I have to be honest I do a lot of things, like crocheting, baking from scratch, sewing and now gardening, because I am afraid that one day those things will no long exist to everyday people. I was actually horrified at MY parenting when Madd Hatter didn't know ham was pig. She asked what the ham for Thanksgiving was and where it came from. MY child asked that question. I couldn't believe it. I think I saw my mom or grandpa chop off a roosters head for the first time when I was 4 or 5. My most memorable was when I was about in 1st the roosters were bullying me and wouldn't let me out of the pen. I will never forget (this is how I remember it, PROBABLY not exactly how it happened) ... the 2 mean birds stood in from of the gate and every time I tried to leave they would jump on my shoulder and flap their wings. So I just hunkered down in the coup because it was warm and eventually my mom would come out. I heard her call my name and I yelled from the door "They won't let me out". (This is the part that MAY not be accurate, but this is what I remember) My mom went to the wood pile that was right in front of the pen got a stump and her ax. I swear she came into the pen yanked the chicken up walked over and WACK! chopped that suckers head off and let it bounce around the desert. I don't know if she killed both. I just remember she yanked it up by the neck and chopped it's head off in 2 seconds. Then we went inside like we just didn't witness the execution of a bird. The point of my story is I've always known where things came from. I've always known that in order to get food, you take care of the animals otherwise you'd get bloody eggs or soft shell eggs or whatever you're trying to yield.
After MH declared she had no idea ham was pig I decided that I needed to take things up a notch. I know I can't have chickens and I certainly can't go around chopping their heads off here on the AFB. SO the next thing is yielding our own vegetables. I tried last year in TX, but we were ROBBED by some slick rabbits. This year is serious. I feel I need to be on my game because we are in such a drastic climate now.
My tips so far would be ... Have a buddy! I have a buddy in Canada. We have similar seasons, she's done this before and is able to give tips. I'm sure after this season I will have some tips of my own I can share.
Shop around. With my rose obsesses in TX I learned that the nursery is most expensive, BUT if you're nice a frequent at your nursery then they some times throw things in the pile. I'm talking mom and pop nurseries, not chains.
You don't need high tech to get the job done. I read an article that said even if you talk to your plants or even have then in everyday life (not just sitting in a corner, but on the table or something) then they will grow better for you. I talked to my roses and they grew BEAUTIFULLY in that humid hot climate.
What I planted today was just carrots, cucumbers and green onions. I bought a kit from the local nursery (this is where my shop around tip comes in). I got several packs of seed, 10 qts dry soil, a 24in light and a plastic planter with cover ... $76!! I chat with my gardening buddy and she did something SO simple, cups, light bulbs and silver disposable baking pans. I go to Walmart & Lowes and I got a 24in light (it says 24 inches, but it's longer than the other one), small solo cups and more seeds and soil ... wait for it ... $35! And that was because I got the organic soil and seeds. I think regular seeds are $.50 to $1 cheaper. Now I'm finding out about straw gardening and houses and all this stuff so this will just be blog 1 in many for gardening. My kids had fun, my husband not so much because he's a clean freak. The point is even if we don't yield anything, if we get 1 carrot or 1 cucumber my kids will have be there through the entire process. It starts from the seed and now it's food. Oh one more tip ... hand held vacuum was AMAZING for cleaning up the dry soil LOL Also ask your nursery for YOUR regions planting schedule. The schedule on the seed packs are generic and could be updated. HAPPY GARDENING!!