Update: What is going on over here?

It has been just over two and a half years since we made the leap from city to country, moving from our urban life with homesteading hopes, to the rural spread where we can fulfill our dreams. The first thing we did, was have a baby, and since then we have been trying to "homestead" and grow our own food. Here is a quick summary of a few of the homesteading-esque types things we are doing...

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Ode to the Broad Bean

The magic of the broad bean is something new to me. I had first learned about broad beans a couple of years ago, while living in Grande Prairie and obsessively watching gardening shows, when I stumbled upon a BBC show called The Edible Garden, with Alys Fowler (that you can/should watch here.) In the episode, she grows some broad beans and makes some yummy falafels with them. Neat. So when I was browsing my seed catalog for my first garden here at Ferngully, I obviously had to order some.

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Growing Our Food - Part 3 - Hope for the Hopeless

We continue to toil away in the garden hoping to grow our as much food as we can to fill our plates and our cupboards. It was only a few weeks ago when I seriously thought all was lost in my poor city garden, as it genuinely looked like nothing would grow, then July came around and the garden started filling out as quickly as my pregnant belly. I mean it was only in June when the garden looked like it would be an absolute fail due to my poor soil quality and late starts on my seedlings, but somehow the gardening gods were smiling down on me and now the garden appears to be thriving. Sure, it isn't perfect, but we might just get a few dinners out of it and that is better than what I thought only a short while ago.

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How Plans Can Change

Try as I might to plan everything that will grow in my garden this summer, plans can change.

My winter plans were filled with sheer optimism. I had read books about gardening all winter, I ordered my seeds in February so I could start my seedlings in March, and I had my list ready for all the soil amendments I needed to add to the front garden beds so that I could have the biggest bounty of garden goodies this year. I was so excited to put these plans in to action and watch my garden grow. Now, I was prepared for some things to go wrong, and I knew I might have to reseed a few things, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for a small bump (literally) in plans at the beginning of the gardening season. And that sounds a bit misleading, so I better hurry up and get the point.

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What I Love About Urban Farming & Urban Homesteading

Life these days is pretty easy. Essentially everything we have was made to provide a sort of convenience for us. Marketers needed something to do and they figured it out; they created a "need" and we bought in. This is nothing new. But I certainly think we all forget how good we have it when we can drive to the grocery store in a car to pick up food, we didn't grow, and then to go home, to a house we didn't build, that is heated by fuel we didn't have to collect. Life is good. Cars and grocery stores were created to make our lives easier and more convenient. Especially for the masses living in urban centers. Since so much of what we do and have was created to make our lives more comfortable I am wondering if it has made us any happier. I know it is hard to tell, given that we haven't had to live a life without modern conveniences, but do you think it has made us any happier?

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Growing Our Food - Part 2: Spring is Nigh

On our afternoon walk today, I noticed something strange, something you usually don't see this time if year in our Northern part of the country... grass. Yes, it was grass! I know my friends on the Eastern part of the country will be cursing me with their arctic temperatures and never-ending snowfall, but over here things are heating up. There was actually a warm-ish wind. I wasn't even wearing mittens. And suddenly it dawned on me, that Spring is right around the corner.

Now, any local would tell me I am nuts and the minus thirties will be back before I know it, but I think Spring is only a few weeks away. And that means it is time to get a few things started for the ol' summer garden. Last year, I was frantically trying to locate a few items for free (of course) off of Kijiji at the last minute, and this year I will not be caught off guard. Seeds have been ordered, so I can cross that off the list, but there is still a lot more to do.

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