Springtime in Urbania

| 5/17/2011 10:57:43 AM

Tags: The dangers of stores, "making do", new chicks, Spring, Jane Gripper,

I have a love/hate relationship with Lowes. I am often drawn into its vortex, especially at this time of year, when the warming Spring weather beckons us outside. Truly, all I needed was some 8 foot garden stakes with which to make bean trellises, some small garden stakes to repair the broken veggie garden edges (the children seem to think it great fun to use the edges as balance beams. They jump from edge to edge like little frogs, eventually breaking the edges). In addition, I needed red onion bulbs, and potato “seeds”.  Why is it then, that I left that store requiring a large wagon to alleviate the burden of all the extraneous purchases I had made!! 

Okay, while I am making  some confessions of an “urban  turf tosser”, I should admit to the other store that I can’t seem to get out of with out a purchase….Tractor Supply! Sometimes I go in there just to smell the clover hay, or even the goat pellets (is that a bit sick?) I find myself handling the electric fencing – working out how many feet I might need, even though I live on 1/8th of an acre, and have the homeowners association to contend with. They would not allow me to have chickens (if they knew about them) let alone the sow or the goats for which I am imagining the fencing!  I look at  horse tack, muck boots and heated animal troughs. What I end up with is a hummingbird plant stand, some chick feed, and, just for the fun of it, a chap stick that’s called  ‘100 percent free-range chook poop’. 

 Chick Poop for the lips 


Here’s the thing with being an urban homesteader, we have the convenience (or rather, the temptation) of the stores.  

 When we lived on a  more remote property, in Australia, we had to “make do” with what was lying about in the shed or on the property rather than jump into the car and head on over to the nearest farm supply store . Garden stakes were fashioned from broken tree branches, garden edging was river rocks, fertilizer came in the form of cow, horse or chook manure scraped up, virtually still steaming, from the horses, cows and chooks in the area, then piled up to mature (there’s nothing quite like “mature manure”). In the summer, the children would bag up this ‘delightful dung’ and sell it by the roadside. Garden mulch was what was slashed in the bottom paddock over the summer before the grasses went to seed.   

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