Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Urban Homesteading Update

Please watch this video on Urban Homesteading . Called The Power of Growing Your Own Food.  They also have a website called Path to Freedom which is excellent.  I highly recommend you view both the Utube video and  their website.

I would also like to recommend a website called Food Matters .  Food Matters has a free newsletter that I subscribe to for the latest on food issues.

I have written about my urban homestead and my edible front yard.  These are the folks who inspired me.

Now that we are in Fall and Winter is coming fast we are still working on putting the garden to bed.  The plant material has been cleared out and put into the compost pile.  Next step is to get a truck load of mature manure for the garden beds.  I have my eye on an area in town that has large maple trees.  When the leaves have finished falling I will rake them and bring them home in bags.  Again I am doing someone a service in return for getting the rich leaves.  Then the beds will be covered with (gasp) black plastic to keep them from growing weeds during the winter months.  The plastic was given to me and I recycle pieces used last year which makes me feel a bit better.  I am also watching a large road construction site that is using black plastic sheets to keep erosion in control.  I will ask the supervisor if I can have the plastic when the construction is complete. Again I will hopefully get more plastic free and prevent it from going to the landfill for a bit longer.

I know others plant green crops which are turned back into the soil in spring instead of covering the boxes.  I have chose to cover the beds because I am loading them with manure to make more good soil.  We have a substantial amount of rain usually in the winter and I am not confident the green crops would grow.  Maybe next year I will be brave and try that.

We are also collecting all the free wood we can for our wood stove.  It is the plan to only heat with wood this year.  I will be watching the electric bill to make sure it stays very close to what we consume in the Spring and Summer.  Within the past week we have picked up three truck loads of free burnable wood.  The wood included end cuts from a construction site, very large rounds of Doug Fir which will need to be split, plywood which will be used for building projects, pallets and assorted 2x4s, 2x10s and 2x12s.  We have built a relationship with one builder who will call us when he has a scrap pile. Since we have cleaned up when we have picked up free wood from him he is delighted and said he will deal with us only.  Yea!

While collecting free wood we have come across alot of wood that can be used to build more garden boxes.  I plan on adding boxes to the front yard which is now lawn free.  Then the back yard will be tilled and covered with garden boxes.  The boxes will be filled with mushroom compost which is a local byproduct of a mushroom factory, my composte and garden soil. It is a huge undertaking but will bring me step closer to being sovereign.

Check the June postings archive for more articles on Edible Front Yards.


Francis Bell said...

REALLY GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!Now you can not only heat and cool your home the earth-friendly and clean geothermal way-but also your POOL!!!This is well worth looking at-Francis

Bellen said...

Just recently started reading your blog - enjoy it a lot.

A note on the Path to Freedom blog. In most of the areas I've lived, what they do would not be allowed. In the area we currently live, front yard landscaping has to be approved by the HOA and veggie gardens would not be allowed. We get away with some by putting herbs in large containers and the neighbors have not complained.

HOA rules and city laws must be changed to deal with our tough economic times. I recently read that a couple of cities are now allowing chickens, not roosters, within city limits - a wonderful change.

Even in our advanced age - 63+ - we hope to move north about 3 hours travel time to an area in FL where lots are usually 5 acres and up and nobody cares if you have veggies in the front yard and keep chickens in the back. Unfortunately the move will have to be in about 2 years when houses start to sell again.

The Frugal Fraulein said...

Bella, Thank you for your comment. Some communities have ordinances prohibiting urban homesteading and edible front yards but it is time to turn that around. We can accomplish this by educating our neighbors and changing the consciousness. Soon we will all value food more than a manicured lawn.
Good luck with your move. Be sure to tell city hall why you are moving. If enough people give them the message that local laws are not supporting their lifestyles the laws will be changed. Growing food should not be against the law.

margearm said...

how about a dog house for Mr. T with some scrap wood!!

The Frugal Fraulein said...

Ha, Mr T has a whole house and just lets me live here. My Mother has a dog house and her dog wouldn't lower himself to enter it either. The neighborhood kids play in it!