Friday, January 15, 2010

Planning the urban homestead

Today, the sun made its annual January appearance in these here parts, bringing with it winds so warm my heart couldn't help but be gladdened, and swept into a wild dreaming of seeds. Oh, the weather has such wiles and my mood moves with it. No matter, there were moments of gladness today. And planning!
 Our little back yard is a work in progress. I wavered about the bees, but have now renewed my commitment to them. My grandfather kept bees, and, alcoholic though he was, one of my fondest memories is that of his honey harvests. I want my own children to continue to experience that...chewing beeswax...dipping your fingers in honey....the miracles that abound in your own back yard....the sense that abundance is right here and you don't have to go out and get it. So, in April I will yet again make a trip to Kelley Bees and get 2 or 3 package hives.
I failed my bees last year, or they failed me? I'm not certain. I also failed my dye garden last year. I just have to chalk it up to trying to do too much in a baby's first year, and poorly communicating to my husband where NOT to mow.
My wish list for my back yard includes plenty of lovely spaces for vegetables. My husband scavenged some big logs during the storms we had a couple of years ago, and those hold the sides of our garden plots. I'd like more garden plots, more flowers, an herb garden, and of course, the dye garden. I am going to plan out my spaces, start small, and allow room for evolution and improvement. Oh, and strawberries...I want strawberries!
And dreaming into interstitial moments has me learning how to build a brick oven. And a chicken coop. Chickens may have to wait if I am investing in more bees. Plus, when the harvesting season begins, Chance often trades massage/Rolfing for produce and eggs. This has been a big boon to our family, and those hard-working farmers and now friends surely appreciate the bodywork he does.
The bunnies continue to be a source of joy. I do love brushing them, and am now spinning a skein of pure angora. Very slowly. ovens....a handsome man who gardens....what lovely dreams I have.

(by the way, I LOVE Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I got dye plant and herb seeds from Horizon Herbs. I got still more dye plant seeds from The Woolery.I am looking for a seed mat.)


  1. o
    I LOVE this post. We are thinking the same things. Oh, what that sunshine can do.

    You have a dye garden? That is something I have been planning along with a neighbor of mine. Thank you so much for the links, I could hug you!

    With a baby on the way, I am wondering how many "irons" I should be putting in the fire. I think my time will go to the garden and not the farm animals this year.

    Happy seed ordering to you and watch that mower :) Good to see you are ordering bees again :)

  2. You sound like us! We are slowly making the changes to lead a sustainable life. I plant the vegies & one daughter plants Herbs & w're loly moving another daughter into the fold. Its amazing how much happier we have foud this life. Our home wa just absorbed int the city limits and bans chooks. Although, thats a possibility! Maybe we can meet up for a vegie & Herb swap this summer

  3. Those husbands and the lawn mowers. My husband requested a guide of pictures for him not to mow over. We might provide him with that this year.

    I would love to raise bees as well, but i'm so intimadated about it. Hmmmmmm.....perhaps soon.

    Seeds on the mind as well. Thanks for sharing your favorite seed companies.


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