Monday, July 25, 2011

What's happening on my Urban Homesteading

So here it is, almost the end of July and a lot has been happening on my little urban homestead. The weather finally warmed up and things finally started growing. Yeah! I was beginning to wonder if spring would ever arrive. But thinking back, I'm not sure it really did. We just went straight to summer!

My garden has had some hits and misses.  Here are a few pictures of the hits!

Yummy cuke!

Sweet peas almost ready!

Italian plums

My ever trusting furkid - Romeo, checking out the rhubarb!

Squash (don't remember what type though - lol)


First sunflower - about 9 ft tall

 I have also added a few more feathery bodies on the urban homestead!
Baby chicks, about 1 wk old

Their first home - a repurposed rabbit hutch
Yesterday I moved them to a different enclosure because they were getting too big for rabbit hutch.
Their new home, lot more room and dirt to play in!

Getting bigger!
So, what's happening in yer neck-of-the-woods??

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Time for Mourning on my little urban homestead

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven.
a time to be born and a time to die…
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…
[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 2, 4, 11

Last night my little Angel sprouted her wings and flew away. She came into our family in 1997 as a young kitten when my daughter received her from a friend. After Laura went to college, she stayed with me as I moved on in my life. She has been a faithful furkid for the past 14 years. Remaining sassy to the very end, she had no trouble telling the other furkids who was boss. I have many sweet memories of her and know that she helped me through a very difficult time in my life. Her love was unwavering and she always seemed to know when I needed a hug. So it was last night as I sat and rocked her and held her in my arms as we had done many times before, that she let out a sigh and she was gone. Rest in peace my little one. You will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pictures around the urban homestead

Just a few pictures of what's happening on my little urban homestead.

Spring just recently arrived, so I'm just getting started, but it should be warming up soon and then things will really start growing fast. Hopefully I'll have plenty to put in jars and share with family and friends!  So, how's it going at your place?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring has arrived to my little Urban Homestead

I think I can finally say spring has arrived to my little urban homestead. There is still a little snow up on Shaeffer Butte, but we have finally left the 30's behind and now have days in the 70's. Yeah!! Considering the first day of summer is only about a month away, it is probably a really good time to move the season's along.

All this means I finally got to plant my garden! I now have my tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squashes, corn, pole beans, sweet peas, radishes, carrots, beets, spinach, Swiss chard, and onions planted. My peach, apricot, and plum trees are loaded with fruit. The strawberries are also loaded with blossoms. The grapes are coming along really nice as well with lots of little fruit clusters. I just have a few more things to plant like the pumpkins and herbs but I got chased in by a thunderstorm and rain, so I'll try to get them planted in the morning.

It is a great feeling of accomplishment to have the seeds and plants in the ground, the trellises in place, and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin as I work in the garden. It is hard to explain to others how playing in the dirt can be so rewarding. There is just something about burying that little tiny seed in the dirt and then watch it sprout and grow and finally end up on my dinner plate.

Ah, yes, life is good on my little urban homestead. So, how's life treating you?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gambling with Mother Nature on my little Urban Homestead

Ah, life on the little urban homestead can certainly be a gamble sometimes. One of the biggest gambles is the weather! I have been looking for someone with a direct link to Mother Nature, but so far, they have eluded me. The calendar says it is May 16th but evidently sweet Mother Nature did not get that memo because snow was falling in the Treasure Valley this morning! Now all I got was the 30-something degree chills and rain, thank goodness, (might have slept through the snow here), while the surrounding mountains all received a fresh layer of snow and, yes they look really pretty, but still it's the middle of May! I want to plant a garden! I want to play in the dry, warm dirt!

Okay, so there is the local folklore about watching Shaeffer Butte to know when the cold weather is finished. Well, today proved the old timers right. There is still snow up there and now there is more. Ya see, Shaeffer Butte is the tallest point in the mountain range surrounding the Treasure Valley. This includes the Boise area and the surrounding towns and farmlands heading west toward Oregon. Any old timer who has been gardening around here will tell you to watch that Butte, as long as there is snow up there, we can get frost down here. Thank goodness I didn't put out my tomatoes or cukes yesterday. Hopefully this little tease of winter is passing through quickly though, please.

In the mean time, if anyone knows who is handling Mother Nature's Urban Homesteading weather controls, please let me know. I would really like to talk to them. Here we are just about a month away from summer and we still haven't had spring yet. Just not right….

Monday, February 21, 2011

Urban Homesteading - A Lifestyle

I an an urban homesteader. My little piece of earth is slowly but gradually being converted from a city lot to a productive urban homestead. There are a few fruit trees that are still young but hopefully will provide a few more fruit this year, (and weather cooperating). Last season saw lots of tomatoes, rhubarb, and sunflowers. The late cold weather last year and my school and work schedule made it more challenging to do all I wanted but that is what is really great about this lifestyle. There are no hard and fast rules. An individual can do what they want as they want and still be a part of it. They live everywhere. Some may only have a few potted plants, share space at a community garden, or convert their yard to a garden. To say that one is an urban homesteader only if they do everything on a checkoff list is denying the existence of many who, due to no fault of their own, are limited in what they are doing. I am only one working here, where others may have a larger group working on their little piece of earth, be it family members and/or volunteers. They may also have the advantage of being able to do it fulltime. That is not my current situation. I am a fulltime student at a local university. I also have to work outside the home. But I can do what I can and as I can.

I grew up a farmer's daughter and learned much from my parents and grandparents. I never lost that desire to play in the dirt and have animals around. While my children were young, I continued to do what I could with gardening and raising a variety of farm animals such as chickens, goats, and rabbits. I have learned so much from so many people through various magazines, books, blogs, and visiting with other urban homesteaders. My grandparents could even be considered early urban homesteaders when they moved from the Ozarks to a small rural town in Idaho. They didn't have any animals but they converted the majority of their property to a huge garden and that was in the 1960s! 

I would love to have a small farm outside the city, but it will have to wait. But that doesn't mean my dream has to.So grass has been replaced with garden and hopefully this spring a few chickens will join the cats and dog I currently have. I also have an empty rabbit hutch that might become the new residence for a pair of rabbits.

I am not able to do everything I want to due to physical limitations and zoning regulations, but that does not make me any less an urban homesteader. I do what I can and I know there are many others out there just like me.

I am an urban homesteader living on my little urban homestead and I am proud to be a part of a loving, caring, giving community that shares the same values and goals as mine. May God richly bless all urban homesteaders.