processed food seems to be helping. 

As long as my hoop tunnels hold up, I think we'll make it to spring (2 degrees is the low tonight!). 
[Mulching leaves to put in the garden. Noelle was happy to come along for the ride! December 4th 2017]

[December 2 2017]

I really like having a goal to strive for and because I'm not crazy enough, I decided to do a no grocery shopping month for January. My sister Amy has done this many times before and I haven't been brave enough to try it until now. We don't like going without fresh food- especially fruit! But since I'm already halfway there not shopping for veggies, and I have lots of canned applesauce and peaches, plus frozen fruit, I figured why not give it a try. We haven't been to the store since before Christmas so if I make it to the end of January it will be extra cool!