Hey there, friend. It’s been a while. Here’s the truth. I’m not sure what I’m doing here in blog-land. Two months ago, I started sharing weekly YouTube videos about what I’m doing with my garden and our ducks – both of which are a big piece of my “moderate minimalist” journey! But, I haven’t known quite how to share that here because… do you guys really want to hear about what I’m doing in the garden?! I sort of set this blog up to be about decluttering, getting out of debt, living a more stress-free life… not necessarily doing things to become more self-sufficient. But self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal of all of this, right?!

So, I’m going to update you here because watching other people make efforts to become self-sufficient through their gardens and animals has been so inspiring to me and that’s what I am all about here, that’s my “why” for starting this blog – to inspire YOU to take action in your life to live a more present and simple existence through moderate minimalism. 

About 8 weeks ago, we were faced with the end-of-winter-problem of having tons of duck litter that had built up all winter long. Basically, you pile straw on top of straw on top of straw all winter long and the ducks just poo in all those layers. It breaks down in theory, but we did not have great success with that and instead had literally hundreds and hundreds of pounds of heavy, wet, poopy straw to clear out of their pen. Guess what? Duck poop is a great fertilizer. Straw is a great mulch. So, I threw it all in our garden plot. We have only lived here a year, we have never gardened this land before, so we had some soil rehab to do before we could really use that space anyway. Win, win, win. Oh, and it’s apparently super popular to do this, I just had no idea what I was doing and made it up as I went!! 😉

Here’s that video.

 

Then, I realized we were going to get a crap ton of weeds (which we did) and I read about natural ways to suppress those weeds, and the most effective and common one I read about was spreading layers of cardboard over the land and topping that with mulch. Good thing I still had more duck litter to clear out… seriously, guys, deep litter method (piling straw on top of straw on top of straw all winter long) is not going to work for us so I have to figure out what we’ll do this winter. Suggestions welcome…

Here I am, explaining the mistakes I made while laying the cardboard… see, no one’s perfect here.

 

Once that was all done, we were ready to build our raised beds and plan out what we’d plant in the earth as well. This went through many iterations of the plan and I’m pretty happy with what we ended up with, though I’m already planning next year’s garden and there’ll be many changes and improvements ahead! 🙂

My husband built this huge raised bed using logs from our family property – they were practically free aside from the soil which we did spend a bit on to get good stuff. Later, we were given some free top soil from a friend of ours to finish the rest of the beds and that was a huge blessing.

 

Now, we’ve got a garden that’ll be ready to begin harvesting from very soon (we’ve already had many salads and kale from it!) and I plan to preserve quite a bit of it to help us with our winter food budget. How cool will it be to have meals and ingredients ready? Getting to shop in my own food pantry sounds pretty sweet to me! I’ll be documenting everything on YouTube.

So far, I have shared videos about the garden progress, our ducks, some new ducklings we picked up this spring, making water kefir, and soon I’ll be sharing other fermented foods I’m experimenting with like sauerkraut… as well as our harvest and what I’m going to do to preserve that garden goodness. Everything I’ve posted so far is in this playlist on my channel.

 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I guess I’m a homesteader now, dude! YouTube-video-making has replaced the time I planned to spend blogging here, and that’s been a bit frustrating for me. I want to do it all! I’m figuring out how to connect the dots and make all these pieces of my life fit together. In my head, it all feels super connected… because it’s my life, but it’s still felt weird to share YouTube stuff to this blog. Soon, I’ll have this whole content sharing situation figured out.

For now, thanks for being here and I hope you’ve been inspired to learn more about becoming self-sufficient whether that’s through growing your own food or making other changes in your life that make sense for where you are right now.

 

I think it’s a huge part of becoming more mindful in how we’re using our resources, and that’s what moderate minimalism is all about to me. 

 

Until next time,

xx

Carly

 

PS To throw another interest into the mix, I’m pretty passionate about Intuitive Eating and if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably heard it mentioned a time or two or thirty. I was recently interviewed by Stephanie Webb for the Nutrition Redefined podcast and the episode went live today. I’d love for you to check it out! You can find the interview here: https://www.nutritionredefined.co/podcast/80

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