Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Growing an All You Can Eat Salad Bar

So much extra space on my double lot!
I moved us out to Roslyn last year for a variety of reasons, the biggest one was to be more self-sufficient and independent of financial constraints. Living in Seattle was doable with two tech incomes but after my late husband passed away and I was laid off, spending $3,000 a month on a mortgage felt obscene.

My two kids and I didn't need a house that big and I'd rather live in a smaller house on more usable land. Living in such an expensive area with horrible traffic and homelessness was becoming less appealing. And, since both my kids were homeschooling and I (up until the lay off) was telecommuting, I couldn't justify staying in Seattle any longer.

Since we've moved, my daughter started attending the local alternative high school and my son started his first job working in a local restaurant and graduates high school this spring. I walked away from the tech world and have been doing some part-time work in town for the bookstore/coffee shop. Both my son and I walk to work - I think I've filled up my gas tank three times since we moved here. The change in all of us has been quite huge given the strain that we've lived under for so many years, dealing with the specter of cancer. I don't believe we would have thrived as much if we continued living in Seattle.

Berry and asparagus patch
Moving to a mountain town has given us a vastly different environment with months on end of snow, but it is melting out and it feels like spring is coming fast! Along that vein I've brushed off the seed catalogs and we've started building and planning out what is to become what I hope to be a garden that will feed us through the spring, summer and fall and, with careful planning, freezing and canning, through the winter as well. Eventually I'd like chickens again, but we'll see about that.

This last week we started building out the beds and I purchased my favorite varietals of thornless raspberries and blackberries and some blueberries. I also picked up some purple asparagus and a number of different potato seed. My seed stock is complete and my biggest challenges at this point are:

1. Learning the new environment, microclimates in my yard and growing season (it's super short)
2. Dealing with different pests (bug, bird and mammalian)
3. Figuring out what grows well here and what doesn't (I'll have some experimental garden sections going)
4. Building out the rest of the garden
5. Determining how much coal in your garden beds is a bad thing (we live in an old coal mining town)

I'll keep trying to post on what we're doing and building. I'm hoping to address the coronavirus aspect of things in a near future post, especially given the fact we live in a state with things shutting down quickly. I'm dusting off my Adapting in Place hat and will share what we're doing along those lines as well.

It's hard to see what's going on in the pictures - I'll be posting more close up ones so you can tell what I'm doing a little better. I generally post more stuff on Facebook and Instagram than I do here, but I'll try to be more consistent.