A new year, a new blog

A few years ago, I discovered the square foot gardening method.  With the hard clay soil in my yard, I was appreciative of the raised bed idea.  My first garden contained some loose leaf lettuce, beans, peas, squash and peppers in a 4 foot square.   The lettuce, beans and peas grew very well, while the peppers died quickly and the squash never produced any fruit.  Last year, I planted too early and lost my entire garden to a late frost.  This year I plan to expand to several larger beds and many new crops.  I am also exited to try  preserving, canning, drying and storing my harvest.  I have taken a strong interest in anything that will help my family become more independent.  I  love the idea of getting my food from a location I can visit any time, such as a backyard  garden, a local ranch, or eggs from a neighbor.

Over the past few years; I have noticed many people and businesses in flagstaff striving to live a simpler, more locally based life.  With this observation in mind, the thought seed for this blog was planted.  The focus of this blog will be promoting a back-to-basics way of life that includes backyard and neighborhood gardens, cooking from scratch, a spotlight on businesses that promote a local economy, and reviews on products that help us become more self-sufficient as individuals, and as a community.

If you have any suggestions for businesses, products, recipes, or tips please let me know!  Thanks for reading!

Here’s to a new, more self-sufficient year!!

Cindy Dorfsmith



  1. My family is also going down the same road, becoming more self reliant. Angela just got two books on canning, smoking etc. I am going to expand my garden this year but also plan on adding inside growing as well as a cellar storage. Any tips anyone has would be great.

    This will be a great blog as people locally get going on growing. It might be great to post our harvest results and maybe even trade between people.

    Great idea Cindy.

  2. A great method for our dry climate is to incorporate the use of Ollas… They are terra cotta pots you bury in the ground and fill with water. They then water your plants slowly and eliminate almost all evaporation!

  3. Hi Cindy,
    My wife, Patti, grows a garden 20′ x 20′ in our back yard. She gets a good crop of corn, squash, string beans, beets, carrots, onions, and several others. One of her peeves is that the growing season in Flagstaff is only 66 days–not enough time for the tomatoes to ripen, so she normally cuts them while green and they ripen off the bush. Maybe enclosing the area in clear plastic might help (like a green house).

    Like you, I am also very concerned about the shortage of food we might experience in the near future because of the direction of our government, so I’ve been thinking about what to do about it. This summer, the church I attend became responsible for a property that used to be another church but it closed several years ago. I went with another church goer to mow the grass which had grown between three and seven feet. The area looks like five acres and the soil looks very good. I asked the pastor about the possibility of using the land to plant crops. He seemed open to the idea. I have also talked to other people in the church about it, but so far no one seems to be interested. The property has a three bedroom trailer on it, which is rented, and the church building, which is vacant; but the rear of the property (about 2 acres) could be used to plant crops. The property is in Winona (about 15 miles east of Flagstaff). If we could get a half dozen people interested we might be able to do something with it.

  4. Cindy, I’m excited for your blog! I’m also excited to venture into the world on canning with you! I got a dehydrator as well that I’m super excited to use…the big thing I’m missing now is a garden 😦
    One of my New Year’s goals is to figure out indoor herb gardening, and maybe this year I’ll tackle a raised bed!
    Happy New Year to you guys- see you soon!

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