I constantly daydream about living off of the grid. My thoughts are filled with a hand built house on some acreage in the wilderness, solar power, a big garden and smokehouse full of fish and game living free of the annoyances of modern life. "Mother Earth News" has replaced "Playboy" in terms of my fantasy reading as I eagerly read articles about really cool projects like building alcohol fuel stills.
Reality, usually in the form of a conversation with my wife, soon comes crashing back in and dispells these visions of grandeur. I did, however, take a recent small step towards self sufficiency by planting a deck garden. Whether or not this venture yields anything worth eating remains to be seen, but we have been happy to see the seeds sprout and the plants starting to grow above the top edge of the planters.
For around $ 10 bucks worth of seeds, we planted lettuce, spinach and a good assortment of herbs (cilantro, dill, chives, parsley and basil- I suggested another more profitable herb but was met with an icy stare of disapproval from my spouse.) I built the planters out of cedar boards and bolted them to the deck rail which proved prudent after a couple of severe storms roared through our area. I drilled holes in the planter bottoms for drainage and we filled them with a layer of rocks at the bottom to also help the roots from getting waterlogged. The three planters are all 4' long and cost about $ 40 total to build.