As we are leaving this homestead soon, I thought to myself, “Man… how many gardens have I built and then abandoned recently?”
The answer… is five!
In 2016, we sold our house in North Florida and left behind our annual gardens and food forest:
That was a great system. I had worked on it for six years and miss it. But I wanted to move overseas and we couldn’t make the move and keep the house, so we sold out and moved to the Caribbean.
There, we were able to rent a homestead for a time, and built new gardens, plus worked the ones that were already there:
After that homestead, we had to rent an apartment for a while. It had a great view and was right near the beach.
But there was no place in the yard to garden. Fortunately, we were able to borrow a little lot in the neighborhood. Painfully, we cut down the brush and thorny trees there and dug the hard clay. These beds took more work than you would think!
Then we finally were able to buy some land of our own at the very end of 2018.
There we built a couple of little cabins and planted a food forest, as well as put in a bunch of great garden beds.
This is where I first started planting my “Grocery Row” gardens, as seen above.
And then we were forcibly ejected from that homestead by the pandemic and all the craziness around it, including issues with our visas and local unrest.
So we ended up in Alabama, renting a house where we were told we could stay and plant and grow in a spacious backyard. We have been here since the end of 2020, and have done some very interesting work, including making a bunch of test beds for various nutrients:
Making mounded garden beds:
Experimenting with long single rows:
Testing various trellis systems:
And rebuilding the Grocery Row Garden system we lost on the island:
As well as planting yet more single row gardens for a fall and winter food supply:
Now, however, we have to move again.
And honestly, I am tired. I am tired of building and building and building and rarely getting to reap the benefits.
Yes, I do get some use from these gardens: I have something to write about and to film for YouTube; however, it would be nice to have a little more time to grow a system before getting ejected again.
Maybe this time we can stick.
The first time, when I left Florida to go overseas, just led to a string of moves that have ultimately been very hard. Mea culpa.
I hope to nail down a new homestead in the next few weeks. Otherwise, we’ll end up renting yet again… and I really don’t want that. It’s a strange thing to be inspiring many to plant gardens and food forests, yet to be unable to keep one of my own for longer than a year or two.
We need a homestead where we can observe and build for years, rather than months.
May it be. And if not, blessed be the name of the Lord. I will struggle to be content.
“I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”
-Psalm 34, NKJV