We moved into our little house over Easter! I know, I still can’t quite believe it too... After a four month delay it was so nice to sleep in our own beds, sit on our couch and drink from our cups. I have always prided myself on being quite nomadic but after unpacking all our personal belongings, setting up our home and of course having the cats back with us, it was soooo nice. It has been a funny time. Trying to start a new chapter, create some normality (whatever that is) but not have your own place to call home. It has happened so often in my parenting life where my children just amaze me with their strength and resilience. The last four months has been another one of those times. To be honest they handled the whole situation so much better than me. Anyway, we are here now. The kids have all settled in to their new school. They all have various after school activities which they are enjoying and Eden has started a weekend job at a local cafe. I have filled every possible space in and around the home with plants. We have filled pots the back courtyard with herbs, rocket, spinach, radish, and kale and currently planting passion fruit to cover the fence..We built a little garden out the front of the house (catching all the Northern light we can!) and planted carrots (for my niece) beetroot, silver beet, broccoli, more spinach, rocket and bok choy. It definitely felt more like home once I had all the veggies in! We have all become completely addicted to surfing and have bought a couple of boards and attempt to catch some (small) waves whenever we can! The noticeable differences I have noticed so far since moving up here is the weather (obviously), the amount of rain in Summer!! I had forgotten how wet it gets here over the Summer months and now looking through my farmer eyes, the green lush Summer pastures, the fat cows, the completely different growing seasons, the different types of things I can grow! Then there’s the amount of people out and about, riding, surfing, swimming, sitting in the parks and having picnics, eating ice creams. The tan lines, the salty hair, the sandy feet. I sometimes feel like I have moved to a different country not just a different state.
As I mentioned, I have taken a bit longer than the rest of the family to settle. I honestly wondered if we had made the right decision leaving the farm. It meant so much to me and still does. I spent a few weeks talking things over and over with Ben. Settling into a new community is hard. It will take time. I needed to find my place here. What is it that I want to do? What it is it that makes me deeply happy? My answer. Growing food. Connecting people through food. But I live in a terrace house now with a tiny courtyard! You can’t grow a significant amount of food from a pot! I know I’ll buy some land. Just a small piece. Something low maintenance. We can build that tiny house we have always dreamed of on it! I drive around looking at land. (Yes, I know I am completely nuts!) There is very little in my ‘price range’ and the ones that I convince myself might work are out the back of whoop whoop. Ok I’ll lease some land from one of the local farms. There’s heaps of unused land around. I contacted a local farmer. No. Sorry. Done it before. It was a disaster. Never again. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. I take my niece to the library and wander into the gardening section. As you do. There is a copy of Indira Naidoo’s book The Edible City. Interesting. This book really gets me thinking about growing food in urban spaces. I live in an urban space now! I google Urban Farming. As you do. And there it was. My new calling. Urban Farmer. I read all about Curtis Stone (not the Aussie chef), Inner City Farmers, Sole Foods Farm, the amazing Pcoket City Farms, the places ALL over the world growing delicious food in parks, rooftops, front yards, back yards, all over. I skype Cam from Inner City Farms In Vancouver and we talk about urban farming. He gives me some great advice and makes me think some more about the details. The why and how. I read Curtis Stone’s book cover to cover. I can do this! I can grow food in people’s yards and show that a market garden is so much better than a lawn AND growing food can be a profitable business if done right. I know you are thinking she is completely out of her tree. Maybe. But shit you are not going to REALLY know until you try. Right? So last week I put a message out on the local Facebook page. Does anyone want to lease me their yards for my new Urban Farming project? I’ll pay you in veggies! The response was overwhelming. People wanting to be involved, people wanting to meet and discuss other gardening ideas, people offering me their yards. I can’t express how happy this made me feel. I have two farming sites which are perfect. I am now going to start removing the grass, building the soil, and planting delicious veggies for my land owners and the community. I am now an Urban Farmer.
So now that I have discovered my new set of farming overalls I have decided that A Plot in Common doesn’t only need to about our little farm in Lauriston but can move and adapt as we are. It is STILL about Farm. Share. Grow. just with a slightly different twist. An urban twist.
Ready to see what unfolds?
Ill keep you posted,