Tag Archives: life lessons

Learning to Grow Your Own.

My favorite aspect of farming, agriculture, and homesteading is the variety of activities you can learn. From baking breads to canning, there is always something new on the horizon when adopting sustainability.

Since the end of last year when the icy Polar Vortex rolled into town, I’ve been counting down the days to start seeds indoors. While it’s been fun mastering how to harvest grown food, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands dirty.

Between the weather and a bad luck streak that drained my savings, it originally looked like another growing season would pass me by. Then, I received a big blessing: I won a giveaway from several lovely ladies that supplied me with seeds and other gardening goodies. {Thanks to Kat from Simply Living SimplyAngie from Schneider’s Peeps; Mary from Mary’s Heirloom Seeds; Janet from Timber Creek Farm; and Annie from Montana Solar Creation!}

Plant One / from TheSirensTale.com

The Good: I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is to start up your seeds! You can start seeds in many recyclables, you can buy heirloom seeds to cut down on yearly seed costs, and a basic indoor set-up won’t break the bank if you tap into creativity.

With the goal of becoming an organic farmer, I wanted my first “trial crops” to follow suit. Many experienced gardeners warned me about the pitfalls of organic farming; but, this is my passion and my future, so why not fall into sinkholes now to learn how to get out of them later?

In constructed seed pots (toilet paper rolls stuffed with newspaper), I started by planting three varieties of lettuce, along with tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, bell peppers, and cabbage. Within just three days all the leafy seeds sprouted, showing their strength under the grow light and my hope. This past weekend I planted cucumber, squash, and melon; I’m eagerly awaiting the seedlings’ arrival.

Toilet Paper Seed Pots / from TheSirensTale.com

The Bad: I missed the warning I would suddenly transform into a busy mama bee, buzzing around my seedlings as if my life depended on it. There’s an almost maternal instinct that comes with growing seeds, an urge to be a caretaker and make sure they have everything they need.

Similar to my canning adventures, I’ve been busy wringing my hands, checking temperatures (despite them remaining constant), and adjusting seed pots to get maximum exposure to the grow light.

Also, I missed the warning about the sudden transformation I’d undergo when my seedlings sprouted. The first day I hovered inside my makeshift greenhouse and saw growth, I started laughing wildly with my head thrown back, making loud statements of, “I’m growing food! I’m a magician!

I wish I could say this part is a joke.

Planted Seeds / from TheSirensTale.com

The Lessons: I need to shed the academia coat I’ve worn for the past decade. I was almost too surprised to find that seeds just need water, warmth, and light to grow. I felt stumped that there wasn’t a bigger theory or process behind growing your own food. Talk about over-thinking something natural.

Learning this lesson has reminded me why I crave a simpler lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of business, corporations, and career ladders. In this busy world, it’s far too easy to become disconnected with ourselves, our surroundings, and our environment.

Do you grow your own food?
Are you interested in gardening or sustainability?

{shared on the Jack of All Trades link-up and Hen House hop}