My thumb is turning a light shade of green!

2012 has been designated the year I become less dependant on society to accomplish my day to day. I don’t mean in a “can you drive me to the store” kind of dependant, but more in the “can you teach me how to change my bike tire so I can do it in the future”, kind of way.

It is also my year to live a more sustainable and frugal life.

Sustainable, in this case,  can be defined as

– pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse: sustainable agriculture;
– able to be supported as with the basic necessities or sufficient funds: a sustainable life

And frugal as

– economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful;
– able to be supported as with the basic necessities or sufficient funds: a sustainable life

Challenging myself (and therefore my family) to a whole food “diet” has been part of this lifestyle change, as it forces us to purchase foods of one ingredient and for multiple purposes. But I think this challenge falls mostly to the frugal side of things (and healthy. let’s not forget healthy)

For sustainability, I’ve started looking at what I *do* with some of these whole/real foods once I’ve prepared a meal, with the big kick in the head coming when I started planning my garden.

I want to expand my garden this year, to include more foods we eat, both in the ground and in containers. So in March, I started making a list of the plants and seeds I wanted to buy. Then I made dinner and found myself scraping seeds and such into the compost.

Wait!?

What!?

Yeah. I’m a city girl …..

yellow peppersAfter banging my head against the counter for a time, I dug into the compost and pulled out some seeds. Then I wandered around, planting the seeds into already existing indoor pots – it was still winter here.

As you can see, my peppers, mentioned in a previous post, have poked their heads even higher and are almost ready for transplant. I’ll separate them out in the coming weeks and nurse them along. I think these will be container plants so I can attempt to over winter them. The jalopeno plant wintered indoors and seems ok, but we will see if it fruits.

I also channeled my inner kid and dug out the egg cartons. A few weeks later and I have quite a few tomatoes (I think they are roma) greeting the sun.

Depending on how many sprout, I will spread them between containers and ground. Last year I managed to keep a cherry tomato fruiting indoors until the new year.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to use my already existing seeds. The past has always found me wandering the garden stores picking up seedlings and transplanting them at home. It has been expensive and not very sustainable – unless, of course, you own the garden store!

My latest “duh” moment came while staring at my green onions. I use a fair bit of green onions making our flavoured yoghurt cheese, and they sit on the shelf on the fridge wilting and looking sad.

Now, they are stored in a jar of water, on my kitchen window sill and just keep regenerating. I’ve been working off of the same bunch for a few weeks now, and they are tasty! I just change the water every few days. I’ve also stuck a few in dirt (inside) to see what happens. Will they  multiply? No idea. City girl, remember.

I’m feeling a bit more “with it” now, in regards to my garden and how to sustain it. I’m looking at our foods closely, deciding if I want to harvest the seeds and try growing the item. I’m also planning a potato bed and an onion container, and am trying to decide if I want to seed potatoes on hand (they are organic), or just buy the seed potatoes and go from there.

Either way. I’m pretty happy that some of my city brain has moved over to allow a bit more gardener room. Hopefully together, they will figure out how to use this city lot to it’s best potential.

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