Sunday, January 8, 2012
Realization has set in that we're going to be in this rental for a while. Our house in Tennessee is still up for sale, but the market is such that we'll have to recoup what we've lost before we can get into another more permanent location. That means it will be a while before I have hens again, or get goats and sheep, or even a full-fledged garden. I do very much miss my farmette and all the activities I was involved in there: bees, chickens sustainable and organic gardening. I had a crawl space and a heated garage for storing food, and lots to forage from as well. And the solitude. Sometimes I just miss sitting outside where it's quiet or being able to not see another person for days.
While I'm heartbroken that I've left my hydrangeas, asparagus, and blueberries behind, the reality is that I've moved to Blueberry Central. All those other plants I've left behind can be easily replaced - if they would even survive here. Besides, I never did get a single fruit from those blueberries in Tennessee.
Honestly, we're pretty happy here in town. There's convenience galore, a large focus on local goods, a decent three-season farmer's market, and enough direct-from-farmer activity to keep me pretty satisfied. Most of this activity is even within a 30 mile radius from our current location - half the distance that I had to travel in Tennessee. Because of this great focus on quality and local goods, I've even wondered if it's necessary to start a new farmette. I can fulfill most of my wants locally - even goat milk should I so desire (and these people love their goat milk here!). Putting aside all government conspiracy theories and doubts, and assuming Monsanto doesn't take over the world, and that these farms can maintain, we should be able to continue our SLOW eating habits with a lot less physical work.
There's three big reasons for doing some of it myself - for being as self-sustaining as possible. For one, after the initial investment, maintaining can be cheaper than continuing to purchase many products. Secondly, because I'm doing the work I can be sure that my product meets my standards, without the blurring that government and corporate wordage and blinded officials. Lastly, there's the satisfaction of knowing that I'm capable of doing it on my own and that I'm not reliant on anyone else. I can make the choices of what I want to produce instead of being limited by the choices available at the grocery store or farmer's market. Besides, the physical act of being involved in the production of our own food links us to the thousands of generations before us, and there's something fulfilling about that.
So while I'm researching farmland that isn't drenched in or downwind of pesticides and fertilizer, I'll be growing a small potted garden here on my tiny porch. I'll be focusing on items that are hard to find or expensive to purchase: things like French sorrel, herbs, and artisan lettuces. Even though organic heirloom tomatoes are easy to find at the markets, I'll be growing some of my own because there's nothing like the flavor that comes right from the vine. I know that I won't be as self-sustaining as I desire, but I am curious how much I'll be able to supplement our diet out of a pot.This weekend I'll be making my list and ordering my seeds (I'm open to suggestions!). Even though it will be months before I'm ready to plant, I'm already imagining the taste of that first tomato of the season. I'm looking forward to being involved in my own food production again, as small as it may be.
Posted by Jennifer