Friday, March 13, 2009

Urban June

My front yard early Spring (disregard the date stamp on the pic need to reset the camera).
Not very big huh? No joke when I say urban. House sits a bit over 15 ' from the street so take away almost 6' for the common areas (sidewalk & that strip of grass sandwiched between the street & sidewalk) and this is what is left.
In previous Summers I grew Eggplant hidden in amongst the flowers. This year besides that I'm gonna try for heirloom carrots planted in the holes of those cinder blocks.
Giving some thought to putting the wrought iron fence into action. How obvious would green beans growing on it be to someone strolling by?
Each year I give serious consideration to widing the raised bed and decreasing the lawn portion of the front yard. But then my son wouldn't have a spot to sit & visit with the passing girls in the hood. And I wouldn't be able to watch.
In the upper right corner off shoots of a 8 y.o. Strawberry bed will be planted so then that bed can be dug up, composted & replanted in a year or so. Tan color is bunny poop & wood shavings from the Giant Chinchillas. Need to locate some green compost fixings to layer in before the top coat of soil is thrown on.
Time to start the seeds.

Update on the UPC:
This is the 3rd straight month and like with anything practice makes perfect, well almost. While we haven't gone too far over the allotted $100 we haven't been under either. This is the month to accomplish our goal since the filled pantry shelves are emptying fast. My hope is that by next month the cold frames will producing giving us fresh garden salads.
Both the Rye & Winter Wheat are holding out well. I'm baking on average 6 loaves of bread each week.
So far we haven't run out of any one item that I canned but are low on everything across the board. We have just about run out of the green beans & broccoli (frozen) from last year's garden having spaced out their consumption this Winter.
Gone is the supply of squash (bartered) as is the supply of gleaned potatoes.
Extremely low on what is left of the 1/3 of a cow (frozen) that was purchased last fall.
Saturday we are planning on going fishing. Hope is that with 5 lines in the water we will come home with something.
Rabbit is gone. I don't breed during the Winter so a supply won't be put up until late next Summer. Still need to find a supply for Chicken & pork in bulk.
A brother has invited us to come fishing on his boat this Summer in the Finger Lakes region. Apparently he normally just throws his catch back but has been inspired recently by the down turned economy to rethink his hobby. In any case we will be taking advantage of local fishing opportunities in nearby county & state parks.
Besides kicking up the garden a few notches I really need to work on more gleaning opps or rather budget in the time to take advantage of what is here. So far I have been putting out the word both through church contacts and with postings on local yahoo groups.
Lately I suppose that like my brother people in general are more receptive to concepts like gleaning and bartering.
Here's a breakdown of what so far we've spent on groceries;
3/06 I was near Warsaw, New York and stopped in to a Mennonite store called Lantz's Bulk Foods. Bought $17.83 - vital wheat gluten @ $3.09 per pound, unground 9 grain mix @ $1.89 per pound, & Cream of Wheat or as we say in Puerto Rico Farina @ 69¢ per pound.
The 9 grain was something I had wanted to try for a while since we started grinding our own flour. For us it was nuttin special so it won't be a do over.
$12 on raw milk so far this month.
$26.50 @ Aldi's yesterday. Items like White Sugar, mayo, raw carrots (should have gleaned more), canned tuna, canned mushrooms, and black olives. The last two items are for topping on homemade pizza tonight. Oh forgot the T.P. is included.
Need to start seeds, so I can fill jars, so I can ...
Here's some news on the urban home front. I'm on sabbatical or as the tax man says unemployed by choice.
For the time I'm gonna be playing a version of urban June in this modern day two income culture of materialism. Hubby's gonna bring home the bacon I'm gonna work on gleaning firewood to fry it up in the pan.
~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I've been to Lantz's..It was a pretty cool place. But a little to far from Rochester to make the trip very often. I'm looking for someplace around here that sells beans in something bigger then a one pound bag. I shop at Aldi's here too. Hardly ever go to Wegman's anymore unless its something I can't get at Aldi's or a very very good sale. I'm amazed that you can spend so little on groceries. I spend about $120 a week for 3 plus 2 huge dogs but hubby is a meat man so that's probably where most of it goes...but he pays for the groceries so what he wants he gets. I love reading your blog updates. I can't wait till it gets warm enough to start planting though one of my grow beds literally fell apart and needs to be replaced.

  2. Agree with you about the distance just worked out that I was in the area looking @ wood stoves so I stopped in.
    Have you tried Orlindo's Resturant supply over by Lyell Ave.? Also the regional market over on Henrietta?
    Let me know maybe we can get a co-op going on some items like kidney beans.
    On the subject of meat - I was recently quoted $2 per lbs. for pork if I bought the whole pig.
    Would like to find local free range grower.

  3. I would most definitely plant peas on the fence. How fun would that be, to have peas hanging over for anyone to pick and nibble on as they went by? And peas can be quite prolific, with weeks of harvesting. You could also do a cucumber...perhaps some of those small, pickling varieties?

  4. Not so sure about encouraging passerbys to dine as on average over a hundred peeps pass by my homestead. For the majority though they wouldn't know a pea if it jumped up and bit them. Pity as my hood was once great farming land.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest