Yesterday my borrowed time ran out with the library book “Farm City” by Novella Carpenter. I finished it last night and over the weekend as I frantically read to finish by the due date. I found out I am severely undereducated on this whole urbanfarm/permaculture/living off the land idea. For the last few years I have thought of myself as a novice in the organic gardening world. In my previous residence in a VERY rural MN town I was one of the only people in the town to have a compost bin (and I encountered some resistance to it when my son built it as well). I rarely had bugs, which I contributed to companion planting, when everyone else was spraying. I saved a few pepper seeds, from some good specimens I bought at the farmer’s market, I started the seeds indoors the following spring and they grew into fine peppers. I canned my garden throughout the summer and I even know how to make a mean batch of wine. All of it pales in comparison to Novella.
Now I am starting from scratch. I moved to beautiful suburbia. Even though I learned how to garden in rural America I was lonely, isolated and missing the city. Now that I am in the city, I miss the garden. The grass is always greener right? Not here not now; I am NOT going to have GRASS, I am going to have a massive garden. I want to feed my neighbors from my garden at the annual pork roast in October. This is how bad the lack of gardens are here. I live in a subdivision of at least 75 houses and I have found 1 yes 1 vegetable garden in the whole division. I have a neighbor next to me on a whole acre of land with a small barn on it and all he grows is GRASS!!!! Where am I going with all this? Goals. Garden goals. I am not a farmer, yet. My goals for this growing season on my .39 acre lot:
1. Start my compost and vermicompost bins
2. Grow melons any kind and eat at least 5
3. Grow and freeze sweet corn
4. Plant 5 fruit trees, asparagus, and berries (raspberries and strawberries)
5. Grow enough tomatoes, peppers, and onions to can 100 jars of salsa
6. The hardest one…Talk to previously mentioned neighbor to see if he would be amenable to some livestock on his property.
7. Use organic methods for all.
8. Provide produce for the October neighborhood hog roast.
Why bother? Because in the last year I have lost my father to colon cancer, saw 2 friends diagnosed and treated for breast cancer Most recently, another friend currently underwent surgery for a large tumor in her colon. Which by the grace of God turned out to be benign. I wonder why, all are/were young, thin, healthy and take care of their bodies. My personal hypothesis is pesticides. I’ll leave it at that.