Some of my favourite YouTubers and some of my online friends seem to garden all year around and for much of the winter I have been learning about what they have been doing; because I want to be an all year round gardener too!
For my American readers I live in the UK and my zone is approximately a zone 7 – gardening zones are determined by your climate and can determine what plants will do well for you and also soil is important too, but the zones do not tell you what kind of soil you have! I have heavy clay with the acidity of 7 and I live on a valley edge in East Warwickshire.
For the first time in my life I have decided to sow some plants now; I usually do no sowing at all until the end of March, weather permitting, but after seeing an inspiring Swedish gardener called Sara Backmo sowing things a month ago which I thought were too cold sensitive, I felt that maybe I will have a chance too as it is a little warmer in the UK at the moment than it is in Sweden.
The Late Bloomer, Kaye has also set up a large homestead all on her lonesome in Tennessee and she is very inspiring to me because she shows me that women can be independent. That’s important to me because I was raised that a woman really needs a man around for that kind of life to work and she proves that’s just not so! What’s more, you are never too old to try something new!
LongMeiMei lives in the mountains of China and she does everything herself from smoking meats and butchery and fishing and she does it seemingly tirelessly, I am rather jealous of her life if I am honest. I know its bad to confess that, but it looks like a really good life.
I have just sown some yellow delight tomatoes, ridge cucumbers, basil and Brussel sprouts. We never had the tradition here to eat Brussel sprouts at Christmas purely because I don’t like Brussel sprouts unless they have been harvested within 3 days of cooking – there is a significant taste you can’t buy from the supermarket! Paul hates Brussel Sprouts regardless of when they have been harvested at all, but funnily enough my son Henry, who is nearly eleven years old, loves them – so does our rabbit Ray!
I feel that being a creative person can extend to gardening as there is a creation process there! You sow, you grow, you design, it becomes beautiful and often inspiring for others and it is a productive thing to get into as it can often feed you. I have a huge interest in paleo lifestyle; I don’t think you can get more paleo than growing your own organically and making your own jams, chutneys and so forth with what you have grown yourselves!
Until recently, my season was like any other normal gardener, between the end of March if the weather was good, until mid-September, but now things are going to change!
Many people online are inspiring me, friends, but also YouTubers such as Sara Backmo, LongMeiMei and The Late Bloomer, Kaye Kittrall.
I hope my journey into self-sufficiency will grow into allowing me to do things more independently (health permitting) and hopefully I will get my longstanding dream of moving to a home that is large enough to call a homestead. I have always fantasized about owning a homestead and being self-sufficient, with a large family – well, maybe the large family might never happen now – but I hope the other dreams will come about!
In a few days’ time, if it doesn’t snow anymore, I will take some photographs of what a big mess my gardens are in right now and then update this blog once a month with how I am working towards getting it better. I will be working mostly single-handedly because Paul hates gardening and Henry is too addicted to making robots and fantasy wrestling matches with his toys to help me as often as he used to. I am no fool, I know it will be physically tough on me, because I have been sick for too long, but this new diet is giving me more days out of bed lately and I am happy for it.