I’m back from singing the Lego lament. Oh Christmas break. So fun to be home with the kids, so hard to control the chocolate free-for-all and, of course, present etiquette.
That “break” gave me a chance to refocus on the blog and the farm and to plan for some future posts. I thought I’d list a few here, and give everyone a chance to weigh in on some topics they’d like to see discussed.
Also, a good friend of mine, from http://www.morningstarstudio.ca wrote a lovely post on me (and the farm) the other day, at: http://morningstarstudio.ca/2010/12/28/inspiration-december-wolf-and-finch-urban-homestead/. Please check out Lynna’s beautiful musings – although the word doesn’t really describe her writing the way it deserves. I use it anyway, because Lynna is the quintessential muse; she is an inspiration, a beautiful person who almost forces you to create just by being around her. Her blog is a great companion to this one, as it speaks to the spirit, which I think my writing manages to disregard completely. So, if you’ve got enough on the how-to of pickling eggs, run over to morningstar to give you something to think on as you listen to your canner bubble away the afternoon…
I have been struggling to really explain why I am trying to make this urban farm happen. I am not a community activist. I’m not particularly well-versed in food security. Of course I care deeply about the environment and my family’s health. Those are the practical reasons that underscore the whole thing. To be honest though, and I’m sure many people may think this is altogether the wrong reason to be committed to this project, I’m really making this happen because it will save us money. Not up front, and probably not a lot for a while. The idea of almost 20 eggs a week for the outlay of $8/hen and $7.50 in feed every month and *maybe* some outlay for the coop (we have almost everything here already from the renovations), well I spend $8.70 a week on free-range eggs right now. And we eat around 5lbs of vegetables a week not counting potatoes, and 10-15lbs of fruit. Some of that I will never be able to replace, but some of it I will. If I can get plums growing back there I will save a TON. Anyway, it sounds so cheap of me, not in terms of expense but in terms of beliefs, that it took me a while to admit it.
I’m more proud of the second reason, the one I think of after the cost. That’s the time I’ll spend back there with my children. I have an almost 4-year old and a 21-month old. In the beginning it will be totally impractical to try and have them out with me – it’s hard to keep them safe when you’re clearing out the broken glass, screws and rusted metal sheets. Once the beds are built I can really see them thriving in the garden. I would like to make a bed just for the kids. Something small enough that they can reach in to any point from the paths, and filled with the plants they want to grow. They can choose, plant and tend whatever they want – with a little direction to keep them from getting too disappointed.
They will also love the chickens. I’m just hoping the chickens will like them.
So, I’ve written most the things that kept me up at night while I took my break. Following is my list of topics for this month. I will be coming back to writing more often again- you can probably expect 1-2 posts a week at this point, for those of you with RSS or email subscription who were worried I’d either fallen off the face of the earth or abandoned yet another half-started blog. One day I’ll show you guys my first couple attempts. They really sucked. Anyway, the topics:
- The layout for the gardens
- Do we keep the tree
- Homemade shampoos and conditioners with realistic ingredients that also actually work
- Homemade household cleaners that actually work and aren’t only vinegar and baking soda (although those are pretty great)
- The Day Caitlin Made Soap (and lived to tell about it)
- Urban farming for kids
- Showcase of other urban farmers
- Building raised beds
- Buying Soil
Finally, I’d like to make an open invitation to anyone reading this who lives nearby and isn’t dangerous to come on by to join me in some of these projects. If something up there looks interesting to you and you want to come and pitch in I’d be glad for the company and the extra hands. Especially with the hard-milled soap (be warned I’ll be using animal fat). Just send me a note and we’ll chat about when I was planning to do it.
Also, I would love it if you shared the link to my blog. The more people reading it the more input I get, and I need input. I’ve never done most of this stuff before, and I’ve been so grateful for all your advice. My seed list was really crafted by you all, and I appreciated your comments and suggestions.
So, Happy New Year and welcome back to the farm. See you soon with a chat about the garden layout.