Are you interested in growing your food and fostering self-sustainability? My husband and I sought a home with ample space for this purpose when we purchased our current property in 2019. It had been quite some time since I had the opportunity to cultivate a substantial amount of produce, as the last time was during my daughter's elementary school years in Halfmoon Bay, BC. I am grateful to have a more extensive garden again to continue my exploration of self-sustainability and the ecosystem surrounding us.
Our first project was creating a backyard compost to enhance the soil's health and structure by adding organic matter. Composting non-processed kitchen scraps and yard/garden waste at home is an eco-friendly way to reduce landfill waste, discontinue the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, and attract beneficial organisms, pollinators, and other insects to the soil. It also helps prevent soil erosion.
Bear-proofing your compost is crucial, especially on the Sunshine Coast, where we share our living space with black bears and raccoons that can get quite hungry.
We got our compost bin from SpeediBin on Vancouver Island, BC, and have since built eight raised garden beds using leftover materials from old doors, wood framing, sheet metal, and a glass window from previous home projects. Habitat For Humanity in Sechelt, BC, is an excellent resource for used items if you don't have any available at home. Starting a garden in your first home may take some time, but don't give up. Start small and find a rhythm that works for you. This year, I planted larger quantities of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, beans, squash, and various types of lettuce in well-drained pots. In addition, I am growing oregano, parsley, sage, lemon balm, yarrow, and motherwort for herbs. I also planted lavender, chives, mint, thyme, yarrow, calendula, and rosemary to support my favourite pollinators and bees. Last but not least, my strawberries and raspberries will return this summer.
We recently purchased rain barrels to conserve water and save money. Rainwater contains more nutrients, such as nitrogen, that plants need that tap water cannot offer. Why pay for water when it falls from the sky for free? I am excited to implement this new addition to our garden. If you have any questions about buying or selling a property on the Sunshine Coast, BC and nurturing your green thumb, please get in touch with me.