Yes you heard that right, I do not have anything other as my garden as land, land which isn’t mine. I don’t live on a farm or have my home in north Wales that I can turn into a bigger homestead. A place to have a retreat, have a bunk house, areas for workshops, artists, etc I think you get the idea? I have a fairly decent size garden, it will never be big enough for everything I would like to do and grow.
At the core homesteading is living as self-sufficiently as you possible can. Gardening for practical purposes dates back to ancient times and vary from forest gardens to walled gardens. It grew from just the need to sustain the household to then becoming a sign of your social status. Then came the victory gardens of WW1 and again in WW2. Post war, growing food started to become less popular apart from small pockets in the 1970’s and 80’s but I think pre pandemic times it had started to grow again. All puns aside, the past 12 months has seen the biggest rise in interest I think I have seen in my life time. I am getting more and more people ask me for hints, and tips as it is well known by family, friends, and neighbours that I grow as much food as I can and use everything I grow regardless of what it is. ( This is what has lead me to start writing about it all ) Sure some do not like the “messy overgrown” and you can guarantee by the end of July someone has complained about the state of my garden, mainly the potato areas.
As I am sure I have mentioned before, I come from a farming family with my grand parents being my main teachers in all things gardening, self-sufficiency, up cycling, and of course making do and mending. What was their life soon became mine, but where as they had land that was their own, mine has always belonged to the local council. I am a council kid born and bred, I am 45 and still rent a council property. I am very grateful for benefiting from social housing even if this means there are certain rules and regulations I have to live by in order not to get threats of eviction which includes having to explain and justify my lifestyle.
So what do I have?
Well I have a small front garden and what I would say a medium sized back garden. When I moved in 19 years ago it was just overgrown with grass, after not being used for 18months plus. the ants had made their home in what I thought were raised boarders but later found them to be where the previous family had buried pretty much everything they no longer wanted any more. Over the years I have found numerous bottles, bricks, coins, soles of shoes, other cobbling items including and iron root, and goodness knows how many more bits and pieces. Every time I dig over the soil more garden treasures are revealed which I add to my ever growing collection.