Little House On The Prairie

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I have long had a minor obsession with historical fiction. But that is not the point of this post.

Another thing that I have always been eager to do is, well crap how do I explain this- saying I want to be self sufficient isn't right but that is the best description I can come up with now.

Basically I would love to be able to grow most of my own food. Growing up blessed with and Iowa farm boy grandpa we had that luxury- a giant garden in the back yard that supplied us and a lot of our neighbors with produce for the summer months. Want salad? go pick it. literally. He started planning that garden and Christmas and for a few years he gave me my own 'plot' to plant what I wanted and to be responsible for- I learned SOOOO MUCH. The part that I am sad about is he has passed and I could sure use his guidance now- remembering lessons from twenty years ago is hard!

We had cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, lettuce, plum tomatoes, regular tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, popcorn, watermelon, potatoes, onions, green beans, radishes, carrots, peas, beets, green peppers, strawberries, grapes, herbs, and that is just what I remember after 20 years!!

The downside to growing up this way is I love and expect fresh produce. The grocery store stuff does not come close- ever.

I also learned an appreciation for canning. Every early fall we would can tomatoes, make pickles (best pickles ever- when pregnant they haunt dreams frequently), make grape jelly, strawberry jelly, can beets, braid onions....all sorts of food. Which would be used through out the winter.

So again- this was great but also bad. I have expectations in food.

We also had a compost heap. Grass clippings, weeds...all of that got tossed on there and let to compost until the next spring when it was time to prepare the garden again. So today when my compost heap finally got built I was thrilled! and a little sad. It brought back memories of my grandpa.

So this year I got the compost heap. Maybe next year I'll start a small garden as an homage to my grandfather.

Some friends of mine have recently started raising chickens at their house in a nearby suburb. This is another long time wish of mine. Fresh eggs. Very fresh eggs- and later even fresh chicken. So I checked and my town does not allow backyard chickens- except for 4-H projects (somehow my kids will probably be involved in this- wonder why?) But I was also given a few interesting websites such as Back Yard Chickens to guide me if I decide to try and get that ordinance changed. I just do not know any sound arguments to make in favor of chickens in my yard- I'll give the city council breakfast?? Think they'd buy that one?

Another thing is goats or a cow. yeah I know living in suburbia- probably not going to get a cow or a goat in my yard right? But imagine fresh milk! Fresh cheese! Yumm!

So yah- I kind of wish I could live in a semi modernized version of Little House On the Prairie. I would underline it but I do not know how so italics will have to suffice. You know with plumbing.


feefifoto said...

I've had the same obsession going on in my brain lately. We compost kitchen scraps; we don't have enough sun to grow anything. But lately I've been itching to learn how to run a beehive. A beekeeper told me to pick up "Beekeeping for Dummies" (I'm not joking, and he wasn't either), and I'm very tempted. He said it was cheap and easy. Not sure I believe him, but I still want to find out.

By the way, not that you're interested, but my verification word is "chingly." No special meaning -- I just find verification words amusing.

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