Comments from my life, family, and projects I enjoy.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Urban Homesteading! Suburban Homesteading!
Like many folks these days we are trying our best to economize. Of course economizing ties in well with the concept of Urban Homesteading, or in our case suburban homesteading. We try our best to re-use, re-purpose, or recycle as much as we can. Almost no food is allowed to spoil or waste. Leftovers are sent out as lunch the next day and any other leftover bits and pieces are incorporated in new dishes or new meals. Anything that cannot be consumed is recycled into compost for the garden. Glass containers that can be re-used for canning are cleaned and set aside for blackberry jam, green tomato chow-chow, and canned tomatoes. Currently we have several beds in hard-neck and soft-neck garlic varieties. It won't be long now before we are setting out tomato plants and other garden delights. I've also been trying to figure out a way to keep some chickens without being discovered by the neighbors. I would love to have some backyard poultry to have my own supply of fresh eggs like the ones we periodically get from my in-laws, but it is currently against city ordinance to keep backyard poultry. Keeping a few birds would be very beneficial to the suburban homestead for the protein as well as the nutrient rich litter for the compost pile. If any of you have any good ideas on flying under the city radar with around five birds, I would love to hear about it.
On our morning walk, we decided to just walk along the power line right of way that runs between the neighborhood and the Congaree Land Trust nature preserve. Along the right of way there is an area where some folks from the neighborhood have been dumping yard debris that caught my attention. Now normally it would anger me to see this illegal dumping, but one of the unintended benefits of this activity is the brushy undergrowth that has taken over this area is providing good habitat to the local wild bird population. In just a few minutes I was able to spot over a dozen small birds taking advantage of the cover provided by the brush, so even though this spot may look a bit untidy, it is an important part of the local wild bird habitat. Along the way, we also spotted a very nice brushy plant in full bloom that looks very similar to spirea along with some yucca that were discarded by some local homeowner. Then it was on to the neighborhood streets and back home.