Friday, June 5, 2009

Tales of a Wannabe Farmer

I've been thinking a lot about Sharon's blog post yesterday. She was talking about the trials and tribulations of being the partner of someone who decides they want to be a farmer. In my case that would include also deciding to be a homeschooler as well. My poor husband would be in that category. The poor guy thought he married a nice sensible goal oriented nurse.

I think it started when we had The Little Man. All of a sudden I didn't really want to work anymore. I was adamant about nursing him exclusively and then making my own baby food. Necessity called and I still worked as a nurse per diem so that we were able to buy our own home. Then it got worse.

We had Pooh Bear and I never returned to work. Hubby is all for me staying at home and loves having me here to raise the kids. He just didn't realize what the side effects would be. After a very short stint in a pre-school/day care for the Little Man, I proposed homeschooling. It was something my mother (the school principal!) had been asking me to do for years. He said yes, thinking that I would get all excited about it, but not really follow through. That was 4 1/2 years ago. Homeschooling has been the best thing for our family and we haven't looked back since.

As for the wannabe farmer.... It started innocently enough. Growing up, we never had much money. My mother always had as large a garden as she could. When we moved into the house she had some extra tomato plants and threw some into a small area of my yard. That Christmas I couldn't stop talking about wanting a bigger garden and planting more things. Mom got me a book on veggie gardens that year for Christmas. Then I got Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

The garden started out as 4 small 4x4 squares with tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and sugar snap peas. The next year it doubled. Finally last year I made the jump to the 1000 sq ft garden. This may seem quite small to some, but in my small suburban yard it seems huge. The excess is canned and/or frozen up to use throughout the year. I'm also looking into forming some sort of root cellar to store produce. This would be used in conjunction with cold frames. But I digress....

If it were up to me, we would be living on several acres with chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, well, you get the picture. Hubby has been really great about my desire to be a farmer. He really enjoys what comes out of the garden and has become quite the proponent of what I'm doing. He just doesn't want to have to participate. For the most part he doesn't need to. Its just when I'm really desperate.

Thankfully (or not) I have great neighbors. J, that lives next door is a structural engineer with too much time on his hands these days. He helps me with many of my projects and is currently building a chicken tractor. We'll be getting chickens this year and splitting them between us. Since we share a yard its very easy. His wife is like my hubby. "Do anything you want as long as I don't have to help." They think we're nuts.

In the end, its all about being as self-sufficient and sustainable as I can. In these times of financial and global crisis, most people don't think I'm quite as nuts. In many cases I'm getting lots of questions about how I do it. It's easy, you just take it one step at a time.

1 comment:

Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

I have a great Hubba that puts up with all of my shenanigans too :D