GUEST BLOG: Small Beginnings For Natural Living

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Today, Bella from Over the Teacup is taking over the blog to share about how she has taken small steps to begin natural living. You see, you don't have to have grand plans to start a fully functional farm and you also don't have to even have a backyard to search for ways to live more simply. Sometimes, all you need is an itch for your own garden- be it herbs, vegetables, fruits, or flowers - and to find a way (or a window or balcony) to do it. As Bella shares, you can begin to see how you can start small in your own way--- and maybe get some ideas, too!
Small Beginnings for Natural Living
When I was a little girl, my family lived for three years in Hobart, Tasmania. One thing I remember vividly about my time there was our backyard. The house we stayed in had this garden with all varieties of fruits and vegetables – strawberries, apples, peaches, cherries, spinach, potatoes and beans. I was also given a little patch of ground to call my own, where I planted carrots along with snapdragons and sunflowers. And so, a love of gardening was born.
Fast-forward to the present day, and my garden isn’t looking as spacious or plentiful. You see, the only place my husband and I can afford at the moment is an apartment. It’s a nice apartment, I must say, but the balcony is tiny. Pitifully tiny, I mean hardly any space to stand up. So the potential for tending a garden or growing my own food is rather limited.
In my current situation, I can’t grow my own vegetables or collect scraps for a compost heap. I can’t create a wildflower garden or plant trees. But, I’m not left with nothing. Around two years ago, my mother gave me a beautiful gift. Some planter boxes, some soil and a few herbs. I planted these herbs – parsley, thyme, mint and oregano – and I had the smallest beginnings of a garden again. Since then, my garden has grown to include quite a few more herbs, some aloe vera and cat grass (my cat loves it as a special treat!). I’ve also planted a fern garden for that part of my balcony that gets no sun.
I may not be able to eat home-grown fruit and vegetables yet, but I love using my herb garden when I’m cooking. If I’m making a pasta sauce, I can just pick a few sprigs of basil and oregano, or put some fresh rosemary leaves in a casserole. I give them a little wash to rinse off any dirt, but I know they don’t have any nasty chemical surprises. Fresh herbs taste so much better than dried ones, and growing my own works out much cheaper than buying them from the supermarket. Creating a little corner of greenery in a concrete maze is healthy for my soul, too. Looking out my window and seeing a garden brings peace, if only for a moment.
Do not despise small beginnings
It says in Zechariah 4:10 do not despise these small beginnings. We hope one day to buy our own home, a place where I can expand my horizons when it comes to gardening and natural living. I’d love to grow my own vegetables one day. But that may still be a few years off. For the moment, I have only my herb garden – it is a small beginning, but it’s something.
Maybe this is you as well. Maybe the idea of self-sufficient, natural living appeals to you but circumstances just don’t allow it at the moment. You may not be able to do much, but there may be some small, humble ways you could make a start.
Just a few ideas include:
  • grow a herb garden on your balcony, window ledge or wherever your little plants can get some sun
  • cook from scratch using natural foods – the food will be healthier and you’ll cut down on pre-packaged waste
  • make your own skincare products using natural ingredients
  • start a small compost heap if you have your own backyard
  • set up a drying rack on your balcony instead of using an indoor dryer
I am determined to grow and tend my little corner of nature. Even when the hot Australian summer has parched the soil and caused the leaves to wither. Even when my heart longs for open space. It’s not much, but these are my small beginnings.

Bella is a newly married Christian woman living in Sydney, Australia. She loves God, her friends and family, tea, gardens, books, and food. She is a part time Special Ed teacher, housewife, blogger and small group leader--- living to shine God's light by His grace. You can get in touch with her at her website, Over the Teacups, or on her blog's Facebook page.

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