The growing dome is super productive this year. I started early and with the addition of our center bed, everything is working perfectly. We've only had the dome since 2008 so a lot of learning has taken place. Last year it wasn't so productive since I was in India in June having neck surgery. Additionally, the outside garden was apparently repurposed by the local Deer.
In 11 years I've never had to put a fence around my garden to protect it from invasion of wildlife. This year we have to. Dad and I put the posts in yesterday and we will attach the fencing in the next couple of days, weather permitting. Our local Ace had a sale on soil yesterday. $.77 for a 40lb bag of organic soil (limit 5 per customer) and $.77 for a 40lb bag of compost manure. We each got the limit and hauled a truck load of good dirt home. The line outside and inside the store was long at the opening 8am. Glad we had the smarts to go early. If we had waited, there wouldn't have been any left.
We are working very hard at becoming more and more self sufficient. With our 8 laying hens, we are looking for a free Rooster so I can ensure egg production for a long time. I will not incubate, rather, I will let the hens take care of it all the way nature intended. We've added an outdoor pen so they can graze without fear of the dogs getting them. It gave us the covered pen for the ability to separate them when there are new babies. (Always thinking ahead!)
I just bought some very cool books on seed saving, a Victory Garden cookbook that is out of print and one called The Old West baking book. The last one is neat, it's recipes from the old Chuck Wagon days. Makes baking simple. I'm waiting for one called "Apocolypse Chow" how to cook without electricity.
We are getting ready to dig a large holding pond in the back corner of our acreage. There we will raise Tilapia and it will serve as an emergency water supply if/when the need arises. We have tweeked some solar panels to a bilge pump for irrigating. I plan to plant some fruit trees around the perimeter.
Right now we are very geared toward growing as much of our own food as possible. The food prices and inflation have made it necessary to change how we live. With Durango (closest shopping town) 50 miles away, and gas prices that continue to climb, we are being very careful about driving.
It's been a very joyful ride with my Dad during this transition. As a tweenager I would have never guessed my adult life would be spent working side-by-side with him. He has become very open to deep conversations since moving here and is getting into the whole food production lifestyle. We laugh, sweat and plan with such fluidity I hardly recognize the man I used to try to avoid.
A week ago I spent the day with Bela shopping for necessities. I told her the history of the "Great Depression" and how people lived. I also explained why we are making preparations to become self sustaining. At 9yrs old I'm very proud that she has the openness and capacity to embrace a life without TV, gardening and farm care.
Brindi my 19yr old has listened to me for years about how our planet can't sustain life the way we use up resources. She knows where things are at and does well in having a conversation about what's important. Although she's out on her own, she knows when things start changing drastically, provisions have been made for her to return home.
I can't tell you the amount of money I am saving being able to grow my own food. We have beets, spinach, radishes, basil, parsley, lettuces (all kinds), kale, swiss chard, tomatoes, brocolli, peas, grean beans and even strawberries, raspberries, blueberries growing in the dome. Outside I am planting heirloom non-GMO corn, peppers, watermelon, canteloupe, summer squash, winter squash, potatoes and more.
It's a lot of work yes but the rewards of eating healthy and knowing where my food comes from, how it is grown is important. I hope to encourage many others to do what you can to become self sustaining.
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