A gal from Brooklyn doing the urban farming thing? Why not? I’m learning as I go.
But first, a bit of history . . .
Growing up, my mom raised a few tomato plants in our backyard in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I loved those hours digging in the dirt with her, and remember her company more than anything we actually produced.
Now I’m married and have a lovely wife and two small kids — and an enormous backyard (over 100o square feet), which contains a Japanese plum tree, two varieties of apples (I have no idea what they are), a struggling peach tree, a pineapple guava, and two orange trees.
Since we moved into the house in 2008, I have been growing vegetables in the back. This year, for the first time, we grew year-round. My goal for 2010 is to grow at least 85% of the produce we eat. (The 15% balance is room for vegetables I don’t have the room or tolerance to grow — onions, squash, etc).
Along with the fresh produce, I can jam, pickles, marmalade, relish, etc. This year, I plan to can tomatoes in various forms, as well (whole and sauce).
Last, but certainly not least, we now have 5 chickens (6 or 7 weeks old): 2 Aracaunas, and 3 black ones that are supposed to be 2 Australorps and 1 Black Sex-link (Black Star), but are turning out to be harder to classify than I thought. So eggs should be forthcoming sometime around August.
Of course, the food production is only one part of the whole idea. Health, self-sufficiency, becoming better stewards of the land we live on, creating more efficient cycles of land and water usage, teaching our kids invaluable lessons about the natural world . . . these are the real treasures of the experience.