Friday, June 04, 2010

Things on my mind

I have become increasingly interested in the idea of backyard or urban homesteading. The name is a little misleading because it isn't really homesteading. Rather, it is about self-sufficiency, independence, greener living, frugal living, and (for me) a more authentic way of life. With the price of so-called "organic" foods so high, the dangers of produce from other countries, and the huge amount of fossil fuels used to bring most goods to the store, I have decided that I want to be a producer, not a consumer.

The idea of producing more of what I use at home seems to be compatible with being a knitter and a spinner (not to mention a quilter, a soap maker, and a home baker). I have become interested in backyard chickens (I am still checking my local laws), and I am obsessed with pygora goats (which I may also be able to keep in town). Angora rabbits are very doable for me right now.

I have had a garden in the past, but this year, I have expanded my garden, and I am growing a wider verity of foods. My plan is to increase my small garden each year until I am able to produce a greater percentage of what I eat. I also plan to buy as much as I can at the local farmer's markets and preserve as much local food as possible for use in the winter months.

So, this post is an update on my urban sustainable homestead.
Sly loves blueberries, so when I saw bushes for sale at the garden center, I had to buy one. There are lots of berries, but this little guy might be ready to eat soon!

Regular readers know that I love my clothesline. It is a simple, easy, and cost effective way to start living more sustainably. Sly built this clothesline for my about 5 years ago. It cost around $50. Every couple of years we spend about $10 on a new line, clothes pins, and other small necessary items.

This is one of my raised beds. I am thrilled with how well everything is doing well, and I have several things close to harvest.

Broccoli that should be ready to eat soon. I am very excited because it is my favorite veggie.

Green beans are another favorite of mine. In addition to my two raised beds, I have a small container garden to increase my harvest.

Another of my container plants has visible signs of life. I use green bell peppers in so many things. I am not sure where this little guy will end up, but I know it will be great.

My first two tomatoes. I am very tempted to fry these little guys in bacon fat right now! I will be up to my eyeballs in tomatoes in just a few weeks. All my plants are covered in cute little, yellow flowers.

I really needed to thin out my lettuce plants, so I had a simple salad with my dinner tonight. The greens were very good, and nice and tender. Now the others will have room to grow nice and big.

Finally, my first attempt at canning. I bought some strawberries from a local farmer's market. There were way more than I would eat, so I thought I would do a small batch of jam. I think they are almost too pretty to eat!

Happy knitting, gardening, and cooking!

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