Monday, February 23, 2009

Urban Homestead

Here’s the update on vegetable growing. I think I’m going to do a modified version of “square foot gardening.” I measured the sunny part of my backyard and I think I can make 7 or 8 beds that are 4 feet wide and a little less than 20 feet long (walkways in between about 2 feet wide). Then in the back of my driveway I have an 8 ft x 8ft raised bed (in the shape of a parallelogram—best way to maximize space and still be able to open my garage door) with a cinderblock walkway down the middle, a 4x8 bed and an irregular shaped bed roughly a full railroad tie and a half by a half of a railroad tie, then there are the hundreds of pots I’ve picked up from the side of the road in the neighborhood.

In due season, I’m going to try to plant the following this year –planning on planting from tallest to shortest unless somebody knows if any of these plants love or hate each other (I’m doing a little of each at a time so that, with any luck, I’ll have a staggered harvest and will eat fresh and do less preserving):
Tomato (found what is supposedly native La. Heriloom variety, though I didn’t know any tomatoes was native to La.)
Okra (Native heirloom)
All kinds of herbs (the wife handles that)
Blueberries (in the front yard as a border shrub)
Figs (in a couple other little sunny pockets)
Bell Peppers
Mustard Greens
Collard Greens
Pumpkin (in the front—people will think they are just decorative!)
Carrots (that’s the mysterious border grass along my sidewalk!)

In other news, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has a couple of great articles, my favorite is about a man in Pasadena and his three adult children who raise 6,000 pounds of food per year on a lot slightly smaller than mine and in California.
Speaking of Mother Earth, there was an article last month about population control that set some people off—though most apparently agreed. I wish someone would have pointed out that population growth is a problem in some areas, but we have the opposite in other areas. Of course, my take is that there are moral and immoral means to the desired end.

Oh, and Mother Earth is my 32 month old’s favorite magazine. When I pull it out he comes running to look at the pictures. When I sit down with another book he grabs a back issue and hops in my lap. He calls it his “Fwower [flower] book”


c said...

Here are some more good heirloom seed sorces.
May God bless your garden!
btw- do you have any plans for tithing out of the produce of this garden? Phillip and I had brainstormed on this idea quite a bit. Reading though the old law made me think of it. I'd love to hear any modern ideas you have come up with.

Marsh Arab said...

Tithing from the garden - interesting thought C. Perhaps one could bring his/her first fruits down to the local homeless shelter (Abraham's Tent, I think). I'm sure they would take fresh produce.

Civis said...

Since y'all are getting biblical and Old Testament....I was reading this moring in Leviticus (I think it was Ch. 19:19) and a cross reference to Deuteronomy (chaper 11?) anyway, it said not to sow two types of seed in the same field and not to breed two species of animals. Is this about genetic engineering or just something symbolic? There was also a command no to eat fruit from a tree until the fifth year after planting and said it would increase the harvest. Propogation advice or a blessing for obeying?

c said...

I've often wondered the same thing about the levitical laws...maybe some of both?
Phillip and I came up with a couple of different ways of honoring God from the garden. I'd love to hear any others. One was to give to soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Another was to find a local family in need and share with them...maybe a single mom. And the last was to make a large meal with the produce and invite friends, letting them know that its a party to thank God for his blessings...kind of like a fall festival. I was really excited to see that pattern of honoring God in the Old Law. On a slightly differnet note, I one heard of a family praying over their garden once it was sown, for God's blessing on it. Thought it was a wonderful idea too.