Independence 101: Gardening #1

One way to achieve personal independence is to grow your own food. Almost everyone can grow something somewhere, even if it’s just in a pot on the windowsill. If you live in an apartment, in the city, in a suburb, or the country, you can grow something. Gardening can teach self-reliance, the value of consistent work, and the satisfaction of a job done well. Most importantly, it can help you become independent.

I have a dream that someday I will own enough land to have an orchard, big garden, cows, chickens, and pigs. I want to be able to grow enough of my own food that I only have to rely minimally on grocery stores. I don’t know if that’s something I’ll ever achieve, but for the past several months, Mrs. A and I have been conducting a gardening experiment on our apartment’s balcony. One small step towards independence…

We started with one pot. It is an EMSCO Group Raised Bed that we bought from Lowes for about $30.00. It holds a reservoir of water in the bottom of the pot. A plastic net over the reservoir keeps all of the dirt from falling into the water, but the dirt does reach the bottom in every corner. The corners suck the water up from the reservoir and disperse it throughout the planter. The black plastic on top keeps the weeds out and the moisture in. All in all, it looked like a good system.

Here are a couple of pictures from our first week:

Week 1 GardenWeek 1 Garden Picture

We got a salad mix at our local Lowes. That’s in the front two rows. We planted peas in the row running along the watering pipe.

Father’s Day

Today is a special day for me. It’s my first Father’s Day as a dad. My thoughtful wife, Mrs. A, prepared some of my favorite meals and gave me some raspberry freezer jam, my favorite! Mr. J and I got to spend time playing, and I got to get him out of bed in the morning, one of my favorite things to do, and something I don’t get to do very often because of my work schedule. We all went to church, and we got to go on  walk before Mr. J went to bed. It was a perfect day.

I owe a lot to my dad and grandpa. They are wonderful examples to me of what a dad should be. My grandpa is a model of public service. He spent the bulk of his life serving on his local school board, his city council, his local church, and several state-wide wildlife boards. He also instilled a respect for sacrifice as he took advantage of every opportunity to share stories about members of the armed forces who gave their blood, sweat, tears, and, too often, their lives to secure freedom for the oppressed.

My dad taught me to respect hard work. I grew up on a couple of acres and every summer there were poles to replace on our pasture fence, weeds to pull, and a garden to harvest. He taught me to recognize the satisfaction that comes from completing a difficult or tedious job. (I hated harvesting green beans.)

I wouldn’t be who I am today without these great men. Happy Father’s Day!


I am an attorney. I graduated from BYU Law School in 2013. My three years in law school were some great years. I really enjoy being an attorney.

While I appreciate connecting with all of through this website, nothing on this website, including the posts or comments, creates an attorney-client relationship. If I ever start selling any products through this website, my state ethics rules require me to tell you that you may want to consult an attorney before purchasing them.

I am also not a financial, medical, tax, or any other kind of expert.

This website is just for me to share some of my experiences as a new dad. I hope that you enjoy sharing these experiences with me.


I’m a new dad, and I’m finding out that I really don’t know a lot about being a dad…or life. I’m finding out what really matters in life and that some things that I thought were really important a couple of years ago, really aren’t all that important to me now.

There are a couple of things that are really important to me now. I hope you enjoy following my journey as I figure out what being a dad is all about.

1. Family time
2. Independence
3. Personal development

1. Family time: I am happiest when I’m spending quality time with my family, my wife and my son. They are the two people who get me through my work day. I look forward to seeing them every evening. I love it when they are awake when I leave in the morning, even if I only get to spend five minutes them.

2. Independence: I’m finding that I freedom is becoming a lot more valuable to me than it used to be. The opportunity to spend my time how, where, and with whom I want is really important.  The Bible talks about how it’s impossible to serve two masters–try ten or twenty. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting pulled in twenty different directions. I want to pulled in my direction, the direction I want to go and get there the way I want to get there. I know I have a lot to learn in this, but that’s what my third focus is for.

3. Personal development: Like I said, there’s a lot I don’t know. Personal development will help me to get better at my first two points and find a path to accomplish them. It will help me be a better husband and dad. It will help me develop greater independence, whether that’s learning a new skill or learning how to better manage my money.

What is your life focused on right now?

I’m looking forward to documenting my journey here and sharing it with whoever comes across this site. Enjoy!