As folks in the community work towards their financial independence, they work on all sorts of ways to reduce their need to spend money. From less expensive cars, to renewable energy, to smaller homes, we explore ways to reduce our costs and move closer to financial independence. Heck, some of us bike to work for gosh sakes!
One of the ways you can help reduce costs is to produce some of your own food. The Frugalwoods actually went to go live on a farm and work to do this for themselves! Here at Casa 39 Months we are a little more low key. We have some spring vegetables that we like to eat (Brocolli, Califlower, Cabbage) and some Summer Vegetables we like (Squash, Tomatoes, etc.) so we set up three raised beds in a corner of the yard to raise them.
The build wasn’t hard. I went and purchased some 8ft 2×12 and 2×4 lumber at the local store, as well as some 3-1/2” deck screws. I then cut some of the 2x12s into 24” lengths with a handsaw (you could also use a powered circular saw) and built up a 2ft x 8ft box. I cut up the 2x4s into 24” lengths and put them inside to screw the 2x12s into – that way it was all screwed together and solid.
To fill that in, I put in a bunch of “Mel’s Mix” which is the gardening fill that Mel Bartholomew developed for his square foot gardening method (see below). Its consists of:
- 1/3 Compost/Manure
- 1/3 Peat Moss
- 1/3 Vermiculite
Note: this is a highly productive mix. It can be updated in the following years by buying some parts of it and refilling the beds.
Once full, I planted this spring’s crops, one set of seeds every square foot. Its taken some time to weed and water (though the year has been wet so far) and we seem to be having some crops grow! I forgot to space out my planting (plant some this week, plant some later) so they’d mature at different rates. Still, we’ve had success in the past, and look forward to eating our own vegetables this year. Another way to get “off the grid” more.
Some books that I think help with the topic
- Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew: Great book on how to grow a lot in a small space
- Grow or Die by David the Good: Good book on how to “just get started” gardening
Happy Dirt Digging!
Mr. 39 Months