One of my Preschool Phonics moms is diving wholeheartedly back to basics. She has embraced growing her own food, now has three chickens producing plenty of eggs for her brood, and is happily taking a class in cheese-making and square-foot gardening. All this, in the midst of Dunwoody, with our upper income and higher education ethos and commute-to-work lifestyle.
I love it!
Vicariously through Earth Mom's experiences, I've learned so much already:
- I'm depressingly ignorant. I thought you had to have a rooster for the hens to lay eggs. Hello. Ovulation.
- Vegetable gardens start during the winter, with ground prep, composting, and varmint-prevention measures. We have coyotes, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, and other wildlife roaming our creeks and ravines, so I'm looking at chicken wire and other options in parts of Home Depot I've never visited before.
- Things grow in waves, not all at once. So you can be eating from your garden from last frost to first frost.
- People love the idea of vegetable gardens, particularly urbanites. They'll share stories about grandparents' gardens and "I'd love to have one, but . . ." These are the same comments I hear about knitting. So maybe knitting and vegetable gardening really do go together!
We're now considering offering classes and a demonstration Square-foot Garden program at Dunwoody Nature Center. Our area is heavily treed and hilly, so most families have limited space with sustained sunlight for growing food. Square-foot gardening makes perfect sense. It's manageable, understandable for novices, and maximizes available space. Our first step is finding a site on our grounds, getting an "expert" to help us and to teach the classes, and put it on the calendar.
As the Nature Center's program gets underway, the Knitternall family will be prepping soil and composting this winter in preparation for our own garden next spring.
I've been playing with this idea for a couple of years now. It's time to get started.