How Get Out of Our Yard Became Come Buy Our Herbs

| 8/27/2010 10:45:38 AM

Tags: Raising Chickens, Self-Sufficiency, Urban Farming,

Big Myrtle and FriendsAround our house, it is considered a well established fact that the best ideas are all implemented with little forthought during the cognitive stage best known as “half-baked” or “cockamamie”. Just a few short years ago, we were living the quiet lives of apartment-dwelling, opinionated liberal arts baccaulareates, with no dirt under our fingernails, and no real prospect of ever having any. We were hard working slackers, if you can juxtapose those identities; we certainly mastered that art – overworked at our day jobs, underemployed at the home vocation of personal environment building.

However, we have discovered an all important truth since that time, and it is this: one thing tends to lead to another. Which is how we ended up metamorphising from couch potatoes to chicken-raising, herbalist, fruit-growing, future tilapia farmers.

When we finally purchased a house, it was everything we thought we wanted. Only 900 square feet, it sits on a half-acre lot. There are much bigger houses, and there are much bigger lots, but in our price range, there were not many houses or lots which even came close. At the time we moved in, you could barely tell there was a building on the lot, as it was entirely surrounded by thickly overgrown yaupon holly scrub, matted heavily with thorny vines and poison ivy.

We loved the privacy.

At least, we loved it until we realized that people were traipsing through our backyard like it was the Road to Perdition. We could not see the clusters of total strangers standing not more than thirty feet from our back door, and since our little patch of heaven had a long history as a “party hangout” for the row of fraternity and sorrority houses a block away, there was plenty of cultural memory in the community of our back yard being a public stomping ground.

Clearly, privacy would have to play a secondary role to security. Out came the clippers and saws. Down came several stands of yaupon.

s.m.r. saia
10/8/2010 6:49:00 AM

Wow, I loved this story, and your sense of humor. "Solar textile dehydration unit" cracked me up. :0) I can't wait to read more!

chuck mallory
8/30/2010 9:11:23 PM

Great blog! Don't downplay your "starter" status. You are already ahead of the many people who wish they could be making the same discoveries, and well ahead of those who will be required to live this way someday. When you said, "It is most likely too late to prevent global warming, for example, but it is just the right time to prepare for it," I couldn't agree more! Good luck in your journey and I will keep reading.

8/28/2010 5:16:31 AM

Mark, Love it-one thing just leads to another! A lot of work too. Have a great day and I can't wait to hear more. vickie

cindy murphy
8/27/2010 9:17:07 PM

Welcome to Grit, Mark. A wonderful post - equally entertaining as it is inspiring. Looking forward to reading more. Cindy ~ A Lakeside View

nebraska dave
8/27/2010 5:01:00 PM

@Mark, I could actually see you hacking away at the vines protecting the Road to Perdition. It sounds like you have had quite an education in how to bring an overgrown out of control yard back into civilization. I for one look forward to hearing more about the transition you going through. I have a side yard in a similar condition. However, I have big plans that haven’t quite come to fruition just yet. There always seem to be a project that needs completing before beginning on that one. Well, then there is the fact that when working on other people’s projects, it’s hard to get mine completed. I’m a hopeless case for helping others first with my projects on the bottom of the list. I did get one big project done this year. My Automated gravity feed garden watering system came online just a couple weeks ago. I will be posting the final post about it soon. It’s been quite a learning curve to figure out how to water with gravity only. I’ve discovered that when pressure is absent volume is needed. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story about the move from quiet lives of apartment-dwelling, opinionated liberal arts baccaulareates, with no dirt under our fingernails, and no real prospect of ever having any to yaupon hacking, grape and berry growing, urban backyard farmers. Have a great day in your renovated urban backyard garden-pond farm.

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