The Good Life

Last week The American Resident ran a couple blog posts about her family’s desire to be more self-sufficient, which includes planting foods, canning, and even raising chickens. She brought up my favorite television show that I discovered while living in England: The Good Life (US title is The Good Neighbors). It is a 1970’s show about quitting a dead-end, soul-destroying job and becoming economically self-sufficient in an upscale suburban neighborhood.

[American readers, you can see this show via Netflix DVDs  or live stream on Amazon Prime . The pilot is a bit slow, and you wouldn’t be lost if you started with episode 2.]

Something about this show spoke to me from the first time I saw it. I loved the idea of being able to live off the land and re-purpose items and make do with what one had. When I first saw it I was still getting over my divorce and had sold off everything I owned. Watching it now, I still love the humor in it, the desire to grow things, and the campy theme song.

This summer I asked one of my friends from high school (former debate partner, European travel partner, all around wonderful woman) into letting DH2U and me grow some veggies in her backyard – which is only a couple miles from where we live. We started out with a cross of transplants and seeds and had quite the harvest of cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, and okra. Now we are onto our winter veggies: carrots, turnips, kale, winter squash, snow peas, brocolli and parsnips.

Picture of the winter vegetable garden

A recent bounty:

The colorful bounty of a single outing at my garden.

I’m not sure how the Good’s did it in an economical manner, as I’m afraid to run the numbers to see how much I was paying for the veggies of our garden. While I’m sure it was substantially more than the average loss-leader vegetables I normally buy, the taste of our food and knowing that it was pesticide-free made up for that.

But it’s not all about the food for me. I REALLY enjoy weeding and composting. I have such a sense of pride when I look at a newly weeded bed, or a lawn free from leaves, or not allowing organic waste to find its way to my trash can or garbage disposal. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. My actions matter.

Do you have any seemingly tedious projects from which you draw satisfaction in completion? or What else should I add to my winter garden?

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