Small Steps Add Up
Awhile back I wrote a page called Homesteading-Living Off Grid, It is a personal story about when my husband and I prepared to live off grid. This page is not about our experiences back then but instead about things I have been thinking a lot about lately and how to incorporate many of the things I did on the homestead into my regular lifestyle today.
I honestly believe that "A Self-Sufficient Lifestyle" is something that we were born with and/or implanted in our souls. Even though we are no longer living off grid, to this day I still live a similar way; but I want to incorporate even more in my life.
I have decided in the new year (2012) I am going to see exactly how much more I can do. It keeps calling me, so I have already began to prepare, that is why I entitled this section "Small Steps Adds Up" Every little thing you can do; will bring you that much closer to living a Self-Sufficient lifestyle.
Have you ever sat down and took a long hard look at everything you are surrounded with? Back when my husband and I were preparing for our move to live off grid; we did just that. Many people are surrounded by things that really only serve one purpose. When we looked at our stuff, we started to change the way we seen things and began to look at items that would be useful for more than just one thing. That is actually how we cleared out our stuff and the day of our move, we only took items that had more than one purpose which fit into a 4 x 8 u-haul trailer attached to my car (which was also full). We purchased our homestead "site unseen" and believe it or not the things we kept fit in our tiny home with no room to spare.
Lately I have been doing that again. I look around my home and see things that actually does nothing but clutter it, so lately I have been clearing out again and so far to date I have taken three loads of things to our local Potters House. I have to admit it feels really good because it is clearing out clutter and giving somebody a chance to purchase something cheaper that they may really need.
Building a Raised Garden Bed
Planning my Garden
I know, it is December and it is suppose to be Winter, but here in the South it feels like chilly Autumn weather instead. So as always I begin to get Spring Fever at the end of December and begin to make my plans for Spring planting.
I decided to do a little research and found something wonderful that I was able to purchase using part of the money I have saved so far. It is a 65 gallon compost container.
In the community I live I cannot have a large compost pile the way I am use to having, so I figured if I purchased a 65 gallon it would still allow me to make some of my own compost for my garden come Springtime. Besides, one of my biggest pet-peeves is throwing vegetable peels and such in the garbage instead of making use of it.
When we lived off grid I use to have a huge compost pile, unfortunately when you live as far back in the woods as we lived, the little critters also seen the compost pile as a restaurant to feast in.
When it comes to composting, you will read different things. Some say putting bones, meats and fatty foods in compost piles is okay, other say NEVER put those things in your compost. I personally have never used meats and fatty foods in any of my compost piles but that is by choice.
So exactly what does go into a compost pile? Before I share that with you, something that is important to remember is: You have to provide the proper environmental conditions for microbial life. You need good air circulation and moisture. Without proper air circulation the microbes take over and begin to smell like putrefying garbage. You either need to turn your pile or in my case; my compost container came with air vents so it should have good air circulation. Add green material to your compost pile will provide a sufficient amount of moisture, however when you use brown material such as dried leaves and dead plant life, you will need to water each layer to make sure it is good and damp for the microbes.
Here are some items you can put into your compost pile:
Green Material: provides great nitrogen
-green weeds from the garden
-Kitchen fruit and vegetables scraps
-coffee and tea grounds
-used herbs (after making herbal tea)
-fresh manure; It is important to make sure that your manure is good and composted because if not it could burn your plants. NEVER use dog or cat feces because it could contain diseases that could be harmful.
-egg shells (which is one of my favorite things to add to my compost pile)
Brown Material: is a great source of energy for the Microbes
-dried autumn leaves
-dried dead plants
-saw dust (that does NOT come from treated wood)
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