Sustainable Living

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A work in progress - started 6/18/07

What is sustainable living?  It can mean different things to different people.  For us, we have to think about our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.  We want to leave a good place for them to live.  Whatever we do, here on the farm, has to comply with “no-harm to the environment" thinking.  We have been growing everything without harmful insecticides, pesticides or fertilizers since 2004.  We want to live a healthier life, eat healthy food, make better choices every day about the things we put back into the earth and become more aware of what we put inside ourselves or even on our skin that could be harmful.  Any food we need, that we don't grow ourselves, should be organic.  That is not as difficult as it sounds.  We have the Internet to use as a resource to find organic products and I have found many organic foods at markets and a health food store here in Mountain Grove, MO.  While thinking about how we feel about sustainable living, on June 18, 2007, we read "Our Daily Bread", a daily bible reading and found a wonderful explanation written by Dave Brannon.  It expresses exactly how we feel and I will enter it here:

God gave us an incredible gift-the beautiful world in which we live.  Naturally, though, as we share this planet with so many others, we run the risk of seeing it's beauty diminished and it's resources depleted. While we have every right to use the resources God placed in and on the earth, we also need to recognize our responsibility to respect the earth as His and to preserve its resources for future generations.  In Genesis, the Lord told Adam (and, by extension, all of us) to "tend and keep" the earth (2:15).  Because we don't know when Jesus will return, it would not be responsible stewardship to leave our children and grandchildren without the resources that God provided for them as well.  We might think that our individual efforts to preserve God's world aren't valuable.  But we can all work together to do our part.  Buying and consuming less, simplifying, repairing instead of replacing, reusing, and recycling are all good stewardship practices.  One way we can testify of our love for God and to express our gratitude for what He has done is by tending and keeping the earth and all that it offers.  Until the Lord returns, let's use our world wisely.God created the world and placed it in our care.

The pictures below are from 2006 to 2012 gardens.  We had more flowers in 2007 due to the ease of starting seed (I am an avid seed collector) in the greenhouse.  If you see something here that could be easily improved upon, please let us know by making a comment in the Guestbook.  We need all the help we can get, just remember, we are on a squeaky tight budget!Update 6-22-2007 It would seem that growing without all the pesticides, insecticides and non-organic fertilizers doesn't have an adverse affect on the look, size or quality of the vegetables we grow here.  I say that because while putting in some hours with my friend, at the fair yesterday for the women’s group, I counted the ribbons we received on the veggies Dan & I entered in the competition.  We received 15 ribbons for the 15 different things we entered in Horticulture.  Nine - first place ribbons and six - second place ribbons.  I saw some beautiful vegetables that we haven't tried to grow and am already thinking about seeds for next season.  We will try to get some pictures posted as soon as we can of this years garden and some of the produce we have picked.

8-2011 - "Lambkin" Cantaloupe grown on a cattle panel arch that is so good and sweet. Hope to have it in the garden every year!

8-2011 - Cattle panel arches held by 2' rebar and a t-post on each side to support vegetables and get them off the ground helps keep varmits from harvesting our produce that is growing because of our hard work and Gods laws of a seed after its own seed.

"The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this worlds luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that eve took; we know it because she repented." -Mark Twain

Canine inspection station.

6-25-07 One days picking for two people - Potato soup anyone? 7-7-7 update - Total of 81 lbs of potatoes, plus what I forgot to weigh before I cooked them.

8-09 1 of 4 cookie sheets full of drying cabbage for a Sweet & Sauerkraut recipe

Garden Spot with 6 raised beds on left in back.

Hey, Michelle, Arthur & Anthony - Here is the Zipper Spider I told you about. He's back!

We bought these cedar chairs (very fairly priced) from Hurst Woodcrafts.

6-7-10 Delores & I driving to Springfield - brand new type of cloud formation was featured on the news that night.

7-7-7 New today - Samples of Listada Eggplant, Golden Midget Watermelon, Artichoke, Broccoli (had to take this before the worms carried it off on their healthy backs), Cocozella, White Scalloped and Yellow Straight Neck Squash (not the first of this or the last), Yard long Greenbeans and Okra.

2010 - Garden Starts!

My mother gave me this quote by Ben Franklin "There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second is by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third is by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry".

2011 - We have grapes this year! Grapes given to me by MU Fruit Experiment Station. These are a variety that they are growing for one of the wines they produce here in Mountain Grove. I use the leaves in cooking Dolmades.

Dan & Boris on a beautiful summer morning.

2010 - Last years artichoke in the greenhouse

Getting the garden tilled for 2008!

2010 - Here is one of the yard long green beans coming in at 38". These got to grow on an arch and hang way down in the center for easy picking!

Uncovering treasures from their winter slumber - the tarragon made it through!

2010 - Fig about 40 inches tall and I am praying that we can have ripened fruit to harvest before the frost comes.

8-09-2008 Green Zebra with three kinds of peppers on top, Black Cherry and Yellow Pear.

2008 Brandywine Tomato - Over 1 & 1/2 pounds

8-2009 Blackberries.

6-9-2009 This small black snake is sunning himself on the tomato cages in the garden. I was out checking to see if I needed to water at 6am and found him hanging out! He will stay - I hope!

This is the Basil that I love to grow. "Lettuce Leaf Basil"

8-2009 Some goodies from the farm