My 2015 Self-Sufficiency Project -- Gardening

Friday, January 23, 2015

Self-sufficiency.

I did a little research on that, and it seems that most of the quotes I ended up were about not needing anyone to survive or to be happy. It's contradictory to what I believe, because no matter how financially stable or capable we are, we still need someone, and most importantly, we still need God in our lives.

But here's a definition I find desirable from Merriam-Webster:

capable of providing for one's own needs

Applying it in our life, self-sufficiency is being able to support myself and our little family in small ways outside consumerism. Get what I mean?

Simply put, I want to plant and grow, instead of buy. I want to make, instead of buy. Not necessarily in everything, but in some ways -- yes.

I've always wanted it that way. We're here in the rural, and what better way to take advantage of this place than to be rural in many ways -- and that's where gardening (or a more technical term is agriculture minus livestock raising) comes in.

Prices of spices and vegetables fluctuate (well, even other commodities).

Remember how spendy was garlic last year? I could almost skip garlic in cooking. So I intentionally planted necessary spices around our house. Not all for now. I'm taking it one step at a time, especially that our soil here is not that rich, and we have to get our compost from the farm. And I also need to put these plants in containers.



The point is would you still buy something that you can find in your own yard?

For now, we have lemon grass, spring onions, tomatoes (mostly) and one pepper plant.




We also have a mango tree, jackfruit tree, mandarin orange (still small though),  bananas and lots of pineapple plants. All these fruit trees and plants are due to my parents' efforts. Every now and then or per season, we get to taste these fruits.

As a gardening lover, I found the following benefits of this hobby:

1. Gardening enhances creativity -- In terms of home design or garden design, I am not so well gifted. But I simply love plants. I like planting, and I have always been inspired to see them grow and bloom and brighten the space. When I feel creative, I try to rearrange the plants in our mini garden. Although my style or design is not that excellent, I believe it has exercised my outdoor creativity, and I need that. My brain and my overall well-being need that, and I feel better afterwards.



2. The joy of reaping what you sow, literally -- It's a wonderful experience to reap and taste what you have literally sown. I think, this is the best lesson I've ever learned from my late grandmother. When she and Tatay where still young and able, they took advantage of their wide land by planting as many trees and plants as possible. When we were kids, they have cacao trees and coffee trees all over, but as time passed by, these trees were neglected and became scarce. But still they have others like coconuts, bananas, sineguelas, mandarin orange, lanzones, rambutan, etc., which until now, we (the third generation from them) still enjoy the fruit of their labor. Holding on to Nanay's memories and to this kind of legacy she and Tatay have left is perhaps also one of the reasons why I see the importance of planting and gardening.



3. Science can be taught through your own yard -- Sit down in the garden, and observe the butterflies, dragonflies and other insects fly and hop from every side. This is where Kristoff has seen the "tambalian" (it's a kind of lizard living in trees), and this is where he digs for worms. Yes, he has known insects in the garden that he wasn't able to see in his books. We can introduce science to our preschool kids through gardening.



4. Gardening can be a prenatal exercise -- Pregnant or not, gardening is a way to exercise our body. But one time, I was really so eager to do the garden. I found out that some of the plants that were too exposed to sunlight where not thriving, so I transferred them under the mango tree which requires me to squat, get up and walk. Squatting and walking are prenatal exercises especially done on the third trimester. This, however, must be done per your OB's advice. But well, if there's no contraindication, this is one creative and productive way to do prenatal exercises.

5. Seeing that God's power is amazing -- I find it fantastic to see that after the flower, there's that tiny fruit growing. It's basic science, but it's an amazing wonder of God's work. Gardening is valuing God's creation.



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My goal this year is to keep up with gardening and other ways to self-sufficiency. Have you thought about it too?

My Mommy Mundo 24/7 2015 Planner

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's a dream of mine to have a planner this 2015. For the last 2 years, I didn't use one, and it felt like my life was a bit disorganized. So for a change this year, I searched for a planner that best suits me as a work-at-home mom.

I fell in love with other planners and journals being advertised on the web and reviewed by other bloggers, but the thing is, they are just not budget friendly for me. I can't take to spend over 500 pesos for a planner.

In 2012, when I was still working as an online tutor, I got myself a planner from Mommy Mundo. So I'm back to the same brand and make of planner this year. It's affordable and well suited for me!



I ordered it last week of December, and I may say it's not the right time because of the nonworking holidays, and I also ordered a book together with it so that maging sulit ang shipping fee. The book wasn't available yet, so we waited for it to be available.

The planner and the book only arrived last Saturday, and the planner has been my companion since then. It has become like a partner to me. When my mommy brain forgets something, I go to it for reference.

With the look. I love it. It's simple, and the colors are fresh to the eyes. The covers are sturdy as well.

The first page is where you put your basic information -- name, address, etc. You can read a gentle reminder there too: Make moments count. Just something that we need every time.

There's a to-do list every month. But I don't know if I can make use of this, as I could write my to-do lists weekly.

Sorry for the blurry photos.
There's a schedule planner for mom and for the kids, maximum of three.



You can also read some quotes from other moms, all about motherhood.

At the bottom, there are boxes where you can write notes, ideas, thoughts and reminders. Then on the other side are your goals for the week for yourself, for your family, home and work. I think that space is already enough for me to jot down what I need to. I am not that busy. I just need time management and a space to put my thoughts into.

It reminds me too of the holidays and events.

At the back, there's this portion called Pages and Perks, where additional sheets for additional info are. There's Child's Info Sheet, Child's Health Record, and Immunization Record good for three kids. These are all beneficial to me because soon, I'll be going for immunization visits in the health center and Kristoff will have a new school this June and probably will be joining more activities outside.

There's a menstrual tracker as well. Hehehe. There won't be any reason anymore to forget my LMP (last menstrual period). Last year was "open season" for us, so I didn't (and was lazy) remembering the date of my monthly period. At least this year, I'll be able to keep track of it.

There's this page for party planning, but it's limited to two parties only. Well, I only have to plan for 2 parties this year, so it's okay for me.

There's a page for vacations and trips. There's a menu maker, money matters page, grocery essentials and household staff file.



The last pages were coupons from Mommy Mundo affiliated shops -- something which I cannot use because I'm here in the province. But who knows what 2015 will bring us, right? Maybe a trip somewhere to Metro Manila. Some things come unplanned, and all we have to do is just ride into it. :)

Overall, I love my mommy planner!

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