Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Am Not An Urban Farmer.....

Repeat after me, I am not an urban farmer.  This is my new mantra.  I am frugal, but that does not mean I have to be an urban farmer!  One can be frugal without raising kitchens, planting rows of corn, and baking pizza in a solar oven all from the comfort of the suburbs.  We know you can do all of these things, there are countless books and blogs about how anyone can grow spinach on an apartment patio or navigate a new movement - backyard goats (Oh Portland, Oregon - how you tease so many Madisonians).  It sounds lovely, but it is simply not for me at this point in life.

You see, I plan to be frugal for life.  And that my dear reader requires a lifelong mindset, not embracing the latest concept phase until it fizzles in the end.  Why am not I not an urban farmer? Well, let's look at the evidence:

  1. I did not grow up on a farm or even in a house that had a garden.  Leaving me with no memories of how to turn a seed into something my kids can eat, and no one to learn it from.
  2. I haven't a clue how to farm. I went to school for 9 years after graduating high school, where I studied government and law.  While I can talk at length about legislative intent, the challenge of "satisficing" when managing government employees, or the role of a trustee -- I cannot explain how compost works from a scientific perspective.  My science studies were scant at best.
  3. Time is not plentiful for me.  Between raising young ones, nurturing a marriage, purging 2,015 items from our house in 2015, attempting to kindle an authorship branch to my career path, practicing law, and maintaining a basic sense of health and balance.....there is no time for the Extension Master Gardener classes.  One day there will be, but that day will not be falling into this calendar year.
  4. I like actual farmers.  Fresh, locally grown organic spinach and asparagus are sitting in my fridge at this very moment.  I bought them yesterday from a delightful farmer at the farmers' market that, a market that pops up on Wednesdays in the parking lot next to my office.  The men, women and children selling and growing these items are delightful.  They are farmers, they do it so well, and I am happy to pay them to do this service for me.
You will find me outside these days, with dirty hands, rummaging around plants.  But it will be part therapy and part science project.  Fresh air is great for calming the mind, enhancing muscles, and bonding with kiddos.  We, in modern society, often need a temptation to get outside when our indoors have so much to offer (Netflix with your addictive House of Cards!).  My garden is that temptation.  And when public schools let out for the summer, I will be opening Mama's Home School for the Summer - learning does not stop in June!  Front and center of my "classroom" will be the sun flower seeds my daughter planted last weekend, that are now sprouting.  And other little experiments with favorite fruits and veggies.  We may actual eat some, but were are not counting on it.

Note -- an egg carton is being used in an attempt to grow seeds. Will it work?  Who knows!

There you go -- my frugal confession shared with all.  I am not an urban, nor a suburban farmer, and I am not going to pretend to be one.  Although owning a goat is terribly tempting!


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