Thursday, April 30, 2009

First Steps on a Journey

Off and on for years I keep finding myself drawn to the modern day homesteading idea. No, I'm not thinking of moving off to an isolated spot in the country to grow all my food and have heat from a wood stove and hot water from sun. One of the foremost hinderances would be that any animal there would turn into a pet so there's no way I could kill it and eat it. And I just wouldn't make a good vegetarian... Going all or nothing on this, I'd die.

But one of the interesting things I've discovered lately is a trend called 'Urban Homesteading' where you continue to live in an urban setting while incorporating many of the homesteading ideas and ideals. I find this concept very appealing and I think I'd like to incorportate it into my lifestyle.

We (basically me and a neighbor fella) are planning a big garden for this summer. I had already decided to plant corn, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions thinking this would be about all I could find the time and energy to take care of with a full time job, a big house to take care of, all the meals to cook, plan and shop for, yard work, church responsibilities and my mom to care for. Not sure what all Alan wants to plant but he's fixing the pipes that run water out to the garden and getting it tilled. Yay!!!

Would it be pushing my luck too much to think he might also help me get the raspberries into order? I'd share.

I also have a big ugly pine tree that he's been talking about helping get cut down and chopped up for fire wood. Where will I put that much more fire wood? I already have oodles. Guess I'll have to start using those fireplaces more often... Once that tree is down, I want to put a peach tree there. And an Italian Prune between there and the apricot tree (that looks like it's going to be in overproduction mode again - too bad apricots make me gag!). A friend is going to give me the runners off his strawberry patch this summer and I'm thinking about planting them between these trees. Then there's a place up front between my driveways that I can put a couple of dwarf apples and a pear tree. And I saw blueberries at the nursery last week... maybe I can find a spot to tuck a few of them in either along the front fenceline on my east or in with the herbs and flowers along a section of the back fence.

It's a little much for me to take on right now but the city allows you to have up to 6 (or is it 8?) chickens. Wouldn't that be awesome for fresh eggs? Had some recently from a friend of a friend who has chickens in her yard and they were so much richer and more flavorful that those sad white things you get at the store. The shells were thick and colorful in shades of brown, green and blue. Almost too pretty to break and use! Maybe this can be a year two project.

Here's a link to a whole bunch of great ideas and information:

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