Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Welcome to the Quest for Self Sufficiency!

This is a completely new and exciting journey for me! We find the cost of food incredibly expensive & aside from our mortgage it is the biggest expense each month to feed our family of four. Apparently this is actually quite common in New Zealand, and I don't know about you - but I don't feel like I get value for money with food. How often do you get to the checkout at the supermarket & think 'flip, how did it get to be THAT much, I have nothing to show for it!'. So now that the kid's appetites are becoming like ravenous dinosaurs, something needs to change.

So after reading a few books & searching the internet for a whole lot of options, we have decided to go down the path of self sufficiency. We have just moved from a small town house to a 1/4 acre section in Auckland last summer. The place is just HUGE compared to what we were used to & although its no farm (there ain't no room for a cow here!) - I have high hopes that great vegetables & fruit will come from it! :) 

I decided to start a blog, not only to monitor our progress, but as a way to communicate what we have done & tried. What worked, what didn't. I've spent hours searching & reading & I'm overflowing with different opinions & options! I couldn't find anything that showed me a step by step, trial & error way of starting vegetable gardens in New Zealand. I just wanted to see how others have done it, and so I hope that this will help others too!

I'm a complete beginner - never raised anything from seeds before & the only vegetables I've ever grown with any success is the odd tomato plant & a lot of parsley! I'm sure there will be disasters, but it's all part of the learning process!

This year is the beginning of the journey to work out how to grow things from seed, have healthier fruit & vegetables & the biggest drive - how to save money! 

It's also going to be a great lesson for my kids that cucumbers actually don't come pre-wrapped & that oranges don't come from shops, they come from trees!

So my plan is to grow enough crops over the next 6 months that I don't need to buy vegetables over summer, to provide enough summer crops e.g. beans/peas/carrots etc. to freeze for winter & to preserve tomatoes/basil etc. for winter too. 

I want to learn about staggering seedlings for continuous supply & crop rotation to improve disease resistance.

Lets hope it works! 

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