Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Our Backyard Farmers

I have always considered myself a "black thumb" when it came to growing things or keeping things alive. Houseplants never survive me, the tomato plants I planted in my dad's garden were severely neglected, I send the amaryllis that I get as an annual gift from a relative to my parents' house to live because it always dies at mine and flourishes at theirs.

But, when we first saw this house, one of the aspects that we fell in love with was the garden and the idea of growing our own food. This endeavor has opened a whole new world to us, in which we are developing a homestead that is more sustainable and self-sufficient than we had anticipated. Our vision and plans are evolving so quickly but in such a natural way--it is almost like we stepped onto a train that is leading intuitively down this path.

Because we are embarking on a completely foreign venture, we decided it would be tremendously helpful--both now and for years to come--if we laid a solid foundation by getting some guidance right from the start. We had our first meeting with Donna and Robyn, our Backyard Farmers, and from the first 5 minutes we sat down and talked with them Rich and I were overcome with excitement (for what we are going to be creating), relief (from imagining what this journey may have been like without their help), and ideas (for our soon-to-be garden).

We first talked through the technical aspects of hiring them as consultants for the 9-month program. They will come out once a month for 2 hours, bring us a new chapter to the notebook we are building and referring to, teach us what we need to be doing for that month, and leave us with the seeds and transplants to put into our garden. When we are finished in November, we will not only have enjoyed fresh produce from our own backyard for 9 months, but we will have a personalized month-by-month notebook outlining how we did it so that we can re-create it and perfect it next year.

In addition to the notebook, we have been instructed to keep a journal, documenting our gardening adventure. Everything we do in the garden needs to be recorded: sowing/planting dates, soil temperatures, harvest dates, any extreme weather, and all info we may want to refer to at a later date. I'm sure you are not surprised, but we have decided to keep this journal online--as another blog. I just can't help but love the medium--it is easily searchable, archivable, I can add photos, links to helpful sites...everything I need to help refresh my memory.

So, today we begin the UrbanHippie Farm... stay tuned to witness our trials, mishaps, and joys in the months to come.


Comptons said...

Hooray! I'll be joyfully watching, and hopefully learning a little bit for my own garden. Can't wait to see how things go!

Urban Princess said...

Very cool!

Holly Simpson said...

Hi. I can so identify with having a "black thumb" and really wanting to learn to grow food. How did you find the Backyard Farmers? I'm trying to Google for something like that in my area (Cincinnati,OH/Norhtern KY)but not having any luck so far.