I've been freaking myself out lately reading the blog Casaubon's Book. The future Sharon paints is looming and sort of bleak for the unprepared, and I've kind of decided to take a break from reading her stuff for a bit - it scares me. But this movement to be more self sufficient, and also the preponderance (EDIT: oops, I had originally used "dearth" and meant the opposite) of female homesteader blogs I've been reading, coincides with thoughts I thought I came up with myself, but probably have been influenced by these things. I want to grow more of my own food, perhaps learn something about preserving some of it, and generally move toward being somehow more involved with the local food culture here.
I grew up in Ohio, and remember the fruit orchards near Lake Erie. The family of one of my x's coworkers at the time owned an orchard, and the memory of being able to walk up to a sweet cherry tree and pick this amazing (it was a good year, 1988) piece of fruit that the tree just GREW is still vivid to this day.
I've been thinking lately about what it would take to be a small farmer (small, as in less than 5 acres). It's totally a pipe dream at the moment, but beside me right now are books with the following titles: "Rebirth of the Small Family Farm", "Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm Business", "Changing the Way America Farms", "Making Your Small Farm Profitable", and The New Organic Grower". I haven't even gotten past the "first, you need to examine your motivations for wanting to farm" parts of these books yet, but the idea is so darn tantalizing. It's fun to think about.
For the moment, though, I will have to be content to manage my current piece of land (she said with a snicker), which is my yard, measuring about 20 x 30'. And that is fine. I love where I live, and don't want to make the mistake of taking on too much and then being overwhelmed. It's funny, though. Since I've been able to make the choice, I've always chosen to live in a house with a yard, partly because I wanted to be able to have the space to grow food if I needed or wanted to.
So, the fruit thing. Well, with my little micro yard, and the fact that this part of Colorado is rather limited to fruit tree options, I've decided to grow a few trees in containers. There are varieties grafted onto dwarf rootstock, and apparently having the roots/tree confined this way mildly stresses the tree so it fruits earlier and a bit more prolifically. And, having them in pots allows me to move them inside if there's a freeze warning, as well as keep them a manageable size for the yard. I'm still planning on having the deck built sometime this spring, and will likely place the trees on the west side of that, in full sun.
And the choices right now include apples and apricots, two of each.