Wayde Allen Fishman
BUILDING your OFF GRID Garden
Growing a garden is going to be necessary when going off grid in Hawaii. As long as you put the time and energy into growing one you'll be able to secure a large amount of food without relying on others or outside sources.
There are going to be man factors when you start trying to figure out what kind of garden you are going to build and grow...
Are you going for a traditional Garden with a fence, raised beds, will you have an electric fence to keep wildlife like pigs and goats out of it or do you want to get serious and build a greenhouse? This are all questions you need to ask yourself.
You’ll need to choose and decide which type of garden is best for you. Your surroundings and weather will need to be factored into these decisions, regardless if you build a greenhouse or not. So figure out what kind of garden you want, how big you want it, and what you plan on growing inside of it.
How involved you will be with your garden is up to you. Your garden can be small or big, but if your intention is to stop being dependent on grocery stores, then consider building a big garden within a greenhouse. With a greenhouse you'll have full environmental control of your garden. The greenhouse would house all your vegetables, herbs and fruit trees.
The basics of gardening are pretty simple...
Although if you intend to live off grid I would suggest a greenhouse, it is best to start small with an outside garden to get a feel for the elements and get your hands dirty. Make sure you are keeping your garden in an open space far away from tree roots and shade because you'll need a good amount of sunshine during the day for the garden. You’ll need a form of irrigation for your garden, so have either a hose system or a semi-permanent solution around your garden bed. You’re going to need rich soil, compost, fertilizer etc.
Next you need to prep the soil by tilling it, or uplifting the soil from its compact state. Build your soil beds and grade it. Where the soil beds rise up is where you will plant your crops, to give it some height and for the roots to grow and spread out. Next build a fence around your garden. Electrify it or not , if you don’t want any wild animals destroying all the hard work you’ve put into your garden I would suggest electric fence run off a small solar panel.
After your fencing is up, it’s time to plant small seedlings that are already growing. Know what vegetables will require stakes to allow them to grow strong and high. Finally, water the garden after planting and tend to it daily.
Once you have mastered your small garden for a season, it will give you the confidence to grow a larger one within a greenhouse. With the bigger greenhouse, you can experiment by growing more exotic fruits and vegetables.
Gardening to me personally has always given me time to meditate and be at peace, but it has also allowed me to build a bond with my family, like my grandparents who loved to farm. Growing your own food allows you to learn what it means to live off the land and live a sustainable life off grid where YOU control your food intake and where it comes from. Today many have no clue where their food comes...it is really ORGANIC or is it GMO and sprayed with chemicals? You just never know today...the only way you will is if you grow it yourself.
Of all the things I have done in my life, tending a garden was the way I connected with with my surroundings, with the aina. My plants, vegetables or herbs instilled calm within me and anytime I have my hands in the Earth it brings me back to the day I connected with with it.
Your family/children should also have that experience. To understand what a hard days work is and the wonders that can come from growing your own food. Building and tending a garden should definitely be the one of the MAJOR off grid project everyone does together.
Interested in learning more about Gardening?