So this fall I plan to expand the urban farm. I can't even BEGIN to tell you how excited I am to do that. This spring's expansion made a world of difference in making our little back yard, it looks like a whole new place. With the plans I have for this expansion, it will allow me to grow enough that I should be able to have a good "crop" big enough to actually take and start cutting down on some of the produce bills. Sustainability is a goal any urban farmer is looking to do, Right?
I have learned a lot about growing out here and now with the new area I have a better idea of where my plants grow the best in my yard. A learning curve has been established. I found the perfect place to have tomatoes in 2 areas of my yard and now I just need to make sure the one I plan for next year will work the best for harvesting them. This year I found that having them near the chicken coop just isn't working for me. So along the side of the house in my narrow garden they will go! There are other plants I have that I will need to move to make room in certain beds and my mind whirls as I wake up thinking about all this.... I have to say gardening and transforming our back yard into a virtual urban farm has become a great break for me from all the hub bub of what life brings. I seriously think all stressed out people need to really find gardening.
I love the challenge of finding space and making spaces to add just "one more place" to plant. Experimenting with so many ideas and deciding what I want to grow and what I can use in everyday cooking is fun. I've added herbal medicines to my repertoire and so now I need to start growing and drying my own herbs, I mean how much easier would it be to just grab the herbs I need (with no outragous shipping prices!) for a tincture or lotion, soap or... and lets not forget about cleaning and... Oh YES, so much and yet, *sigh* back to my original path.
This fall, since my kiddos are getting older, I am taking their toy storage/mud fun/catch all area and adding another planter that will have raised areas to hold some of my shorter plants and yet still leaves me enough room to grow in the lower area. As you can see, with urban farming eyes of course, there is a whole wall just waiting to be host to my raised bed! Here in the southwest the early fall/early winter time is a great time to put in plants that enjoy cooler temps. I plan to make a PVC pipe frame for all my raised beds, then cover them to make a green house type environment so I can extend my season even further. My hope and goal (and quite honestly, now just a pure challenge) is to grow all year and have a good harvest throughout. Seriously, some days I think I may need help with as much as I plot and plan and dream about what I can do with all this.
My plan is to have the new bed built in August while the kiddos are on one of their breaks so they can continue to be an active part in the process. There will be some more planters set out around the yard so I can have designated herbs growing in each. I WILL build this urban farm to be a place where I can grow healthy food for my family, provide eggs and get the herbs I use in all my various uses by next year. I want to show you don't need a huge amount of land to sustain yourself. Just time, hard work and a little imagination and vision to see what potentially can be.
All of life should be as fun, challenging and rewarding as a garden, don't you think??