Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…

36 degrees outside - 4:48 pm - overcast, everything is still covered in snow which is slowly melting away...

How does your garden grow?  We have been giving a lot of thought to this question lately.  Well, not about Mary’s garden but our own.

With everything under a blanket of snow, the holiday season underway and spring ahead of us, I thought it was a good time to start putting plans together for our vegetable garden that will be built and planted come spring.  Yes, I know, garden dreaming and it’s not even Christmas yet.

Living on a mountain we are above the smog layer which also lets more UV light in.  We can have some really hot summer days and some really cold winter days.  Plants that did well in town may or may not do well up here on the mountain.  I think the first year will be more trial and error to see what does well in the vegetable garden.  Did I mention that we are also planning on attaching the chicken coop so the girls can run around in the fenced in garden during the day eating bugs.  Getting a little off track here, the chicken coop will be another post for another day.

On the mountain, the sky is truly the limit and we are faced with loads of decisions and choices – heirloom seeds versus hybrids, early, mid or late season varieties (or all three), what veggies should we plant, how much should we grow of each veggie, will it grow well in our climate, do we have room for it, how should we configure the raised beds and when will we ever find the time to install a drip irrigation system?

With all this talk of climate change, peak oil, long food miles, tainted produce and food recalls, factory farming, GMO’s, not to mention the words “global economic downturn”, we’ve decided that becoming more self-reliant isn’t simply a lifestyle choice – it’s a necessity.
                                              
We are looking to make the “right” decisions and “optimize our prospects for success”.  So far we have the location of the vegetable garden picked out.  It will be completely fenced in to keep the deer and other critters out and keep the chickens in.  We will be making raised plant beds with graveled pathways in between and attaching the chicken coop/tool shed in the Northeast corner of the garden. 

This of course is still all in the dreaming stage which will hopefully become reality come spring time.  Off to order seed catalogs (as suggested by my husbands green thumbed grandma - Thanks!) and write down a veggie wish list.

After a little bit of clearing brush, some moving of dirt and leveling,
this will be the future site of the vegetable garden and chicken coop.

{ Update - Dec. 8 }
Here is our ‘Veggie Wish List’:
Blueberries, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Garlic, Green Onions, Lettuce (several varieties), Parsley, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Red Onions, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Squash, Sweet Basil, Tomatoes, Walla Walla Sweet Onions, and Zucchini.

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