I’ve put off writing this hoping that I would have a real answer but that’s taking too long so I’m spilling the beans now. We’ve made it past the first hurdle and have a negotiator assigned so I’m hoping the offer we made on 10 acres goes through. What that means is we are getting ready to put our house on the market (as if I don’t have enough going on right now!) SO if anyone is truly interested in a fairly dialed in urban farm in an off the beaten neighborhood please let me know.
Some years ago, while living in a tricked out Greenlake house with 3 toilets (two of which were in the same bathroom the size of a bedroom) we watched a documentary on the Lost Boys from Africa. It moved us deeply watching them progress from boys coming to America who wanted nothing more than to attend school and live peaceably to boys who were lured by the dream of commercialism and material goods. In the end many of the boys the crew followed dropped out of school to get jobs in order to buy cars and clothes and toys. We decided to sell our crazy house and buy one with a smaller footprint, not to fill it with things but instead to do more with less.
We insulated the walls and attic, replaced the old single pane windows (which had been painted shut so many times they would not pry open), replaced the old oil furnace and all the other appliances (some of which were from the ’40′s), took the bathroom down to the studs, finished the basement and made cosmetic improvements. Then when that was done we set about turning the overgrown canopy of ivy and legacy shrubbery into an edible oasis. Our little 1/5 of an acre now sports 22 fruits and nut trees, a chicken forage bed, and intensive orchard, extensive raised vegetable beds with drip irrigation on a timer, in-ground compost cans, and a chicken run and coop.
There is also a large grass playfield, fort with sandbox for kids and a cedar shed. If the fort were removed there would be room for mini dairy goats, honeybees and there is room in the chicken run for a rabbit setup.
End house sell here…
In other news we are moving on to final edits on the book this week so I’ll probably be hiding again until 4/15. I’ll try to post but it’s been really hard convincing myself to write blog posts this winter while forcing myself to meet this aggressive book deadline too.
In the meantime I’ll leave you with the planting schedule I would be following if I knew we were going to be here all summer. This year I had intended to plant by the moon phases so these dates follow that line of thought:
Beans 4/15 – 4/17; 7/1 – 7/14
Beets 3/20 – 4/2; 8/15 – 8/27
Broccoli 3/7-3/19; 8/1 – 8/13 (start indoors)
Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage 3/7 – 3/19; 4/3 – 4/15 (start indoors)
Cauliflower 3/7 – 3/19; 7/30- 8/7 (start indoors)
Carrots 3/20 – 3/31; 7/15 – 7/29
Collards 3/7 – 3/19; 4/3 – 4/7
Corn, early varieties 4/3 – 4/17; 7/7 – 7/14
Cucumbers, Melons 4/7 – 4/17;5/2 – 5/15
Eggplant (minis) 4/7 – 4/17; 5/2-5/15 (start indoors, plant out under tunnel with tomatoes and basil)
Kale 3/7 – 3/19; 4/3 – 4/7; 8/28 – 8/31
Lettuce 3/4 – 3/19
Peas 3/7 – 3-19; 8/7 – 8/13; 8/28-8/31
Pumpkins 5/2 – 5/15
Spinach 3/15 – 3/19; 4/3 – 4/17; 3/1 – 8/13; 8/28 – 9/12
Squash 4/15 – 4/17
Chard 3/15 – 3/19; 4/3 – 4/15
Tomatoes 4/7 – 4/17 (started indoors in January, would plant out under tunnel at this time)
Watermelon, early varieties 4/15 – 4/17; 5/2 – 5/7 (under tunnel with melons)
The farmer’s almanac is predicting 3/10 as the last frost date for us, with some rain/snow next week and overall a drier and warmer March and April but a MUCH cooler May than normal so use your best judgment when planting things out. Using frost-protective Reemay or milk jug cloches will get you a few more degrees and the Reemay will help prevent your seeds from washing away in April showers. Just be sure everything is anchored down because April tends to be blustery! Happy gardening!