Urban Farming?

I can’t help myself. I want bees. And chickens too. And a bigger garden area, perhaps with a brick paved walkway in the shape of a peace sign…

I know I can’t do it this year. I’m overwhelmed as it is with house projects, dog, horse and garden demands, and too many financial blows as one household thing after another breaks or wears out.

But I’m in collecting information mode. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve become a bit obsessed.

I want to turn my suburban setting into an urban farm. I’d like to apply to get into the Master Gardener Program at the U Of M. They have bee keeping classes there too.

I want to grow things, to nourish things, to learn about life — which I believe comes from taking care of other living beings — be those beings be bee, chicken, dog, tomato, or human.

I read blogs where chickens roost, such as Laughing Orca Ranch, where a variety of chickens and eggs exist. How can I resist? Even as I read of the issues of chicken health and aging. chicken poop, and chicken predators, I am drawn to the wonder of taking care of something that then provides me with an education and fresh eggs. I am drawn to something I haven’t done before.

(photo courtesy of Laughing Orca Ranch)

What could be more interesting than the dynamic, complex social structure of a bee hive? What could be more satisfying than farming for your own food and having nice fresh ingredients to cook with? What could be more scientifically fascinating than learning about the life and health of animals and plants and putting that knowledge into practice, experimenting as things inevitably don’t go as planned, doing more research, making adjustments and modifications… It’s utter heaven!

At least for me it is..

These things draw me closer to life. They ground me. They are hope (if you garden, you know about hope). They are healing. They are something to plan, envision, and dream about.

And perhaps too, they are something to write about, a new life chapter. Maybe.

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  1. *grin* I knew I recognized those chicks as soon as I began reading this post. Those chicks sure do grow up fast. But that just means they begin earning their keep that much sooner.
    Although, I have to admit I’m a softee for chickens even just for the pet quality they give back. One of my favorite past times is sitting in my chair with a cup of tea while watching my chickens peck, cluck and take dust baths. They carry me away to a more peaceful place. πŸ™‚

    Bees have also been something I’ve been interested in, but in our area there are many challenges due to our short growing season and climate. I know that bee keeping has a pretty steep learning curve. But what a fascinating and rewarding endeavor! I love honey and use it every day on my toast. πŸ™‚

    And I love your plans to create a “Peace” garden. Fill it with multi-colored groovy flowers, too. It will be even better if you have a deck or upstairs window to look down on it. Imagine that!

    Growing your own produce is so rewarding, I agree. We were already growing our own apples and peaches, but this summer our fruit trees didn’t produce because of the drought, late freeze and high winds.
    So growing my very first garden helped get my mind off of the lack of fruit this year. And it was such a thrill when this experimental garden actually produced for me and was quite generous, too.
    There is something so satisfying about growing your own veggies and knowing you can just walk outside to make your own salad or create dinner that night.

    You are inspiring me to plan for our garden next year. I want to expand the raised beds for sure.


  2. Yes – there is something so fascinating..so inspiring about bees and the simplicity/complexity of their lives. What a wonderful project!

  3. Don’t cha love the sweet lil bees…doin there work.
    We had over 200 chickens when I was growing up…all in this tiny yard. (you know the one : ) ) It was a full time job for the 4 of us to keep the weasels away, keep ’em fed and clean..etc. We loved our birds too…if you sat outside at least two or three of the hens would want to sit in your lap.
    I would be hard to have bees and chicks at the same time I think…but something to hope for in the years to come. I’m all for people having bees because so many hives have been wiped out by Hive Disorder (not sure what you call it, but it has wiped out so many bees that we had to pollinate our fruit trees ourselves…bzzzzzzzz : )

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