Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Off To the City We Go

 

apartmentOver the years I have written about how to homestead and I always include those in apartments.  For urban farming is not only possible, but probably easier.  I can still can and preserve.  I will get a plot at the community garden. (I’ll have some community garden plot, eh?!)  I can turn raw milk from a share into cheese.  I can grow herbs on the balcony.  I can also ride my bicycle around town and walk most places.  How cute will I be on my bike with my basket of produce from my garden plot riding to my home just a few blocks away?

Doug and I had decisions to make.  We could stay with our friend and pay lower rent plus housework and save up.  I am indebted to our friends for their kindnesses and keeping Doug and I off the streets last year.  But, y’all know how much Martha Stewart I like to channel and it may seem strange and maybe some folks won’t understand but I need a place to nest.  To decorate.  I need a home.

We thought about farming on our friend’s property for a  year but decided that we have continually put out all of our available resources to improve other folks’ property and then have to leave and enough is enough.  We will save money for a farm and in a few years perhaps will sit on our own piece of property but in the meantime, it just makes us sad.  No farm and no place to nest?

We are moving to a beautiful apartment on the top floor facing west with a balcony and some perks this farmgirl has not had in a long time.  Dishwasher, dryer, gas fireplace, holy smokes, people!  I’m gonna get spoiled!

It’s just a few blocks from Doug’s work and walking distance to everything.  Twenty-five minutes to my shop.  Close to the kids, friends, and the library!

We feel like we are eighteen years old again.  Moving out with a double bed and a table.  Hoping we can afford it all.  Excited to be together in our own place.

So here’s to our new adventure and urban homesteading (while drinking a glass of wine by the gas fireplace).  The next chapter begins…

 

 

 

Grow Where Planted

So, what would be the perfect homestead size?  5 acres?  20 acres?  100 acres?  A river running through it?  Near a library?  I am starting to wonder if instead of always thinking, ‘THAT would be the perfect homestead’ and then being frustrated because it is out of my reach, that perhaps I should look around where I am at.  I may very well have the closest-to-perfect-possibly-at-this-time-in-my-life homestead.

SAMSUNG  (Steve and Doug with baby goats)

We spend a fair amount of time at my friend, Nancy’s homestead because for our new business and lifestyle venture, Farmgirls-From the Homestead. (http://facebook/5farmgirls.com)  The goat’s milk is at her house (cause her goats are there!) so we make soap over there…and cheese….and go over there to view baby barn kitties and baby goats.  Very sweet.  She has a lovely forty acres, a red barn, horses milling in the fields.  Idyllic.

outdoor table (picture idea I took from the internet)

We started discussing our seemingly endless design of ideas for this year’s business venture ranging from multiple farmers markets, incorporating the idea and products into my current shop, The Garden Fairy Apothecary, teaching canning classes, bread baking classes, homestead tours, and Farm to Table dinners, all of which we will do this summer and fall.  We discussed the Farm to Table dinners for her property and found a level area that overlooks the hills and would be quaint and ethereal for a Farmgirl fancy dinner.  She mentioned that we could do one at my house too.  I was thinking….but I live in town.  Who wants to go to a Farm to Table dinner on the driveway?  But then it hit me…I live in town.  How many people live in town but are still interested in homesteading and making their way more self sufficiently but, like me, cannot and may never be able to afford acreage?  I live a mere three miles from Nancy, I am not in the city of Denver, but I do live in a neighborhood, on a busy street, with neighbors.  And a large garden, and a small orchard, with chickens, soon to be goats, and checking the zoning, alpacas.  I can turn the garage into a barn.  I could turn the yard in front of the porch, who’s grass has long since left us, into a magical apothecary garden and bee garden.  Swirly paths of bricks and oregano, sweet scents of rosemary and thyme, carpets of chives.  I could host the Farm to Table dinner in the driveway, next to the raised beds, in view of all of the farm animals.  I could place a long table in the back yard and eat with the chickens (not eat the chickens, I said, eat with the chickens!) and have a nice view of the fairgrounds.  Perhaps a rodeo will be going on.

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I mean, I may not be able to get the alpacas, and in some areas folks can’t even have chickens, but there are so many options we can do.  Bee hive?  Chickens?  Goats?  Garden?  Balcony garden?  Community garden?  Use less electricity?  Preserve food?  Use less water?  Walk more places instead of driving?  Crochet your own scarf?  Bake your own bread?  Smoke your own fish?  Grow your own herbs?  Plant an apple tree?  The sky is the limit.  And even in smaller quarters, there is always something we can do to be more self sufficient and homestead.

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Here on this homestead, I can have all the things I want, not have too much to keep up, and walk to the library.  The best of both worlds.