work with what you got and be encouraged

valizona Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Encouragement

This is a tough time for a lot of folks. Lost Jobs. Lost income. Sense of helplessness and fear. Never before has self-sufficiency skills mattered so much. Especially growing one's food. Geof Lawton (foremost Permaculture guru) says that the answer to the world's problems is in a garden.

We are NOT helpless.

I barely have an income. Starting over like never before. And I am not helpless. Every day we do powerful things that are invisible to those who have no eyes to see,...yet. [More are joining the ranks all the time]

yesterday I set the seeds of my store-bought organic cantelope out to dry for the purpose of saving them to plant next season. That's powerful.

I do not have acreage. I live in a suburban neighborhood but I am doing things every day that are building on my ability and provision for tomorrow.

Save seeds. Learn how. Plant seeds. Compost. Just start doing something today! Grow what you can wherever you can. Landscape that tiny urban yard with edibles and medicinals. Narrow side yards are overlooked growing space for food/medicinal vines.

I'd like to tell you to be of good courage and do not fear. There is power and hope in every act of self-reliance, no matter how small it may seem today.


  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    @valizona I agree whole heartedly! I also live on an average size urban lot and how been saving seeds from purchased produce. I have a working compost bin, and a worm comporting tote. I added 2 raised beds into the corners of the back yard. With those and my containers I am able to become more self sufficient each year. Warms my heart when I think about how far We have come since moving here.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    We are only helpless if we believe we are. I subscribe to several weekly email lists that cover gardening or landscaping. Container gardening on your deck or patio articles are popping up regularly now. Vertical gardens using pallets, rain gutters, pop bottles, or even worn out boots are popping up. More than ever before growing food indoors, under lights or near a bright window, is seeing itself in the limelight. Even if you can't feed yourself or family for a year on what you can grow, you can definitely grow enough to fill in almost on a daily basis at least through your growing season.

    Raised beds are a great addition to many gardening set-ups. If your raised bed is on legs, a table-top bed (TT), it's possible to grow something under it that doesn't need as much sun.

    If all you have is a flower pot, good news, you can grow food in it. Even the cantaloupe mentioned above can be grown in a flower pot. Let it vine over the pot.

    You can grow food! You can. You really can. You are not helpless.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @valizona So very true. Choosing to be helpless is not an option.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    valizona so, so, true! Thank you for encouraging me!

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    Great attitude! I couldn't agree more. I also live in suburbia in a a deed restricted neighborhood (never again!) If my homeowners association realized I was growing food and medicinals in my front yard they would have a hissy fit and try to force me to plant "acceptable" plants. Change happens one yard at a time :)

  • smik123
    smik123 Posts: 60 ✭✭✭

    You are so right and I know this post is giving inspiration to many including me. Thanks.

  • moreyshadypines
    moreyshadypines Posts: 72 ✭✭✭

    Great job everyone. I know a man who lives in a restrictive, gated community. He has a hydroponics system in his garage and hidden behind all the shrubs are tomatoes, cukes, onions, more on his back deck, etc. He has enough to feed himself, his wife and give away to those in the neighborhood. Truly an inspiration.

    I have more acreage, but you are right, in spite of limited resources the continuing efforts to create a little more growing area and more importantly knowledge are vastly important. It's not a one and done, its a journey, a healthy one.

    Try malabar spinach, it is a climbing spinach that just doesn't quit and reseeds itself. It's very nutritious and robust - you won't be disappointed. :) I gave some to the man noted above, he was blown away. :)

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    So inspiring @valizona ! Pat on the back for you - sorry, I don't know if there's a meme for that.

    @moreyshadypines I heard about Malabar Spinach on Gardeners' World and wanted to try it. Now, I really must try and find it.

    HOA - nightmare. My friend's brother used to bring suitcases of tulip bulbs from Holland and plant thousands of them along the walk to her house. After so many weeks, the flowers would bud and bloom becoming "too high" according to HOA, so they would send her a notice stating that she was in violation of their code and had 30 days to appeal, after which they would then send her an official notification to fix the violation within 30 days. They would then have to fine her 30 days after that if she didn't do what they wanted her to do. Needless to say, the blooms were gone before she ever had to do anything. They played this game for years. Unbelievable!

    I recently bought a house in a community with an HOA. I really worried because of all the horror stories I've heard, so I read ALL the rules and contacted them every time I had a question, concern or wanted a permit to do something. Every time! They are the best good 'ole country people HOA ever! They just keep telling me to do what I want and don't bother to ask for permission.😉

  • valizona
    valizona Posts: 48 ✭✭✭

    I second the malabar spinach recommendation. It;s so easy you can literally forget about it, have a delicious harvest AND seed for next year that even plants itself! sooo easy.

    so pleased folks have been encouraged. We must uplift each other so that we neither grow weary nor give up. Peace, Ya'll

  • bmaverick
    bmaverick Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2020


    As you are in the city or suburbs, look into gutter gardening too. These are low cost and very easy to make. Why use them? Well, if compost, scraps and other soil rich enhancing methods are limited, then the gutters work great for this vs. loosing the good saved compost.

    Simple white plastic gutter with spare wood for the base and book-ends. Pop a few small drain holes and it's a garden bed.

    I tend to plant lettuce and other veggies that like it cool. Much of the time, the gutter is 1/2 sun & 1/2 shade.

    And to the far right, use a simple FREE wood pallet as a cucumber lattice wall. 2 posts on the inside to slip the pallet over.

  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 153 ✭✭✭

    I agree that we all must do what we can with whatever we have been given. Even though this world seems to be spinning in the wrong direction, know that growing flowers, vegetables, herbs and trees can and will heal both the land and ourselves.

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    Good advice! And one more tip I would add - start with things that like to grow in your area. It's much less frustrating! 😁

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Don't forget the "free" food that sometimes appears. My compost did not apparently get hot enough last year so I had lots of "volunteers". I got cantaloupe volunteers in my raised bed. While I have had to work to keep it from taking over the beds and even the yard lol it has been awesome. It is so loaded with melons and in spite of the heat here it is still blooming and producing more melons. I've had two so far. The first one was good but I picked it too soon (I'm impatient lol). The second one, which was huge, was probably the best tasting cantaloupe I've ever had. I will seed save this for sure; I never had even considered growing it. I have a peach tree, which I have in a pot to plant in the Fall providing I can keep it alive lol. I gave away tomato starts, there were a LOT of them. I think I'm forgetting something lol. But stopping to think of things "out of the box" can yield some great results. If income is limited, look at what you have with fresh eyes and you will surprise yourself. It's kind of like Christmas all year long!

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,759 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am grateful every day that my dad taught me how to care for my finances, to do certain repairs/chores myself and more importantly he gave me the love of gardening.