I love that vegetable gardening is exploding everywhere these days....got me thinking about how I got to this obsession at this point in my life, so I thought I'd go into a little bit of history.
I'd wanted a garden since I was a teen and spent time in my grandfather's amazing garden in Germany. He was a farmer in his youth and after the war, having started life anew as a refugee in a different part of Germany, he eventually gardened to provide food for his family. As I said, his garden was simply amazing and it was huge. Probably a half acre and tended by one man in his seventies. I was impressed
When I married back in the 70s there was a big "back to the land" movement going on, with people, mostly young, desiring to relearn the life skills their grandparents had and to live more simply. My husband and I were part of that. We built our house on 6 wooded acres we got from his parents and proceeded to put in a veg garden, some fruit trees and create our "homestead".
Then...life got in the way. Kids were born, careers started and living the standard American dream began. I started nursing school and my gardening ended abruptly the day my schooling began. With two small kids and all that work I just couldn't make myself do it. D, my husband, continued the garden on a much smaller scale and somewhat intermittantly. He eventually abandoned the original garden and created a new smaller one closer to the house. And so it went.
Fast forward...and I do mean fast...to 2008. Retirement! We were both blessed to be able to retire pretty young if we were willing to live on much less. And we chose to do it. One of the first things I did was troll the internet looking for information about living frugally. I learned so much from so many great blogs! Those frugal blogs led me to the gardening blogs and rekindled the gardening fire in me. I resurrected and expanded the original garden. D still keeps his garden too. I tend to try everything, he tends to put in his basic favorites and between us we do OK.
A few months ago, I came upon a stack of old Organic Gardening magazines I'd saved from the seventies and read through them. The articles sounded so much like what I read online today! It made me a little sad to see how a good strong movement had gotten sidelined as so many of my generation abandoned it like we did. I hope that doesn't happen again. I hope all those young people that are so enthusiastic now for gardening and homesteading stick with it because although it is hard work, it is also so very rewarding!