Such a buzz phrase, yes? I wouldn’t exactly call our little town a burgeoning urban area per se, but we certainly have some elements of a more urban spot living within a short bike ride of our downtown area (one that is slowly, but smartly, revitalizing). Our town is quickly growing by leaps and bounds; soon it won’t be recognizable to those of us who have been here for even the last decade. The more we grow, the less it feels like a stand-alone town and more like an extension of cities closer to Boulder and Denver. We sit in a strange spot of not-quite-suburban and not-quite-rural and not-quite-urban. The weird part is, we feel that urbanites “get it” – they get the idea of farm-to-table better than the suburbanites that we find ourselves amidst, yet we are much closer to those agricultural spots providing our “food.”
Hank and I are embracing our Farmerness. So far, we have apple trees, a cherry tree, blueberry and raspberry bushes, grape vines, a strawberry patch, a soon-to-be small corn area, and a growing raised bed garden. We meticulously plant areas of our flower beds with plants that attract bees, ants, and birds. We have planted shade trees and evergreens to provide nesting areas for both squirrels and birds. We have two hearty cats that keep our mouse and vole population curbed, and they’ve even had their little share of small rabbits, prairie dogs, and have chased off a few toads. We monitor a small population of wasps, so that they can feast on mosquito larva that might crop up in our wet areas, and soon we’ll be composting again. On top of what we grow, Hank has a buddy that he forages with at times throughout the summer and fall, and they find more apples, chokecherries, currants, peaches, and plums for canning and jelly making. (They do all of that, by the way. That canning and jelly-making is out of my league.) We also take the boys with us to a You-Pick farm in the fall to grab some pickling cucumbers and other squash that we might not grow due to space.
Do you know what we find? The boys are much more adventurous in what they’ll eat if they can pick it. They have an investment in tending and watching their food grow, and the taste is unmatched by what we find in the grocery store.
Do you know what I’ve found? That as much as I couldn’t wait to get all of this kind of living in my rearview mirror when I left my parents’ home, now I can’t wait to officially be Farmer Mary and Farmer Hank and Farmer Boys. :)
Until then, we move into our own little growing season.
And…we’re never too far away from garden mishaps. A race up the sidewalk with a little trip over some edging = an arm with 15 minutes on ice. Whewie to nothing serious. They’re already back at it. ;)