It’s a big year- the urban homestead plan

By Adrienne

Almost one year ago, I left my job in the corporate world in search of a more sustainable, fulfilling life.

I didn’t know for sure what that would look like when I walked out of that downtown office tower and braved rush hour traffic for the last time. What I did know, was that it didn’t seem natural to spend the day sitting in front of a computer, under flourescent lights, in an icy, air conditioned building while the beautiful – and very brief – Manitoba summer passed by (just outside the window).

I had some ideas. I wanted to dig my hands into the soil – to immerse myself in the delicate dance of the seasons, life, food and health. To live in balance and in harmony with natural cycles. I was through with living each day – each season- as a neutered, homogenous blur. Fresh strawberries, children’s spring-time growth spurt and the dormant, winter rest period had no place in the corporate world, where I found very little is either sacred or honoured.

In more concrete terms, I realized that I wanted to equip myself and my children with some essential skills that seem to be on the brink of extinction. Things like the ability to grow and preserve our own food, identify and gather healing herbs and to understand the subtle signs of the natural world that let us know what weather might be around the corner.

A couple of the new raised beds we are working on.

We’re blessed to have incredible people in this community (Winnipeg, MB) who have dedicated themselves to preserving many of these skills and this sacred knowledge. I have been connecting with, and learning from them. As part of our commitment to honouring their generosity and wisdom, we are converting – step-by-step – to an urban homestead. We’ll share what we learn as we go along.

Patrick Elazar digs in this spring.

We’ve started this year by building two more raised garden beds and connecting with people who have been successful in coaxing food from urban yards. They are the beautiful and funny souls at Urban Eatin’ Gardeners’ Workers Coop and Patrick Elazar – someone I worked with for years without realizing he was secretly a very wise, very eco-friendly urban homesteader. Thankfully, his secret was revealed when he made a presentation at a food security conference.

You’ll learn more about Patrick and the other wise folk I have connected with as our plans unfold. So stay tuned!

2 Responses so far

Excellent post. I’ve been reading urban homesteading blogs for a while now, and I’m itching to start myself. Very small this year… some tomato plants and a bunch of greens. We’ve always grown tomatoes, but I’m upping the number thanks to a raised bed hubby is making. I’m actually considering learning how to can the tomatoes, if my crop is big enough for that.

Canning is a satisfying way to preserve the crop, Myrtle! You will be so glad you learned how to do it! If you find yourself running out of time, you can just rinse your tomatoes, throw them into a bag and put them into the freezer. It works beautifully and is oh-so-simple!

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