Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thinking It Through...

We would need to plan carefully. Taking stock of our resources, we realized that we had a lot going for us. Our fully fenced yard was capable of keeping out stray dogs. We had a wonderful mix of sun and shade allowing us to grow most any crop effectively. The back portion of our property was shrouded by the foliage of several maple trees. Each autumn, our yard was filled with a prodigious amount of leaves for enriching the soil. Our Victorian home was equipped with a generous two story carriage house for storage and there was a separate fenced area that had previously been utilized as a dog run. We had been saving seeds for years and we already had an ample supply for several gardens. Of course as a seed junkie, I would be ordering more from my favorite organic seed catalogs.

On the down side, we also had groundhogs the size of Volkswagens, raccoons, skunks, the occasional stray dog, several stray cats and far too many crows and starlings.

We talked about what we wanted to have: chickens, tilapia, organic gardens, an orchard component, a greenhouse, mealworms, redworm composting, traditional composting, etc…It was important that we not only grow food to sustain ourselves, but to do so in a responsible manner. We wanted to replenish the earth so that it could continue to nourish our plants. We wanted to leave our little piece of the planet in better condition than when we first found it.

There were also local laws and ordinances to ponder. Hens were allowed in our area, but roosters were not. This put an end to any thoughts of breeding rare heritage breeds of chickens. Ducks were also out, but quail were a possibility. Gardening was allowed, but a structure like a shed or greenhouse would need to be smaller than 12 feet x 12 feet or a permit would be required.

We had to consider the amount of time that we were willing to commit to this endeavor and more importantly…How much money could we afford to spend?

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