When I first started gardening in this place, I was surveying my four by ten raised bed of greens with pride one afternoon. “You really are a farmer, not a gardener,” a friend observed. I nodded. Every year, I am more aware of my fate. Here are some signs that you, too, may be an urban farmer, not a gardener.
1. You find dried bean seeds and straw in your pockets.
2. You use the roof of your van to harvest the apples and plums from the high branches.
3. You turn to binder twine and five gallon buckets rather than organic hemp twine and a trug.
4.You talk compost with strangers.
5. You can repair a leaky hose in five minutes flat, including three trips to turn the water on or off.
6. You haul foraged fruit home in your bike baskets.
7. You realize, half way through a professional meeting, that you have dirt somewhere. Fingernails? Hand cracks? Knees? No, not all three!
8. You find yourself hauling something in a five gallon bucket at least four times a day.
9. Your crops come in pounds, not ones or twos.
10. You cannot see your house for the plants in September.
11. You never turn down an offer of canning jars.
12. You read Farmer Boy and The Permaculture Manual for inspiration.
13. You realize that it is, really, all about the soil, not the new, cool varieties in the front of the seed catalogs.
To read more about the Twenty First Street Urban Homestead, check out Charlyn’sblog.
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