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Urban Homestead Dreams

photo by woodleywonderworks
photo by woodleywonderworks

Finally finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I’ve moved on to Urban Farm Handbook. Notice a theme here? As Ugly Garden putters along towards winter, my head is a-swim with thoughts of food production; raised beds, crop rotation, compost, heirloom varieties, and most importantly chickens! I’m planning a tremendous spring.

photo by Chiots Run
photo by Chiots Run

This is the time of year for planning. It gets light at 7:30 and dark at 4:30. These times correspond remarkably well with my departure for and return from Corporate Servitude. There aren’t daylight hours for much else. But, plotting and scheming can happen after hours from a comfy chair, often with crochet in my hands.

Yes, we are in the research portion of events. I know that eventually I’m going to have to get busy. Well before official Spring, I hope. Sometime post January. February?

Other than reading, here’s what I’m up to…

Ever used Pinterest? If you haven’t, don’t.  Its a black hole time suck of the interwebs. Possibly THE black hole time suck of all black hole interweb time sucks. But, I’m attempting to use it’s powers for good. As a way to capture all the links and pictures and ideas I run across, and later wish to share with The Husband. It works, as long as I don’t get sucked into what’s currently cute on etsy.

I’ve requested seed and poultry catalogs. These are harder to come by than I thought they would be. I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival like a Sears Christmas Wishbook from my childhood. I’m open to suggestions for good sources and companies, if anyone has wisdom to impart.

Savings account. For several months now, I’ve been directing a paltry $50  towards spring projects. I’ll need to increase that after the new year, but it should help soften the blow of some of these projects.

Christmas List. I’ve cultivated my Holiday requests to align with increased food production. This year I’m asking for a Food Dehydrator and a Mixer. I’d like to dry herbs and tomatoes, increase the quality of our homemade bread, and maybe even make sausage. Hopefully Santa is listening.

Prioritizing. The goals for Spring/Summer 2012 are simple: Increase garden space.  Get Chickens.

For Ugly garden to grow,  a couple things that need to happen; the death  of an unfortunately placed Lilac, the relocation of not 1, but 2, compost bins. Beyond that there will be fencing and beds to be built, and oh yeah, we are going to need some plants (or seeds as it were). See where my little savings account will come in handy?

Chickens. I’m most excited (and intimidated) about this. There’s a pack of dogs in the mix here. They may not take too kindly to  backyard residents. Because of this my ladies of poultry will need to be secured. There is a garden shed to transform in to Chicken Alcatraz, complete with their own fenced yard. I’m researching chicken breeds, debating chicks or hens and winter layers. I’m fretting over disease and deaths (natural and otherwise), and heat lamps and noise. But, make no mistake we will have chickens.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What about preservation? I already know we need to do a massive crop of cucs for pickles, and garlic, and green beans (to freeze and pickle). I’d like to plant Asparagus crowns. Potatoes! Don’t forget potatoes! And on and on it  goes. The planning may be more thought consuming than the actual doing.

I’m trying to take a page from Soule Mama, and Chiot’s Run. Breath. Enjoy the process, and know that it will all happen. Right?

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That’s one reason I don’t have a pintrest. There’s enough distractions as it is! Good luck with your ambitious gardening dreams. I love chickens! But can’t have even one as an apartment dweller.

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