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Backyard Sustainable Living


Author: Skye Hitchcock

Article:

Our “Backyard Sustainable Living” ideas are really about wanting to help support individuals, families and our community to help establish and build a strong connections and relationships with one another. We want to work together with others in taking action steps towards being more self-sustaining.

  There is a very important question to ask ourselves. Take a moment, sit down and really get present with yourself and ask this question: “Can we continue to rely on a society that has evolved into an industry providing foods for us through mega shopping centers? A society that, through its actions, continues to destroy the very earth, water and air we need to survive as a species (not to mention all of the other life forms sharing this planet)?”

  The answer is no. The next step is another question: “What can we do to take our very own action steps taking responsibility and control of our lives; furthermore, taking responsibility and control of how our society is evolving”? We believe it starts in our very own back yards and our very own front yards! It’s simple; it’s fun; it’s getting back to the basics – back to the grassroots of co-creating with the earth and becoming empowered with our own efforts in providing food for our family.

  I moved to the Cowichan Valley five years ago with my young daughter. We found a beautiful old character home to live in with a huge old walnut tree in the backyard. I immediately began to work with the earth to grow food. I found that our lovely walnut tree shaded a good portion of the back yard and so we created garden beds in the front yard to take advantage of the southern exposure. As I was digging up my front lawn (of course with the consent of my landlord), I received a lot of strange looks that eventually turned into curious questions as well as wonderful stories shared by the countless elderly walking by. Stories of their younger years, pioneering and homesteading. Even though they spoke of the work being hard, I could see the twinkle in their eyes as they remembered, with fondness, their experiences. These people were proud for having provided for themselves – what they needed to survive!

  I soon put out an old wooden bench in the front and many people enjoyed sitting there while feasting on tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and peas from our little garden beds. I felt proud too, creating community within my community and the fact that I could provide delicious organic food not only for myself and family but for many people passing by. My daughter loved to hand out her “magic” beans while her bare feet paced up and down the sidewalk on those hot sunny afternoons.

  Backyard sustainable living is inspiration from our hearts and it connects us with our natural desire to be self-sufficient, sustainable and to help others attain this as well. Let’s plant a vegetable garden, grow winter and root vegetables, get some chickens for fresh eggs and manure which is so vital to our soil’s health; lets grow fruit trees and berry bushes. The sky is the limit! Let’s get back to the grassroots of co-creating with the earth.  

  With this in mind, my partner and I have been germinating seeds and growing plants that can help sustain our lives year after year. We design and build portable chicken coups that fit perfectly into any size backyard that come with a composting and rain catchment system as well as a containment pen that is also movable. We have goji berry plants, blueberry plants and other various nutritious native plants to help others start a way of life that empowers them to be more self-sustaining and therefore, more sustainable.  

  In our hearts, we truly want to support the collective human race as we evolve and grow with our Mother Earth. As we take steps towards a deeper connection, it will lead us to a more profound reverence and respect for all life on our planet. It starts in our hearts and expands outward into the world.

Skye and Benjamin have a penchant for backyard sustainable living and reside in Duncan.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 1:19 am and is filed under MINDFUL LIVING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Synergy Magazine: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada