November 1st is 2 Days Away

by keavenwilla

Tomorrow is Halloween, folks, which has got me thinking: how on Earth did the summer fly by so quickly? I have a sneaking suspicion that March was only yesterday, and yet, looking back, I can’t even believe the number of projects that we attempted to tackle over the past few months.

We have some changes going on here at the farm. Firstly, we have some roommates! A few of our friends have come to stay with us for varying times, and have been assisting us with projects around the property in exchange for room and board. Since we first moved to this house and began to plan the urban farm of our dreams, other people have always been a very important part of our future plans. From inviting our neighbors to take part in the gardening and property planning, to asking our friends for help with specific projects, we have had high hopes that other people would soon see the value of this property and join our excitement for it’s potential. With three additional sets of hands on board, and with the land behind our house finally ours to play with, Brett and I have been able to make a few of our dreams a reality.

The front, street-facing-side of our shed has been sided!

The front, street-facing-side of our shed has been sided!

As winter approaches, not only am I thinking a lot about the projects we have finished, I am also starting to seriously plan for the projects we have yet to begin. As mentioned above, we got an amazing amount accomplished in a short time this summer:

  1. Finished renovation on rental property
  2. Sold rental property
  3. Partially demoed our flooded house
  4. Painted our living room
  5. Tilled a new garden plot 50×50
  6. Built a new shed
  7. Finished siding the first shed
  8. Planted 30 new trees
  9. Built a lumber storage roof
Liz, Me, and Kayla, the day we finished the renovations.

Liz, Me, and Kayla, the day we finished the renovations.

Lumber Storage Roof

Lumber Storage Roof

As the weather gets colder, and with more hands on board to help, we will turn our attention toward some indoor projects. Not only do we have several face-lift jobs to do around our home (replacing light fixtures, new coats/colors of paint), we also have a lot of THINKING to do. We are in negotiations with the City of Portland to see what we will be allowed to build on our property, and how we will be allowed to use the land. Unfortunately, there are many laws that seem to exist solely to discourage potential small urban farms, but we haven’t let this deter us.

We believe that this piece of land we have acquired is special, and rare, and we want to see it not only preserved, but cultivated and improved upon in a careful, sensitive way. We want to encourage biodiversity and nurture the important ecosystems that exist here. As urban dwellers, we are acutely aware of how little wilderness there is left, and that a plot like ours, with just over an acre of tall grass and trees, surrounded on all sides by rows of houses, should be kept safe at all costs.

Our friends who now live with us on the farm share our beliefs and are more than happy to help us achieve this goal. With their help we have cleaned up and decongested the natural trees in our field, and added 30 new ones. They have also helped us clean up the soil, filtering out unnecessary bits of trash that ended up there over the years, and planting new cover crops to make the ground healthier: we will plant flower beds over much of the “lawn” in the spring. Soon we will be setting the chickens up for a cozy winter, and battening down the hatches before snow fly. The extra help is much appreciated.

Roomies working in the field

Roomies working in the field

During the long, dark cold of winter, I will be hunkered down inside with my knitting and my sketch books, researching and plotting our next move. Thank goodness in advance for blankets and warm socks, hot tea, and good friends to bounce ideas off of.

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