Sustainable Urban Farming: Everything Old Is New Again

| 2/16/2010 1:55:10 PM

Tags: Chickens, Urban homesteading, Gardening,

A photo of Vickie Morgan“Everything old is new again.” That’s what the plaque my daughter gave me for Christmas read. She thought it fit me perfectly.

In order to live the sustainable life that I strive for, I’ve been finding out that everything old is new again, and it has been helping people lead a more enriching life. It is leading to people back to the land and to trying to be homesteaders again.

Everything Old Is New Again plaque

Not everyone can live in the country though and achieve homesteading to that degree. Some of us cannot afford to make the move or some of us just love living in the city. Believe it or not it’s not all bad living in the city. We love our neighbors, and the convenience just can’t be beat. That’s where the term urban homesteaders come in, which basically means that we are city dwellers who try to do as much for ourselves as possible in order to live a more sustainable life.

How to achieve this though, if you live on just a half acre like we do or an even a small city lot? A garden is a great way to start. It’s amazing how much you can grow on a small plot of land. In order to get as much from my garden as possible, I plant my seeds a lot closer than recommended, and I grow vertically as much as possible. I use techniques such as bean teepees and growing pole beans in the corn. We’ve recently expanded our garden space and this year we will be using even more of our backyard, putting it to good use growing food.

Of course, after the harvest you will need to know how to preserve the food by canning, freezing or drying. If you don’t know how to can, you can usually find a canning course at your local extension service or even at the library. Just imagine going to your pantry in January and eating green beans from your garden that you harvested in August. The taste is superior and you know where they came from and just how they were grown.

5/7/2010 11:32:49 AM

Hi shannon, So excited. Can't wait to have chickens- I would say any climbing bean should work- you might want to give the corn a little headstart though -they will kind of choke them a little. Are you already planting beans -oh I am a little jealous. We planted some potatoes last week and onions - usually we don't get that chance- We are scheduled for a frost Saturday and Sunday and we could get a little snow Sunday night. vickie

s.m.r. saia
5/7/2010 10:29:17 AM

Vickie that is AWESOME!!!! You should be so proud of yourself. I can't wait to see the photos of your chickens!!!! Question - can you grow any climing bean up corn stalks????

2/20/2010 7:36:41 PM

Oz Girl, It sounds positive so far- I hope it continues that way! vickie

oz girl
2/20/2010 3:49:41 PM

Congrats Vickie, it sounds like the city council meetings are headed in a good direction... surely they will end up approving chickens in the city! And that's pretty heady stuff to see your name on the front page of the Flint Journal, I'm sure. :-)

2/19/2010 5:00:47 PM

Hi Karen Anne, My other blogs took too much time-so now I just blog for Grit here and there. I'm glad you stopped by. vickie

2/19/2010 7:06:12 AM

Hi, Vickie, I am so glad to see this blog post. I have been worried ever since your blogs disappeared poof like that. Did you move them, or decide they were taking up to much time? Anyway, so glad you are okay.

mountain woman
2/18/2010 12:08:56 PM

Vickie, yes, I will let you know.

2/18/2010 7:05:36 AM

Mountain Woman, Thank you for your comments - I love farmers markets too. I hope your friend has success with her getting her chickens-can you let me know when she does? vickie

mountain woman
2/18/2010 6:05:59 AM

Vickie, I loved this entry. Country life isn't for everyone that's for sure and there are people (like my son) who love his urban lifestyle but your suggestions on how to lead a more sustainable life are fantastic. When I was in the city, I did go to the farmer's markets each weekend and what a joy that was, everything from straw baskets to soaps to cheeses and veggies. One of my friends is also trying to raise chickens in an area where it is not allowed and she's pursuing it with the town officials. I'm going to share your post with her. Can't wait to read more about your chickens and what the final outcome is.

2/17/2010 1:15:22 PM

Paul, Thanks - it's good to know someone else that has done this before. I've learned a lot in this process that's for sure. vickie

paul gardener
2/17/2010 12:20:04 PM

Best of luck to you Vickie! I went through the same process in my town a few years ago before we got our Chickens. I spoke at the city council meetings, and have been an urban chicken advocate since. From the comments on the article you referenced, you may have a long haul ahead of you. Stay the course and good luck! Paul~

2/17/2010 9:17:36 AM

Cindy, I agree it seems that over the years we improved our way of living a lot -only to find out that we had gotten rid of some of the best of the old ways! I love that your making a rain barrel -hope that will be a post! That shelving unit is a good idea too -you should see my porch! vickie

cindy murphy
2/17/2010 8:48:01 AM

Hurray for you, Vickie! How's it feel to be front page news? And the Sunday edition no less! I love the "everything old is new again" philosophy - from my teenage daughter raiding tubs of my old 80's clothing to achieve the "new retro" look (an oxymoron if I ever heard one...and though I wonder why I saved that stuff, it seems a good thing I did), to the idea that store-bought isn't necessarily better than homemade. A coupld of my 'everything old is new again' project plans during the next month include making rain barrels, and turning gobs of wooden drawers from the discarded dressers that I picked up on the side of the road into a much needed shelving unit for our mudroom - the heap of boots, gloves, and mittens just inside the door is driving me nuts this winter.

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