One of the reasons why we bought this property was so that we could raise our own food, sustainably, and cut down on our massive grocery bill. With 2-4 foster children in the house food gets pretty expensive, especially in California.
So, we began our garden planning as soon as we moved in last summer.
Our property caretaker, an old military friend, was enthusiastic at first. He receives free room and board in exchange for care-taking the land and ensuring no one trespasses when we are gone. Once the animals begin to arrive, he will care for them when we are on vacation. It is a mutual arrangement that works well, provided everyone does their part.
We assist him in the garden 2-3 times a week and give him a hand with big projects, he keeps an eye on it daily.
Growing our own food has an added benefit of teaching the children the value of hard work but it has had a side-effect that we are even more excited about, it has taught them to love eating vegetables.
They were homeless at one point, with their bio-family, so to them, green means rotten and moldy. When we planned out this year's garden, we let them help pick what we would grow. Our 7 year old loves purple and pink, so almost everything is purple.
This year we will have purple carrots, tomatoes, peppers, beans, cauliflower, and a rainbow of chards. A very colorful garden!
I'm not complaining and neither are they, which is a tremendous improvement. Together, we have started our seeds indoors for the spring planting, set up the compost area, and begun preparing the ground for the coming spring.
Everyone is very excited and they are picking more healthy options every time we go to the farmer's market, trying new things that they might want to plant, and telling kids they meet not to fear new food.
We couldn't be more proud.