Friday, March 11, 2011

Landscape Planning Continues

Progress has been slow over the last few days because I have not had a lot of extra time.  We have had multiple meetings to launch (still not working, but check it out in several weeks!) and the stock market is tanking, too.  But I did accomplish a few things:

1. I finished with a list of the edible flower plants which we can plan in our front yard.  As a result, this weekend I have a fair amount of digging to do in order to extend the flower beds (you can see from the pictures of my yard that "flower beds" is a bit of a misnomer).

2. I connected with one of my clients in Georgia who has had quite a lot of experience farming and we talked about some of his wins and losses in gardening.  He agreed that water is important, but he said that one of the biggest mistakes his neighbors' make when they have little success is they underestimate the importance of good soil.  My client said that he will mix together good soil, manure, wood chips and sand.  Additionally, every few years, he would haul in some chicken farm manure. 

 "Don't underestimate the importance of good soil!"

3. This same client gave me a list of things I should be preparing to plant if I were to do what he does.  These are:  Bush Beans, Peppers, Okra, Squash, Eggplant, Carrots, Cucumbers and Tomatoes.

4. I called the drum container distributor and apparently they have raised the costs of their barrels (remember, I was going to use them to make rain barrels).  Instead of $15 each, the barrels will cost $25 each.  Darn!  So, now with the other materials I need to make the barrels, it will likely cost about $10 for the drain cover and $15 -$20 for the faucet set bringing my total anticipated costs to $55 per rain barrel.  If those faucets are any more expensive than this cost, I might as well buy the $100 "designer" rain barrels at Home Depot.   I think I've already resigned myself to that for the front yard, especially knowing that these barrels allow for an overflow back into the down spouts when the barrels are full.  For now, I'll continue to keep an eye out on Craig's list for some lower priced barrels. 

5. With an acute eye out on how to transform my home, I have to be very open-minded.  Because I had already built a large pen in the back for compost, it is easy to resume my previous compost pile habits of taking out leftovers.  Now, I am thinking of all the things that we waste.  But, oddly enough, I am even beginning to think about an outhouse!  Crazy idea, but think how much we truly due waste in good soil down the toilet!  I know... it sounds radical, but I just need to chew on this a little more...

6. Yesterday, I found out that my two rose bushes are edible as are the Gladiolus plants my wife laid out in front of our white picket fence.  I could care less last year, but as a new urban homesteader, I am ecstatic!
7. I'm not sure if it is worth mentioning, but I also found a link about how to make a light bulb out of water and a little Clorox!  Maybe I can use this in my outhouse!  :)  

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