Friday, January 27, 2023

Start Seeds Somewhere... Sometime

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” - Abraham Lincoln

Seedling waking up for the year - 2022.

Seed starting is the essential first step to a vegetable paradise.  If you're in a colder climate that has a shorter growing season, such as Colorado, then starting your seeds inside is essential.  Different plants have different growing times.  Some plants, such as peppers, take forever to grow.  Others such as radishes, have a ridiculously short time before you are reaping the rewards.

The general strategy is to start the plants with the longest growing times first then each month keep moving along to plants that have slightly shorter and shorter growing times until you can plant outside and/or move the inside plants outside.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Seed Starting - Think Vertical!

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Seed starting shelve station, succinctly standing.

What's one to do when one lives in a normal house and does not possess a surely luxurious greenhouse, which would make all this vegetable growing nonsense much easier?

Get creative of course!  You don't need no stinking greenhouse to be successful, although you may dream about greenhouses nightly.  In normal houses, space is almost always an issue.  But that's okay, just hop on the creative train and make do with what you have.  All that's really needed is some sort of shelving, a corner of a room or a wall, and some grow lights.

Friday, December 16, 2022

How Much Money Did I Spend on Food in 2021?

"In our society, growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest, one that can-and will-overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world-we change ourselves!" - Jules Dervaes

Holiday Feast
Holiday feast ready to be devoured.

It's almost 2023, so naturally we need to talk about 2021 before we can move on.  It has been a while since we've done a comprehensive review of expenses so let's take an in depth look at food expenses for 2021, shall we?

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of my food expenses there are a few important things to keep in mind:  

1) I am on my very own journey and my expenses are currently not as low as they could or should be.

2) My current food bill now pales in comparison to what it was several years ago.

3) I never want myself to feel deprived so I do still spend money on "luxury" food items when I feel like it.

4) Processed foods in the U.S. are subsidized which is why they're so cheap at the grocery store.  These do not provide you with proper nutrition (plus the conventional growing practices for these foods destroy the earth) and I stay away from them at pretty much all costs.  I eat real food, which is not as cheap, but it's nutritious and...real.

5) 2021 still had the coronavirus pandemic raging on, which probably makes it an excellent example for continuing to look at food expenses.

While I grow more than enough food to last year round, the reality is that I live in a city and I happen to live close to a grocery store in addition to a lot of great farms.  I most certainly venture to the grocery store from time to time, usually for non-food items and am subjected to the same impulse buying urges as everyone else such as cookies, cheese or chocolate being on sale which as you'll see below and all end up in my shopping cart more often than I'd care to admit.  Just like any other human being I most certainly enjoy eating out from time to time.  I'm not a full on hermit and I do go out into the wide world from time to time so I do have food expenses... by choice though.  Sure I could just not go to the store or eat out at all and I would be just fine.  Just as you could wander off into the forest, build a lean-to and have that be your house for the rest of your life and you would be just fine.  It's certainly possible but where's the fun in that?

Here are James the Urban Famer's Food expenses for 2021: