I am learning a lot while I am still on the grid but getting off the grid and payback is a must.
You have to take care of others as well as yourself in this type of lifestyle.
When I pray over my crops I ask God for enough for my family for a year, enough to share and enough to sell. So far I have not been disappointed.
I have worked with squash and zucchini for a week, for my own home use. Then I began to ask people if they wanted to buy fresh produce and I did get orders. But I did not forget to give as well.
Last Friday I made the deliveries, I was selling first and then I was giving.
I made up many grocery bags with five yellow squash and others with five zucchini. I sold each bag for two dollars. I made $23.00 and got another order for this week. Not a great amount but I am hoping to get the word out that I sell fresh picked vegetables at a reasonable price. After all this is my first year selling.
Now how do I chose people to give to?
1. I do not have a tractor, yet, and I am not sure I will get one, although I probably need a small one, so I hired someone to come and plow the fields for me. But he would not take money after the fact, not even gas money.
The payback 2016 , Tony is to look at his roof and let him know if it can be fixed. PLUS, I sent him a huge grocery bag full of squash. I often send them home canned jellies and jams and relishes all through the year.
2. I don`t have a horse or cow to get natural fertilizer so one day Tony stopped and asked this man for some horse manure that we seen piled up behind his barn, he told us we can have all we want and he has this little machine that will scoop and dump it into the back of the truck, no money wanted.
As Tony become friends with this man, he found out that his wife had some medical problem and lost her walking ability and he was caring for her. I began to send okra and squash and tomatoes, for the holidays I sent home canned jellies and jams and relishes, cupcakes and cookies. She is now back up and walking. They just received a huge bag of squash and zucchini.
3. For years when I first began my landscaping business My older friend would give me work, keeping up her yard, plus I also got spin off work from her and I made money as a driver for years, she is now 89 years old.
I stop by and chat with her from time to time and when I do, I go with gifts of food, I also took her squash and zucchini a couple days ago and hers had to be special, small so that the seeds did not mess with her digestive problems, she also gets that rare jar of seedless blackberry jam that I keep for my personal use.
4. Family and elders : My sister is mentally handicap so I make sure I drop off food from time to time so that she`ll have extra. There are still a few elderly left in the old neighborhood and most of them have known either me or Tony our entire lives so I am giving them fresh produce because they can no longer raise a garden, the one elderly man is 90 years old and he just has tomatoes this year but he usually had everything.
5. The poor : I have to say that I want to judge these people but I find myself giving anyways. They can buy beer and cigarettes so why not food instead? But being me and I understand addiction I will drop off a meal every now and then to some, well I gave squash to one couple the other day and I know another I will do the same for.
So there it is, that is how the good lord works. He answers my prayer and I do as I asked in that prayer.
I don`t know if I will get this business off and running enough to make money for bills but I am sure making a go at it.
Getting off the grid and payback goes hand in hand. Learning to live off the land is a long lesson but I am sure hard work will pay off.
By Andria Perry
Photo`s by Andria Perry