Let’s Start Again

Ah September, already! The year is just flying by. As the evenings draw in, we feel a sharp bite in air. The mornings take a while to warm up. The days can still be glorious, but we know that winter is just around the corner. It’s time to prepare.

You may have seen my last blog post, explaining albeit briefly, where I have been for the past 8 months and how the garden has been very much at the back of my mind. If you didn’t read it, you can find it here.

Now I’m finding my feet again, as a single mum of 4 (with 3 dogs, a cat, chickens and a busy household to maintain). I now find myself shifting focus back into my garden and our journey toward self sufficiency. A slightly awkward time to refocus, what with the seasons changing before my eyes. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots to be knuckling down with. There are lots of jobs to be done. I feel like I’m starting from scratch all over again. What a ballache.

The first of many jobs that must be done is clearing the over grown spaces. Nettles have run wild, brambles have flourished (although we have been enjoying the bountiful supply of blackberries this year!) and grass is replacing my once weed-free vegetable patches. Time to find the fork and spade, stretch those butt muscles and dig deep.

Yesterday I dug over 1/3 of our growing space. I lifted the potatoes, cleared away the few bean poles and I let our chickens enjoy the weed pickings. Just 1 day of work reminded me what I once enjoyed and I could see the potential once again. I started to become excited for next Spring, and what the future holds.

I will now systematically work my way around the garden clearing space. Once the bare soil is revealed it’s easy to stay on top of the weeds. I shall get ahead of myself and plan the layout for the fruit and vegetables now, so I have a nice solid plan to stick to.

Jobs that I once relied on my husband to do (which never got done) are now my jobs. It’s a real kick up the ass. If I don’t do those jobs, no one shall. So I have no choice but to do them myself… which in turn actually gets the jobs done quicker. Weird that! Fences need fixing, the compost pile needs turning, the chicken run needs renovation (and I aim to get ducks soon too!) broken greenhouse panels need replacing… just a few jobs off the top of my head. And that’s just in the garden!

I hope to get some over wintering spinach and salads sown over the next few days too. That shall give us a fresh supply of greenery over winter. Hmmmm I can almost taste the cottage pie and salad already. Crisp and fresh salad to accompany it.

So there we have it. If you are wanting to start growing your own food next spring, join me right now doing these jobs. Start clearing the land that you wish to grow on. It won’t take long with a bit of determination. Complete those silly odd jobs that need doing. And get planning on what you want put of your garden next year.

Remember a little job done every day, makes great change for your future. H x

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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