Last year my wife inspired me to give planting a garden a go. I thought why not, though I didn't really have a whole lot of time for it, but figured I'd give it a shot. I grabbed the tiller, tilled up half of the back yard, and planted.
Last May I found it to be a lot of work, especially at first, and was relatively displeased with the whole process. What a waste of time. However, as time progressed, my opinion advanced, too. I loved getting out and spending some time working on the garden. In fact, it came to be one of the high points in my day - spending time working on the "creation" of something and getting in tune with myself.
By the end of June this is what the garden looked like:
It continued through the end of August and beginning of September and allowed me to feed my family a number of nutritious foods (on the cheap!). We discovered new foods that we previously hadn't eaten as a family - radishes, new kinds of lettuce, the joys of home grown tomatoes, kohlrabi, cabbage, and collard greens. Not only were these foods new, but they were also delicious.
With a really strange spring this year it really held back any forward progress on the garden until mid to late May. I decided this year to re-till the back yard and put in some raised beds.
We started with this:
And are now sitting on something that looks more like this:
So the plan for July? Live off the garden. Our family of 3 will start the month with some grain and continue to purchase milk on a weekly basis. The bread, cheese, and yogurt will all be home made. All of the produce will come from the garden. We have a backyard chicken flock of 5 hens that will produce the eggs.
We're doing this with another local family which will afford us the ability to trade off our surplus for other locally grown backyard vegis.
I'm looking forward to the challenge and am really hoping that we're able to do it. It'll mean a whole month of fresh greens, produce, and eggs - with no eating out - and really helps highlight out sustainable a family can be if they take the time to do it.
Edit: Fixed the HTML code so the images fit to the window instead of adventuring somewhere off to the right.