my urban homestead

I am a new blogger here at 1000 new gardens, so I thought, rather then just diving in, I would start with an introduction.  I am a longtime Missoulian, first time veggie gardener.  Over the winter we moved out of our old house, which I think can boast the shadiest yard in Missoula (good for cooling your house, bad for gardening) into our new digs with a nice, sunny south facing yard.  I knew that I needed to garden.  I have been interested in local food for a few years, but since the birth of my first bean, I have felt more of an urgency to find good, healthy food that is easy on the environment.  Also, coming from a rural background, I really want my kids to grow up knowing where food comes from and how it gets to our hungry little mouths.

So, back at the end of April, my mom came to town for a few days and we worked from dawn til dusk building raised beds, a chicken coop and compost bins.  Most of our neighbors are older retirees, who watched with interest to see what those “kids” were up to.  There was much discussion about avoiding roosters and stories about the various livestock and wildlife that has graced the neighborhood over the years, including horses, goats, sheep, homing pigeons and a myriad of deer, birds and rabbits as well.  We also heard about the young couple down the street who bought their chickens off ebay. Who lives in Montana and buys chickens off ebay?

the coop and raised beds

the coop and raised beds

A week later I planted my cold weather crops in the fading sunset after putting the baby to bed.  I planted peas, lettuce, carrots, spinach, onions, beets and turnips.

A week after that I picked up four little puff balls from quality supply and built them a brooder in my basement shower with a box from, a shop light, some pine shavings and food and water.

The next week it was raspberries and strawberries from a woman in Ronan, heirloom tomato starts from my coworker and squash starts from my neighbor.

Last week, I put in all my tomatoes, and planted beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, more lettuce, basil, peppers, sunflowers and nasturtiums.  Some from seeds and some from starts.

my garden plan

my garden plan

Things are sprouting and growing and I’ve already learned a lot (like don’t scatter your carrots, plant rows, they are too bunchy when I scatter them and I don’t like it).  I’m excited for this project and to be a part of it.  If you would like to see more about my garden, as well as my craft and home projects, you can find me at The Hip Homemaker.



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