Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plans For Spring and Summer

This is going to be a busy spring and summer. I will not be taking any classes.

My summer internship will be as a community garden manager at an apartment complex here in town. I am really looking forward to this opportunity because I have been a manager before (back in the days of being a mall rat) and I have worked in farming before (last summer I interned at an organic CSA farm) but putting the two together will be interesting. The property owners have alloted enough land for forty 10ft x 10ft plots! This is not the first year of the garden, but this year it is doubling in size!

I will continue to work for the church  towards developing our garden into a true community farm. While we can't incorporate aquaculture into the plans this year, I hope to lay all the groundwork to make it happen within the next few seasons. If we get the grant I have been working on, we will be able to add a vacant lot the church owns into our cropping system this summer. This area, which is approximately 1/3 acre will vastly increase our ability to impact the community. All we need is water and this grant will aid in getting a tap (into the city mains) and meter to hook up our irrigation.

On the home front the list is long and disorganized. I know I want bees, but for them to be successful I think I will have to devote a great deal of time and energy. I am torn on this because I see the opportunity that bees hold, but the cost will be some of my craziest projects. I have already had bartering offers regarding honey from friends and neighbors who have found out that I want bees. If there is anything I love more than circumventing the traditional monetary system, I haven't found it.

Some of the other projects for this season:

Build an outdoor kitchen- This includes a rocket stove, perhaps a bread oven, an outdoor sink with gray water catchment, and a prep surface.

Remove all of the useless landscaping in the front yard and replace it with a medicinal herb garden.

Increase the cropping area in the backyard to include all but enough space to put my dad's pop-up camper that he brings when he visits. Last year he ran over my broccoli bed.

Get a new flock of layers. I am wimp. I plan on buying mine when they are a bit more mature, I don't want to deal with the emotional trauma my daughter will endure if a chick dies. When our last chicken got nabbed by a raccoon, she was inconsolable for weeks. A baby chick dying would push her over the edge.

Build (or scavenge) an out building to keep the bikes in. Right now we have six bikes in a <1200 sq ft house. It doesn't leave much space in the common areas to relax.

That is enough for now. I know after Monday's Urban Homesteader's Action Day I will be inspired with a new list of projects. I just need to keep my expectations realistic. This is a journey, not a race.

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