Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Rhode Island Roost
Our family is entering into a new adventure - urban chickens. We have a rather small backyard. Even when our children were small, it seemed like there wasn't enough room to do much. In a lot of ways, it was wasted space. We have spent many years revamping it to adapt to our family's lifestyle. Several years ago, I (with my husband's help) dug up a fairly large portion of the grass and we put in raised garden beds. At first they were filled with flowers. It was beautiful. Over the last few years we have been tearing up even more of the grass and putting in more garden beds. Now; however, those beds are filled with vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables. We have even tried a few "new" veggies - last year it was eggplant and this year it is soybeans. We liked the eggplant - but not enough to grow it again. We had a huge crop and couldn't use it all.
There is so much information in the media today about where our food comes from, how unsustainable it is, the cruelty to our land and to animals. I feel compelled to be more in charge of my food supply. I want to know what I am putting in my body. I want to feel more self-sufficient and not rely on outside sources whenever possible. I want to support the local economy as often as possible. All of these reasons have led to the expansion of our backyard urban "farm". Our goal is to eventually have no grass, only paths for tending and harvesting. The rest will be filled with growing beds for our vegetables and berries.
The new addition this year is chickens! I am so excited. My husband and son-in-law have been working over the last week - dodging rain storms to complete the coop. It is almost done. And then my girls and I want to paint it up fun. I have dubbed it the "Rhode Island Roost". (named after one of the breeds we are getting - Rhode Island Reds). We should have chickens by the end of the week. I get giddy just thinking about the fresh eggs, the bug control, the fertilizer and of course, just watching them.
The next addition to our farm? Rainwater collection.
I love to hear about other people's gardens and how they came to be. Share your story.
I just finished this painting. A version of "For the Beauty of the Earth. . .", this was a special order to fit a very particular space. It is much shorter and longer than the original, so I used 2 small canvases rather than one large one. I think it turned out great. It will go to live in it's new home this weekend.
Mark your calendars for July 10-11 and July 17. Those are upcoming summer festivals and sales.