Setting Up An Urban Homestead: Thinking Outside the Box


junk yard plot 

Our future garden: full of junk and weeds.

In my previous post, I told how downcast I felt when we arrived at our new home and saw a small plot all smothered in concrete, with no room for a garden. My first impulse was to sit down and cry, but soon enough, we rallied and started looking at our options.

There was a small abandoned plot right next to ours. It was basically a blank space in the town landscape that has been sitting disused or, to be exact, unofficially used as a junk yard/trash heap. There were old mattresses and bottles, broken plastic chairs and old moldy clothes, and everything was overgrown with thorns as tall as my waist. There were also broken slabs of concrete too heavy for us to move on our own.

Our first move was to call the town council and ask for permission to use this plot for gardening. That was easy enough. The nice fellow we spoke to popped over the next morning to see what we were talking about, and seemed genuinely surprised and pleased that someone was interested in that little godforsaken piece of land.

The next stage was junk removal and getting the plot in proper shape for planting. This proved to be trickier. Our budget was nearly nonexistent. Could the city council send a tractor as a one-time gesture and remove the heavy junk? After all, this little investment would permanently remove a huge eyesore from the neighborhood. Unfortunately, after a few weeks of dodged phone calls and vague “maybes”, we realized this just isn’t going to happen. We were lucky enough to snag a tractor that was working on some other project in the area, and got the plot cleared with comparatively very little cost.

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