Baby Steps From Consumption to Production

I’ve seen this meme floating around the internets, and re-posted it on Facebook myself recently:


We’re not about to turn the backyard here at Skipping Dessert Central into a farm, and I’m not about to turn this blog into a home-ag blog, but this is as true as anything I’ve posted.  While the clear implication in this image regards food production, it applies across the board to better living.

Inspired by this sort of thinking (not the image itself, I saw this after our “Spring planting”) over the course of a weekend in March the Sprightly Daughters and I re-invigorated the backyard garden.


This year, in addition to God’s own tangerine tree and the resurgent peach tree, we’ve planted, in nine containers, eight tomato plants (three varieties), three eggplants, four bell peppers (red and green) plants, a key lime tree and a Meyer lemon tree.  Whew!

Why containers when I have all that dirt right there in the backyard?  I’m glad you asked.  I am an amateur’s amateur when it comes to growing stuff.  I come from a long line of plant-killers.  Our tangerine tree is my crowning glory, and I worry every single day that something bad will happen to it.  Containers give me control over not only my growing media (the potting soil I buy in bags means I don’t have to worry nearly as much about soil ph, other plants – weeds – or funky bugs that are crawling around looking for homegrown tomatoes to destroy), sun reach and temperature.

Mostly those containers are going to stay right where they are.  But if the weather gets really weird – tropical storms, occasional freezes, etc. – I’ll move them onto the back porch.  If I notice the sun isn’t getting to one of the containers just right, I’ll move it to a better spot.  If I were planting them in the dirt, they’d just be where they were.  Which makes no sense.

The downside is that container gardening is significantly more expensive to get started, as I had to go get the containers and the fancy dirt.  The plants were the cheap part.  So, in an effort to keep overall costs down, in the Fall when the tomatoes and peppers are played out I’m going to do a Fall/Winter planting  Of what?  Don’t know yet. We’ll have to see.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I know this is only a tiny fraction of what my clan will consume.  But we might be able to cover all the tomatoes and bell peppers we need.  And nobody will be forced to pick those tomatoes and peppers.  We might be able to stop buying limes and lemons trucked from Lord-knows-where.  I also believe it’s just good for humans to dig around in the dirt and grow stuff.  If I can do that successfully and consistently, it’s a heck of a gift I can give the Sprightly Daughters.

I’ll leave you with some citrus pics.  This first one is an over-exposed lime flower that will eventually be a lime.  The tree we planted has a couple of limes well on their way to being usable fruit.


These pretty purplish buds will soon become Meyer lemons.


And this bee is one of several who were harvesting orange-blossom nectar from the tangerine tree yesterday afternoon.


As always, thanks for reading, and don’t be shy about sharing.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Nancy Tuckerman on March 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    This is wonderful! For the sprightly daughters, for you, for your family’s dining pleasure, and for the planet.


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