I travel all over Minnesota and Wisconsin with my current job.  After a long day in the field, it can feel like I am taking a long road home at times.  You get home worn and tired, and there might not be much energy to do more than eat and go to bed.  Much like those days traveling for work, it seems to have been a long road home coming back and writing on this Small Scale Gardening site.  I know at one time I had great groups of people reading the blog posts, watching the YouTube videos and participating in the Small Scale Gardening Facebook Group.

That was then; this is now.

I left this site fallow for more than two years, and earlier this year I let the domain lapse.  That little event caused the ranking and readership to plummet to minimal levels.  The question now is: what do I do with this site?  Do I turn it off or redirect it to Small Scale Life?  Or do I start anew, posting blog posts and building the audience?  Where is my time best spent?

History of Small Scale Gardening

My garden in 2014. Note that the cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are on lines that are part of my trellis system

I started Small Scale Gardening in 2014 in order to document what I was doing in the backyard of a rental house in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. I started this site after my dad and my grandparents passed away and after the Crash of 2008.  I felt that someday, my boys and family might want to know what I was doing in the backyard, why I was steaming skins off tomatoes at 1:00 in the morning, and why I was trying to grow food on my asphalt driveway.

If you look, you can find blog posts documenting my exploits at the rental property in St. Louis Park.  I cleared out the Wild Area, built some modest raised beds and had an incredible experience growing tomatoes, peppers, basil, green beans, sugar snap peas, oregano, rhubarb and potatoes (I still suck at growing onions, but that the subject of a different blog post).

Rise of Small Scale Life

Small Scale Life;

Small Scale Life is about intentional living. We talk about gardening, developing a healthy lifestyle and having adventures along the way.

My path deviated from Small Scale Gardening when I started Small Scale Life blog in 10/2015 and the Small Scale Life Podcast in 1/2016. Things started slowly, but the podcast is typically hitting between 800 and 1000 listeners, depending on the topic.  Most of the posts have a podcast associated with it, and the associated social media accounts are busy.  My wife Julie has joined the team, and I have a few other “regular guests” that are on the podcast and provide advice from time to time.  I am pretty proud of what we have done with Small Scale Life!

Indeed, things have changed a lot in the past two years.  The gardening has continued, however.  I dissembled the garden at the rental house and planted grass in 2017 (it was a really, really sad day when all that went down).  We moved away from St. Louis Park and purchased a small house on an urban lot in Minneapolis.  This was Julie’s parent’s house, and her dad built two 4’x4′ raised beds and expanded them to be 4’x6′ beds.

I added trellis systems to the beds, the fencing (due to neighborhood rabbits), the vertical garden and of course more fencing due to Karma the Wonder Dog.  I have fought slugs, cabbage worms, squash borers, leaf miners and maple tree roots in these gardens.

While they have been productive, they were nowhere as productive as my gardens in St. Louis Park.  Fortunately, change is in the air.  The garden beds are thoroughly rotted, and they are ready for demolition next spring.

The Future

raised beds, square foot gardening, trellis, fall gardening

The 2018 garden as it stands today. These garden beds will be replaced in 2019 with new wicking beds – November 2018

I have a lot of ideas for gardening, and my new garden design will be something pretty cool.  These new garden beds will combine my experience with the Rain Gutter Grow Systems with raised bed gardening.  I think that it will be very productive, will be easy to maintain and make watering a snap.  These new garden beds will be extremely efficient for dry environments.

At the same time, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what to do with Small Scale Gardening.  The only remaining pieces of this “small empire” is this blog and the YouTube Channel.  All other pieces were absorbed into Small Scale Life, changed, rebranded and reconfigured.

What is to come of this blog and its 1530 strong mailing list?  I have a few options:

Something tells me that Small Scale Life, is going to be moving rapidly into the Intentional Living and Simple Living space.  Julie and I are going to be working on our health, and we are going to be focusing on minimalism and simple living.  I am not sure if Small Scale Life, will have much time for gardening and food preservation in the future, but I guess it remains to be seen where Julie and I take Small Scale Life.

What’s Your Opinion?

There is a danger in writing this post: I would hate to bring people here, expecting regular content and not delivering.  I think that would be a travesty, especially since I have done that once already.  One thing is for sure

“I won’t make a promise I can’t keep” – Zac Brown

I am curious: what is your take?  What would you like to see with Small Scale Gardening?  I would be curious what the followers here think.  Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a note at smallscalegardening@gmail.com.

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