As I contemplate the WHY behind this blog, I thought it would be good to share with you why I’m obsessed with growing as much food as possible in small spaces.

Here’s the deal. I didn’t save as much for retirement as I should have. On top of that, I spent many years as a stay-at-home mom, so my future social security income will likely be far less than most.

At the same time, I do have some money in my retirement account – enough that I won’t qualify for any type of public assistance.

Now this is okay with me, because the decisions that I made were my decisions, and I really can’t blame anyone but myself for my less than prosperous financial outlook in the future.

Building Toward a Bright Future

The good news is, we all have the ability to make decisions NOW, regardless of what we’ve done in the past. For me, one of those decisions is to live debt free. My husband and I still have a mortgage, but we hope to soon sell our home, and pay cash for a condo.

The condo is part of our future “financial security for Rebecca” plan. You see, as long as my husband is living, I’m fine financially. But people in my family live a very long time, so we want to make sure to set me up for financial success after he passes away. Part of that is paying cash for a condo, with a low HOA.

We’ve found the perfect condo complex, with a low HOA. Now we just need to sell our home the same time one of the condos becomes available! (This is not the specific condo, but is an example of what we’re looking for.)

Growing My Own Food

Okay, so paying cash for a condo with a low HOA means that I’ll have a very affordable roof over my head. The next necessity is food. I’ve always been a frugal grocery shopper, and I’m a good cook, so I know how to economize when it comes to eating well on a budget.

But I think if done well, growing your own food is a way to save a lot of money on groceries.

Growing Food in Small Spaces

Right now, I’m practicing growing food in small spaces. My husband and I are living with my elderly mom to help care for her. She lives in a mobile home on a relatively small lot. She was in this home for about 10 years before we moved in, so as expected, she has filled the home with her stuff. She did her best to make room for us, and she’s been incredibly accommodating when it comes to putting up with all of our stuff.

But the bottom line is that there isn’t a lot of room for a garden. I’ve about taken over her dining room table with my Aerogardens, and her yard is now littered with 5-gallon buckets.

apartment gardening
Here are just a few of the Aerogardens that have made their way into my mom’s home.

Small Condo, Large Balcony

You can grow quite a bit of food in an apartment or condo, especially if you have a large balcony.

Back to our future condo living plans. We actually love the idea of living in a relatively small space. This is a good thing, because the condo is small. In anticipation of living there in the future, I am learning all I can about how to grow food in small spaces. Some of that is what I’ll share with you on this blog.

Learning to Grow a Vegetable Garden

During this season of life, in addition to making sure my financial house is in order, I’m making it a point to learn as much as I can about gardening. While I’m living in a very different climate now (in the California desert) than I will in the future (in Colorado), there is still a lot that I can learn now that will apply to where I live in the future.

As an example, I’m finding great success with growing vegetables, especially greens, in Aerogardens. I’m also learning the pros and cons of outdoor vegetable gardening.

As an example, the tomatoes and squash that I started in containers were doing great. Everything was growing, and I was excited to see the formation of tomatoes and squash. That was until I noticed blossom end rot. I truly had no idea how much nutrients I should have added to the soil of my 5-gallon buckets before planting. And to be honest, I’m still not sure, but I’m working on learning the answer to that, and many other gardening questions.

This is an example of blossom end rot. I failed to take a photo of it on my own vegetables, so I found this image on Creative Commons to share with you.

My Gardening Goals

I’m still forming my gardening goals, because I’m still in the early stages of learning how to grow food in small spaces. Because of that, I’m not entirely sure what’s possible. But I do know that my DREAM is to grow enough to provide a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables per day, day in and day out.

My goal for this year (and possibly next year) is to learn what does and does not work. As part of that goal, I’m keeping a garden journal to document what I do and the results.

Overcoming Food Insecurity

I also have a goal of helping others overcome food insecurity. I believe that ultimately God is the source of all that we need, but I also believe that all of us – including those of us living in small spaces – can make strides toward overcoming food insecurity through the food that we grow and preserve.

I’m on that journey myself, and hope that you’ll join me on the journey!

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