Dedicated to reviving the lost art of self-reliance.

Planting outside December 19, 2012

Today I refurbished the tiny garden I have been trying to grow things in this year.  I have winter squash that have been producing flowers for months now but nothing more and I was about to pull them when I noticed a TINY little baby squash.  So the two winter squash (from a plant swap so variety unknown) will get to stay for now after all.

I lifted some Greek Oregano out of the middle of the bed and moved it to a back corner, behind a lavender that managed to survive.  The entire bed is only 4’x4′ so I can reach everywhere but the back corner.  I planted some Sugar Snap peas in a circle around the squash and then the edges near there with some Tall Top Early Wonder beets.  In the center of the one side I planted some Dinosaur Kale in a staggered row.  In the corner I did a bunch of Cherry Belle radishes.  Along the side of that in the middle of the side I did a row of Rainbow Mix chard.  In the next corner is Bronze Arrow lettuce, which is a loose leaf variety.  Behind that I planted 4 rows of carrots.

I know this must sound like a huge amount for such a small space but keep in mind I am talking about a row that is 12-18 inches long.  For seed spacing I try to get them about as far apart as it says to thin the seedlings to.  I can always plant a couple more seeds in a week or two if there are any thin spots.  I got the idea to lay it out like this from the book “Mini Farming: Self Sufficiency on 1/4 acre” by Brett L Markham.  The book takes a very holistic approach to creating a small urban farm including great tips on maximizing the amount of food grown in small spaces.  This will not be the only method (not by a long shot) that I use on my .3 acre plot but expect to see the influence throughout the “Kitchen Garden” as it develops.

All of the seeds I planted today are organic.  Everything except the radishes came from Bountiful Gardens.  I have to say again, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for organic heirloom seeds.  The radish seeds are from Burpee and I got them at Lowe’s.  Burpee does have a good selection of organic seeds available but do be aware, as you look at their website, that most of their seeds are not organic.


I ordered more seeds today too :D December 18, 2012

and I mean a bunch more….like a quarter million seeds 😀  If you scroll down it tells you what all is in there.  I only have .3 of an acre so I don’t think I will be using all of these this year.  They are all heirloom so I can do some seed saving and never have to buy seeds again.  The seller has a great store with many heirloom varieties, including some I hadn’t seen before.


:( November 29, 2012

1 day a week for 21 weeks straight I have dedicated my self to laboring to make this project happen ON THE WRONG PLOT OF LAND!!!  I can not even convey the stream of emotions I have gone through since I discovered the mistake.  It all started because I was attempting to get the project site on the map on and it was showing up in the “wrong place”….or I have been in the wrong place.  I am not arrogant enough to assume that I know more than google earth so I looked into things.  It took a few minutes to track the right page down and then I had to open internet exploder because I couldn’t look at the plot maps online using google…anyway when I looked at the deed and looked at the plot maps I could clearly see I was in fact in the wrong.  I wasn’t sure what to do so I gave Pug a call.  You all might remember him from the post Neighbors.  He’s the guy that offered to help with getting a driveway in.  He is also a builder and as soon as I told him I could tell it kind of blew his mind.  He got off the phone long enough to take a look at some plot maps himself and sure enough I am supposed to be directly across the street from Pug, not down the street.  Bottom line is the lady from the real estate office made a mistake when she showed me the plots and then again when she marked the plot for me.  You know this is one of the things I was worried about.  I still have the e-mail I sent her asking her to please meet me out there because I wanted to make sure I was certain which plot it was before closing.  We talked on the phone later and she told me she had marked it with pink tape for me and that I shouldn’t have a problem finding it.  You can see the bits of pink marking tape in some of the early blog pictures.

On the good side I have friends getting involved and we will be having a work party there this Sunday to try to get as much of my stuff as possible moved to the correct plot.  The real estate lady says she will “get it right” and I am trusting her that she will do so.  If you can lend a hand let me know.  The property is in Ravenel on Fox Dr and I should be there by 11am.  Many hands make light work!


Neighbors November 24, 2012

Filed under: Life's Little Riches — revivalnatural @ 8:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was out working on the land today and one of the neighbors, “Pug”, stopped by.  He is a builder so of course I told him about having plans drawn up and what the idea is for the garden cottage.  Then I asked him about having a driveway put in.  I figure it isn’t fair to have people over and them not even be able to pull in from the side of the road.  I asked him how much it would be and he said “We don’t charge neighbors.”  This is exactly the sort of community feeling I am looking to grow.

I say this all of the time but I’m not sure I’ve ever blogged it before.  I am overwhelmed by the amount of community support I am getting for this project already.  The people living in the neighborhood where the property is are great.  The support from local non-profits is amazing.  The support from my massage clients is awesome.  The support from random people in the Charleston area is super.  The support from family and friends near and far is priceless.  Thank you Pug and everyone else who is making this such a great experience for me already.


Work party November 23, 2012

I will be out at my property this Sunday 11/25/12. I’m not sure exactly what I will be doing but a friend wanted to come over and hang out with me for the day so I thought why not make a party out of it. I have brush mounds that still need covered, wood that needs to be cut, split, and stacked to dry and an idea for a greenhouse from french doors and old windows that I have. I’m not sure exactly what time I will get out there but it will be before noon. If anyone wants to ride out with me let me know. I live in North Charleston and the property is in Ravenel on Fox Dr. It is easy to find and impossible to miss but let me know if you need directions.  You can leave a message here or message me on facebook November 21, 2012

Revival is now on  Come check it out


Flexibility July 11, 2012

Filed under: Land — revivalnatural @ 11:56 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I began my search for land looking for acreage with seller financing, and ended up with a plot of land that is only .3 of and acre paid for in cash.  Well a cashiers check anyway 🙂  The lesson, BE FLEXIBLE!  When I started google searching and checking my local CL for land I had a list of needs and wants for my land.  I never did put it into writing, but here is the gist of it.

My land needed to be within a reasonable driving distance of my jobs, but out in the country.  I wanted to have some privacy and be able to have a compost pile and keep a few chickens without it bothering the neighbors.  I found a bank owned plot in Ravenel, SC.  I will be about a 30 minute drive from work.  I wanted more land but the plot I ended up buying is surrounded by vacant plots so there is both privacy and the possibility to acquire surrounding plots in the future.  I hope to eventually work from home, both performing massages, and selling the produce from my gardens, but for now I had to be realistic about transportation costs.

It needed to be usable.  What I mean by that is it needed to be usable for the uses I have in mind.  To me, being high and dry enough to build on and not having any zoned use restrictions or protected areas is all I needed.  I am actually quite happy to have found such a wild plot of land.  It does mean more work but it will be a labor of love and I’m sure I will get plenty of building materials and mulch from the process of clearing the building site and garden areas.  How great is that!?!  The first steps of sustainability 🙂

It also needed to be affordable.  Be imaginative and flexible when figuring out how to afford a place of your own.  Last year I made about 15k but have managed to keep my living expenses very low and saved up about 1.5k.  I had thought that could be used as a down payment and I could get owner financing on the rest but when I found a plot that was bank owned with a price of only 2.5k I knew I had to figure out how to come up with the rest and buy it outright.  With the plot being bank owned and priced to sell I knew they wouldn’t put up with a bullshitter for long so we had to get everything in order quickly and make our move.  I put in an offer with no clue how we would come up with the rest of the money.  We skimped on everything we could for a few weeks so we could get together the rest of the money for closing but it seemed like an impossible task.  Luckily my husband is a full-time student right now and thanks to a student loan and a good couple of weeks at work we were able to come up with the money. I know we will have to pay back the student loan but it would have been nearly impossible for us to get the money quickly enough any other way.  Many people use these loans to pay for their living expenses while going to school, but this money was spent on making sure our living expenses are minimal for the rest of our lives.  This made it more than worth the small debt.    The bottom line is, yes we went into debt, but it seems like a sound investment to me and it was a small enough sum that we can reasonably pay it back in a short time without it putting much of a strain on us.

We all have different circumstances and restraints but to thrive you have to figure out how to work with, around, and sometimes in spite of those restraints.  Be flexible and learn to revise your plan if there is a difficulty.  Be willing to have-not so that later you may have all your heart desires and appreciate it all the more, knowing the sacrifices made in obtaining it.  If you cannot obtain whatever it is you desire, maybe you desire too much.  Take a look at yourself and your life and decide for yourself what you want.  From that point on you are responsible for every success and every learning experience (sounds so much nicer than “failure” doesn’t it?) in your life.


%d bloggers like this: