When I was small my granddad had a vegetable garden, and I have such vivid memories of the smell of tomatoes growing in the greenhouse, and plaiting onions together to store them. There was something so honest in that way of life and something so simple. When the vegetable patch had to be dug over in the early spring you’d come home sweaty but pleased that summer was on it’s way again.
My granddad passed away when I was 17 but that hasn’t stopped me keeping up the tradition of growing on the same patch as him. When I moved away to university I grew tomatoes and cucumbers on my window sill and then brought them home to put in the greenhouse; the interim period in my window caused a small investigation into whether I was growing weed or not, I had to prove the tomatoes weren’t stuck on, but that’s a story for another day.
I want to find the skills that we’ve lost along the road to modern life. There is always such a surge of self satisfaction that comes with producing anything yourself, much greater than any exam, or job I have ever done. I enjoy my work in engineering, it’s interesting but underlyingly I want to be outside smelling vegetables (they smell so good when they grow!), and inside making my own clothes. I think everything in the past has always been pointing at this moment, and I guess the final straw was moving into a house with Manfriend.
The house is small but airy, has just the right sized garden and isn’t near a main road. As soon as we moved in we started on the garden, deciding dinner was more important than furniture and unpacking the boxes that later became coffee tables. I had a eureka moment, when I had finished mowing the lawn/meadow, that self sufficiency is what I want to do with my life.
Now I’m not expecting miracles, it will be hard, especially in the modern world. I may be an Electronics Engineer but I can’t whip up an iPhone or free internet or a TV or a computer. This quest is to find a simpler way of life, in which we don’t have to eat food from the supermarket all the time, and we don’t have to work as hard to make ends meet. We’ll have the ends already done at home you see. This section of my blog is documenting our journey, and hopefully inspiring people out there that it is possible! We’ll be trying everything from making wine, making our clothes, growing our food, and keeping live-stock. I hope you enjoy it as much as we will.