Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Suburban Homestead Part 1

January is 2/3 over, and that means that soon it will be time to start my garden seeds.   

This year, the garden will be something special, because it will be the first in our home, instead of a garden we have to leave behind when we move from apartment to apartment.  This one is for keeps.  

Last spring, we only managed to get in some asparagus roots and some raspberry bushes.  We were drowning in renovation projects, and the garden just had to wait.

This year, we're working on turning our little .66 acre spread into a homestead.  It's a multi-year project, one I hope that will culminate in producing the bulk of our eggs, chicken, fruit and vegetables from our own patch of earth.

We're not the typical homesteaders.  For one thing, we live in a rural town 20 miles outside of Boston.  We both have lengthy commutes to corporate jobs.  On the outside, we're pretty typical yuppies.

Or maybe not so typical after all.  Two weeks ago,  we wandered out into our yard to pick the perfect spots for the first four fruit trees, which will arrive in the spring - a dwarf cherry, two apple trees and an apricot tree, the last being a housewarming gift from my older sister.  Next year, four more trees will come - two more apples, and probably two peaches.  I haven't yet  found space for the two cornelian cherry trees I lust after, but maybe in 2010....

Our garden seeds are sitting in a closet, waiting just a few more weeks to get started.  I tried not to buy too much, but I'm sure I have.  I lost count at seven kinds of lettuce.  

My husband has committed to read our copy of Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew in the next couple weeks, so that in the early spring we can put together our own square foot potager garden.

We're slowly putting together a long term plan to scale back and work less, to produce our own food, and to achieve financial independence.  None of this is going to happen quickly, we're probably 10 years away from a true downshift.  And who knows what will happen in ten years anyway?  All we can do is plan, and save, and plant our seeds and our trees.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and the self-sufficient homestead, even just a little teeny homestead, begins with one flat of seedlings.  


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