Saturday, October 2, 2010

Post Mortem

Fall has arrived and the chilly wind is giving us all new hairdos every minute or so.

I didn't post much in the summer because I was in the midst of doing so many things. Now that the fall garden is (mostly) planted I can take some time to reflect on the Summer's projects.

Five little chicks accompanied me home from the feed store back in March. At the time I thought perhaps I needed my head examined. I already had a house full of rescued cats, how on earth was I going to care for even more critters? They lived in a dog crate in my back bedroom for the first 6 weeks as I got used to the routine of feeding and watering. Then I took a weekend and built a chicken tractor for them. It probably would have only taken a day if I'd known what I was doing. But it got built and the girls moved in. They spent the summer happily eating grass and bugs and fertilizing my back yard.

Six raised beds became 7 as I scavenged some 2 X 12s from an old shed. I planted green chilis, jalapenos, cucumbers, sunflowers, green beans and a few more herbs. I dug up some more of the yard and planted corn and sorghum. I also got carried away with the tomatoes. I started some seeds, then the home improvement center put their Romas on sale for HALF PRICE. So I came home with more. By the time midsummer hit I had 50 tomato plants growing out back. I anticipated lots of happy jars of spaghetti sauce on my pantry shelves. But it was not to be. This was not a good garden year. Cucumbers did very poorly, tomatoes not much better. I didn't get a single green bean until September. But the jalapenos did well and so did the cantaloupes. The other veggies limped along. Eventually I had enough extra produce to start taking CSA subscribers.

My financial aid at the college got SNAFUed so I got a booth at the Farmer's Market and every week I baked artisan breads and lovely sweets. I brought my organic veggies. I enjoyed the face time with customers very much. I am definitely doing it again next Summer.

In July my favorite Hatchery sent me an email "White Plymouth Rocks are half price!"

Oh, that half price again. I just couldn't help myself. I drove to the Post Office three days later to collect my box of 25 fuzzy yellow peeps. These would not have names. These are for eating. We built a simpler enclosure for them, just some fencing and some places to roost. They graduated to a covered pen last month. As I write 5 of the roos are in isolation awaiting their date with destiny tomorrow.

The garden produced, the laying hens began to lay and I made the Dean's List at SEMO State. I still have my faithful CSA subscribers. Every week I deliver fresh bread, herbs and produce to their offices. I love the direct contact with customers. I love planning what goodies will go in their boxes. I'll be adding more shares for the Fall CSA and even more when we start up again in the Spring. Here's a link Mamas Garden.

Some of the Summer's projects turned out well, some didn't. I learned a lot and I gained some confidence.

So what's next? There's plenty in the ground right now; broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, beets, radishes, spinach and three kinds of lettuces. I'll be planting potatoes next week. I expect I'll be installing row covers soon if the nights continue to stay so cool. My big dream for this winter...

wait for it...

Growing Power Urban Farmer Training Workshop Series I want to take these workshops soooo badly. Say a prayer for me that it all works out.

Thanks for the encouragement y'all have shared with me this year. I don't think I could have made this leap into Urban Agriculture without it. Check back soon, I have other exciting projects that I don't dare share just yet. I'll keep you posted.