I have had some reasonable success in the past with gardens and gardening, though certainly more starts and stops than long-term production. But, I’m pretty established now in my place. I own my house outright, paying on my property on the lake (will be paid off in 1.5yrs), have a stable job, working towards early retirement – so gardening is going to, hopefully, be a big part of making that last one a reality.

If I can successfully steer my diet away from processed foods and toward home grown foods, it will be a success.

So, my first official experiment will be several beds (not raised this year), planting foods I know I will eat (carrots, onions, peppers, potatoes, lots of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and salad greens).

I purchased seeds last year but never actually planted anything. I wasn’t ready. This year, though, I think I’m ready to make a change. Plus, if I can successfully reduce my grocery bill, I will be that much closer to retiring early, and spend the second half of my life focused on solitude, religious and metaphysical exploration, writing, and research (rather than trading my time for money I don’t need to buy food and stuff I shouldn’t eat).

I have already planted mesclun greens in pots in my kitchen window seal, as well as my cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers and hot peppers. It’s exciting, they’ve already sprouted and are really motivated to grow toward the window. I turn them at least once a day.

I would also like to plant some food on the lake property. Possibly on the dock (which is quite large and has the most sun of my north western facing property) for sun loving vegetables, and put salad greens up on the deck or along the gang plank that runs from the dock to the deck area.

This will allow for food production at the house (during work days), and a separate source of food on the lake (weekends), so food sources are primarily where I’m at at any given time.

I will also be experimenting with fishing this year. I’m not a big fisherman, but I can fish off my own dock without a fishing license, so I’m hoping to catch enough during the summer to provide most of my meat during the summer and enough excess to put up in the freezer for the winter. If I’m successful, I’ll be branching out in subsequent years to start collecting worms, maybe utilizing a worm bin.

Here’s a layout of my proposed garden experiment.


My ultimate goal would be to get my food cost down to relative zero. What I mean is, I would like to be able to produce enough food that I can realistically live without money if I needed to. Granted, I don’t have to.

I happen to like ice cream and pizza both.

Gardening is just exercise in disguise!

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