Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So, the fruit thing

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.


  1. I started to read Sharon's blog, and it's just too much for me - in sheer volume, for one, but also in the number and quality of her thoughts. I have to allocate more time than I want, to give her justice. Call me superficial, but I'm more into things I can digest in around a minute.

    I'll have to post a list of the homesteading blogs I read - it seems like there's more women than men doing it, but I haven't seriously counted. I'm amazed that, when I looked, I found so many people that are a few years ahead of me in going "back to the land." Sharon Astyk, for one.

    Are those books that you *own* or are they library books? I'd love to do a book swap if they're your'n. I've been buying books left and right lately, and I'd love to do a bit of long-distance lending to spread the knowledge.

  2. Hey Jordan,
    Yeah, the thing that finally made me feel a little better after reading her blog was that people lived and coped through the threat of nuclear war. Not sure why, maybe it sort of put it in perspective.

    I mistyped! It's fixed. I meant that I had been reading a bunch of those kinds of blogs lately and my tired brain misfired.

    With regard to the books, I bought a couple, and the rest I got through interlibrary loan from our local library. There was actually a lot of books available, but the newest of the new doesn't seem to be available for ILL.

    I can't part with the boughten ones yet, I still need to read them! That's a cool idea, though.

  3. Well girls,
    I'm wondering if women are more likely to post than men. If you read Jenna on Cold Antler Farm and then go to her group thing, I've found more men on there exchanging ideas around. Perhaps since I'm married, I tend to NOT try to regularly contact men so my hubby won't think I'm stirring up some internet romance or something. (like I have the energy for that!!)
    I have a little notebook near that I write stuff in, like sites and blogs to explore and books that people recommend. also, don't know if you read the australian DownToEarth blog, but she's got a lot of good stuff on there, but her growing season is way different, but still good stuff. I try to get any books through interloan first and then I can see if I'd like to buy them to have for my own, or just read them and return.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.