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Wednesday, May 7, 2008



you can find it here

http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2008/01/06/100-foot-diet-challenge-launch/#comment-10168

surfing over lunch, i came across this. as the move to the 'new' house was as much for e-footprint sized reasons as any other, i've been plotting and scheming ways to make my little town lot into a little eden. not easy, as the town has innumerable bylaws that seem to be there for the sole purpose of preventing anyone from doing anything sensible.... such as, no chickens (only as many annoying yappy little dogs as you can stuff in your abode, and which use every yard but their own as a dumping zone) no clotheslines (considered an eyesore, but littering one's yard with bigger than life, badly painted plywood cutouts of cartoon characters appears to be encouraged. dead and decomposing automobiles also are in vogue)

so, i'm making it official. as much as is possible, landscaping efforts will be edible. berry shrubs and hardy apple trees will form the much needed privacy hedge, and the first of the raised vegetable beds are even now awaiting the soil that will feed the little green babies in the south porch nursery. the basil is doing very nicely, and the tomatoes, after a slow start, seem to be in a hurry to catch up. the lettuce seedlings are already showing signs of their future glorious mix of colors, and the scarlet runner beans are on tiptoe, straining to kiss the full spectrum light tubes above them.

with a growing season of something less than 90 days, i know better than to think i can produce fresh food all year, but i enjoy a challenge. even the 100 mile diet might be wishful thinking at present, but we'll start with what we have. there's a root cellar taking shape somewhere in my left frontal lobe, or wherever these things are born, and the pressure canner and deep freeze are already in residence. a good friend raises bees.

i've also approached the publisher of the local newspaper with the idea of a column on the topic. he's discussing it with his editor. maybe if the research is done for them, those things that ARE accessible will get the appreciation and market share they deserve.

a record of my efforts will be here, @ grannygardens.

3 comments:

susan said...

I think it's a wonderful idea. Is there any chance of setting up a community greenhouse or doing hydroponic growing? I don't know much about gardening but I do understand it's impossible when the garden is under ten feet of snow. Do you get that much?

lindsaylobe said...

I agree with Susan

You could also consider the idea of starting a community blog? with a reference to it with the newspaper column

In that way you could expand the content to aspects of more general sustainable living and employment opportunities / advocacy for small business, heritage, neighborhood house co coordinators, volunteers and indeed anyone who shares a common community and environmental concern.

You might even be able to enlist a sponsor.

Best wishes

gfid said...

susan - i'm working on getting a greenhouse of my own. they're great for extending the season - in fact almost essential for getting a ripe tomato before the frost kills everything. i left a wonderful greenhouse behind at the former residence, all made of recycled windows, 10 X 12 feet, with raised beds, barrels for storing and warming water, and an insulated north wall. . i was famous in the neighborhood for my tomatoes. one year my tomato vines were 16 feet long.... they went up to the roof and came halfway back down again before the severe cold came. but without impractically huge expenditures of heat, a greenhouse just isn't sensible year round here. in the sub zero temps we get during winter. - 40C is no surprise, though mostly things are between -15 and -25 the financial and environmental cost of heating it would defeat the purpose..... but i do have a small, heated, sunny, south facing porch that might produce some lettuce and the odd tomato in the winter, with help from full spectrum lights. and sprouts are delicious, especially in winter.

10 feet of snow is not our norm, but it does happen often enough that we're prepared to deal with it when we do get it.

thanks for your encouragement.

lindsay - the community blog is a brilliant idea!! and maybe i could get people to make entries for some of our elderly folk who are gifted gardeners, but not conversant with the whole blog thing. i'd thought of having a blog link, where columns could be stored, and book reviews, and northern gardening tips... beginning to sound like a website, isn't it? and the small business/heritage idea, as well as zone specific plant varieties and cultivation tips had occurred to me as well. we could have a northern equivalent of the Path To Freedom site. (which is in California)

and the sponsor idea is also brilliant.... that would eliminate the problem of being preempted for something more profitable, but less conducive to community building, which is an ongoing and common problem with columns contributed by the community. i even have one or two friends who run businesses who might be persuaded to contribute to such a thing.... a realtor and a small retail outlet come immediately to mind. we also have a local farmer's market that's pretty pathetic, really... something like this might help revitalize it.