Thursday, June 9, 2011

When we last spoke...

Well, actually, I skipped a bunch of stuff in that first post. I skipped how I rented a sod cutter, cut up all of my grass in preparation for a gorgeous new yard and our sewer line broke to the tune of all of the money we had saved up for the yard and then some.

Then I decided I would put in a new sprinkler system myself and dug trenches through the back yard. It took me a day of really sweaty work to dig one trench. But I kept going for another couple of days only to realize that I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about sprinkler systems. (we looked on Google Earth yesterday and you can see the trenches from looks like freaking half-finished alien crop grids. Awesome.)

At some point in all of this, I realized that the tree in the front yard wasn't a chestnut tree, which seemed sentimental in a Currier and Ives way but is totally useless to me as I don't eat nuts. It was a loquat tree. Lemme tell you, that shit is good.  Loquats are lovely, apricot-like fruit, but they don't really last more than a day off the tree, which is why you never see loquats at the market. So, if I was going to pick the loquats, I was going to have to do something with them.  I bought a ladder. I bought a fruit picker. I flung loquats jai alai-style into every neighbors yard within a block of me.  I eventually PUT. DOWN. THE. FRUIT PICKER.  I started canning.

Throughout it all, the Mr. was, for the most part, exceptionally supportive of my efforts. If he minded the sugar-encrusted walls in the kitchen and the awe-inspiring chasms in the yard, he didn't say so (much). He was also very supportive when I started picking up drills and saws and shovels and hoes (he he), as long as he didn't need to take me to the hospital. Toward which, I might add, I have a propensity. 

Now I have a beautifully planted side yard with 4 gorgeous raised beds producing snap peas, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries and Kentucky beans. The fifth bed is in the main section of the yard where the entertaining patio will eventually live. It accommodates a sizable herb garden with oregano, sage, dill, rosemary, thyme, and basil. Separately, I have 4 pots of mint, each one a different kind, I think it's grapefruit mint, chocolate mint, peppermint and pineapple mint.  I'm going to experi-mint...ha ha.  Finally, there are pomegranate, peach, lemon and lime trees.The lemon and lime are doing poorly.  I can't quite figure out what I'm doing wrong with these, but that's another post.

Sounds good so far; but the farm is FAR from complete. I have that 60' x 24' patch of weed that was once the lawn, which I am turning into the core of the farm. The plans are drawn up, now I just need to start. It all begins with water. I can't really have a farm without it. So we're back to the sprinklers; which, I believe I might actually have to pay someone to install. It just seems like it's too important a job for me to screw up (I'm sorry, use as a learning experience).

I read. I love to read. When I find something I love to do, I read about it. I go to the library and check out books, I find magazines, I spend hours perusing Amazon for the best reviewed books. I started reading and doing, more reading, more doing.  Pros and cons. Horror stories and success stories. I read them all. It started with just a few books and a few raised beds. Then a composter. And another bed. Then a worm bin. Then another composter.  Eventually, I found my way to The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. It's a good book. Funny. Clever. Well-written. They encourage getting backyard chickens.......

More tomorrow. :)

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