Saturday, April 11, 2009
There is Much to Learn
I am reading Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". Early on she talks about how the school year was set up to run from fall to late spring in order to make sure children weren't in school when the crops came in. The people who set this schedule up knew things I don't. They knew when the last frost arrives, when the first one will come in the fall. They knew what plants can go in the ground before that last frost, and which ones will keep over the winter. They knew what you needed to can or preserve. There are still people out there who know the rules of Mother Nature. I am not one one of them, at least not in the truest sense.
In my attempt to expand my own sense of living differently by creating my urban farm, what I've come to realize is that my agrarian gene is gone. I have no idea when the last frost comes, or what plants can go in the ground before that last frost. It isn't enough to build a place for the chickens and till the land for planting, there is studying I now need to do in order to be a successful urban farmer. I have to read The Farmer's Almanac and consult with experts in the field of growing food. I've only done one small garden since moving to the Pacific Northwest. It went in late, but had what I would consider to be an above average yield. This year, there are way too many variables to consider. I am planting so many things. There are 37 different fruits and vegetables going in the dark, verdant, beautiful smelling ORGANIC soil. If I just do thing all willy nilly I won't reach my goal of a killer harvest. If what I've read is correct, my partner and I will be begging people to take some of our harvest. The plot of land we tilled should give us more than enough to sustain us.
This move is a process, and everyday I find out just how much I don't know. Good thing I am not afraid to ask for help and get the information I need to be successful. I am very much enjoying this journey to a more self sustained existence.