Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Derelict House Next Door to me is GONE!

FINALLY! The city tore down the derelict house next door to me. I had to stay inside when they were doing most of it, due to the mold and dust in the air. I just hope it doesn't affect my birds out in the aviary, but I couldn't get them to go into the cage to bring them into the house. I think they'll be o.k., though. There is plenty of mold in the Florida air already, and they haven't died yet.

I'll be posting pics soon, but I'm still getting them resized and put onto Photobucket. It's so strange looking at it now, just a slab. All the horrible invasive plants are gone, but I'm going to have to fight them to take down the two totally rotten trees that could fall on my house during the next big storm.

One great thing is that without the house there blocking the sunlight, I'll be able to plant most of my winter veggies on that side of the house, instead of trying to dig up a whole new garden spot. I'll have to take out some cannas and lilies, but that's no biggie. They'll be dying down soon anyway. I'm hoping to build a long raised bed on that side this year, so I can put the veggies there. It will be convenient having them right there by the back door.

I've been wanting to clean out that side bed anyway, so this is the perfect opportunity to make something useful out of it, instead of it just being a place where I stashed plants I had no other place for.

So, progress is being made on the garden front. It will be very small this fall, but I can replant in January, and have a second harvest before it gets hot. By then, I'll have the raised beds built in the back, and ready to go.

Please Welcome Patrice to our Urban Homesteader Family!

I feel awful! In my confusing week last week (my mother died on Tuesday) I realized I had forgotten to add "A Single Mom's Adventure Into Urban Homesteading" to our blogroll and recognize her!

Patrice, I truly apologize for the oversight. So everyone, please go visit her site. She has some really interesting stuff there!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Please Welcome "Little House in the Suburbs" to the Blogroll!

Urban Homesteading, and homesteading in general is getting bigger every day, with more and more people trying to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

I'm always looking for other homesteaders to add to our little family, and this week, I found Little House in the Suburbs. The Welcome statement on their site says
Ivory Soap and Tomato Lady are two friends who garden, soap, raise chickens, craft and keep house in their respective homes in the suburbs. Here we keep up with each other's latest goings-on and share it with you.
So stop by and give them a visit. It's nice to have them aboard the green train!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's Time to Start the Homesteading Project!

Well, the weather has finally gotten a little cooler, and it's now our gardening season in Florida, so I've officially started making a little progress toward starting the vegetable garden.

I bought plants, but ran into a little trouble with the spot I had picked for the garden. Now there is even more trouble. Nothing can be easy, can it?

In fact, my attempt at starting a vegetable garden this year is getting more like a nightmare every day. First, I had to put chemicals down to kill ants and roaches in what I hoped would be an organic garden. Now I have found that I can't dig down past 6-8 inches without hitting tree roots, probably from the huge oak trees in my back yard.

I don't feel like tackling oak tree roots, really I don't. Lasagna gardening is sounding very good to me right now. What is lasagna gardening? It would take me too long to explain, so I'll just direct you to a site that tells you what lasagna gardening is and how to do it.

I have several bags of manure I was going to use in my garden. I'm thinking if I use the cardboard boxes I was going to use for mulching around things for the base, and layer soil, manure, grass clippings, and leaves, I might just be able to do this.

In the meantime, everything will have to stay in pots, so I'm going out now to start mixing up some soil and manure to plant them in.

I got seeds for squash and cucumbers from friends, so I'll have to get a small section of the lasagna garden going quickly so I can plant those, and work on the rest later.

The derelict house next door to me is finally getting torn down, probably in a couple of weeks, and I will have sun outside my back porch when they take the dying tree down. That means moving some shade loving plants, but it also means that I can perhaps plant a few veggies out there, right outside the back door. I'll have to see what kind of sun it gets, since it's on the dead eastern side of the house, but some things might be o.k. back there. If not sun plants, then maybe malanga (eddoe) or edible ginger. We'll see.

This is going to be fun, I think....I hope. More later on the progress.