Growing up, my family had a large garden for several years; we planted tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, corn, and various other vegetables. When we would go on family vacations, sometimes my parents would buy bushels of peaches and/or pears. My mom would spend hours washing the vegetables and preparing them for canning. We had a huge cabinet full of quart sized jars. I remember how delicious my mom’s green beans and pickles were and how I loved using the home canned peaches in peach cobbler. Oftentimes, I wish I had paid closer attention to what she was doing and how to do exactly what she was doing.
A few years ago, I realized how much I had taken that part of my life for granted and wanted to try gardening and canning for myself. So, my husband and I decided to put a garden in our backyard. For about three or four years straight, we planted various things in our gardens like melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and carrots. While not everything turned out like we hoped, we were successful with the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Also, one of my close friends took me to a local farm where we could pick our own strawberries and blackberries. Over the course of those few years, I learned how to make my own salsa, pasta sauce, and jams while I failed miserably at canning pickles. While there was some cost in starting everything up, in the long run, it helped us cut back in small areas. We provided jams to family members as gifts and used the salsa and sauce at home.
Although our version of home sustainability was just a small snippet of what home sustainability could be, we did what we could to provide for ourselves, as well as give back to the earth to some degree. Home sustainability has continued to become increasingly more popular within a variety of settings from the country where people don’t always have to own a farm to the city where space is incredibly limited. While we have the blessing of having space in our backyard for garden beds, others may not be as fortunate and may have to have a potted garden. People have created their own home sustainability by creating beehives, keeping chicken coops, gardening various fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and other various things. In some cities, people have gathered together to create community gardens, as a way to give back to the community, grow awareness, and teach others about growing their own food.
While we currently at a point where we’re not gardening as in-depth as we were and is limited to overgrowing herbs, I would love to pick it up again and expand my own skills for gardening and canning. As time goes by, each person’s or family’s view on home sustainability may change and develop depending to their own needs. Remember, gardening, canning, creating a beehive, and owning chickens are not the only aspects of home sustainability, but they are a brief overview. Not every person is going to be as comfortable or knowledgeable with home sustainability, but it is something to consider doing more research on and deciding what’s best for you and your family.