I’m a city girl with a country heart. I have dreams of living on a smallholding on the edge of a quiet village, where I can step out my back door that leads directly into my kitchen garden and the loudest sounds come from the birds, the wind in the trees and the chirrup of frogs and crickets.
The reality is, when I step out my door I walk down three flights of steps to the asphalt of the parking lot of the building I live in and the sound of traffic is louder than the birds and wind in the trees.
What’s a Laura Ingalls Wilder loving girl to do? Weep into her bonnet? Never! No, instead I’m working on creating a hybrid life, with the best of both worlds. I take advantage of big city amenities and live out the country life my heart longs for, in the midst of hustle and bustle.
The biggest and most exciting addition to my country-in-the-city life is access to a 1/2 acre of land which will be the growing site of the Wild Garden. As part of an amazing opportunity offered through the Just Food Start-Up Farm Program, I can live out my rural dreams in an urban environment.
I’m thrilled to have a piece of land that I can steward for a long time. My goal is to implement a permaculture design for the site that will improve soil fertility, increase biodiversity, establish at-risk native plants, harvest and conserve water, produce exceptional medicinal and wild, edible plants, and of course look beautiful! I have a looooong way to go and a lot of work to do to accomplish those things, but I’ll take it one step at a time, working with nature and observing the land.
This was the site in early spring. Overgrown with grasses, goldenrod, shrubs and small trees, the land hasn’t been touched in at least 30 years.
From a glance, it doesn’t look like much is going on, but I’m happy to report that the oats, alfalfa and clover are up and so far there are 36 different kinds of plants in the ground. This is just the beginning of a long and exciting journey; a journey that I’m thrilled to be on!