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January 2018
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Episode 25 The Principles of The Self-Sufficient Gardener

In this episode I lay out the principles that I try to abide by as a self-sufficient gardener. Can we ever expect to be 100% self-sufficient? Probably not, but wouldn’t it make sense to learn the skills to do so? Or better yet, take some small steps toward that independence? I still rely on the store if my hoe breaks, I still have to buy straw from garden centers occasionally. Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to spend that money? Well probably not going to happen, but its nice to dream…

The principles.

1. All gardening activities have a natural “flow”. In order to maintain self-sufficiency the flow must be circular. In other words there is never waste. The seeds from a tomato we would normally throw away are saved to produce next year’s tomato.

2. We strive to reduce our dependence on outside systems by controlling our inputs. We grow our own pest repellents, trellis material, spices, food and knowledge whenever possible.

3. We learn to live with nature instead of working against it. We understand that the garden is a living ecosystem when done correctly instead of a sterile lab. Crops will fail. Determination to save them at all costs can cost us everything.

4. The garden has utility but also aesthetic and abstract qualities. The garden is a teaching tool, a place to de-stress and a thing of beauty.

5. A person who gardens isn’t free until their garden functions free of them.

In the next episode I’ll talk about how to put these principles to practical use. What skills are necessary and what you can do now to learn them.

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