This broadside is not precisely new, but is the first of a series of urban farming letterpress broadsides I have planned, so stay tuned.
You could say I’m in the midst of my own urban farming craze. Last year I started with my first fruit trees (and I have my first pie’s-worth of Spartan apples just picked two days ago), raised beds, an herb garden, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries and tomatoes. This spring I continued with my first chickens, first bee hive, and a three-stage composting system. I also added asparagus, potato beds, more tomatoes, grapes, an olive tree, two figs, and cranberries, the last of which are admittedly not doing very well yet.
And what’s next? A grape arbor, new beds cut from old lawn for corn, raspberries and dahlias, another apple tree, a new chicken coop, and hopefully another hive of bees if I can catch next June’s probable swarm in time.
Last year I also bought a deep freezer and filled it with hand-picked blueberries, the most delicious peaches EVER from the Olympia Farmer’s Market, local, grass-fed beef from Nelson Family Farm, local pork from Lucky Pig Farm, pink salmon from Lummi Island Wild Salmon (reefnet-caught), homemade salsa, homemade tomato sauce, oven-dried tomatoes, frozen cherry tomatoes, blackberries, and red plums from a friend’s unbelievably productive tree, which remarkably this year produced a fraction of the fruit of last year. And this shabby performance by local fruit trees appears to be the norm. What a spring…
And maybe I have gone a little overboard, but it was all a nice way to deal with ever-increasing negative feelings and anxiety brought about by what appears to me the slow-motion collapse of civilization. I could honestly say that Sarah Palin and her ilk helped fuel me through the work that it took to peel peaches, can plum sauce, pick berries, and do an exhaustive amount of research on local meat producers, including hours of on-the-phone interviews with the farmers, who I found very pleasurable to talk to.
Being afraid of Sarah Palin might not be the very best inspiration for trying to become an urban farmer, but it’s something. And truthfully it has given me vigorous determination.