We’ve lived here for four and a half years.
Four and a half years of . . . not designing my outdoor space.
Why? Not sure. I know it’s taken a LONG time (longer than what seems necessary) to figure out our flow on our *very* narrow property. We’ve tried at least five different spot for the chicken coop, have been uninspired to really do more than a small raised bed garden, have done almost nothing with the bare flowerbeds, and are still living with the “temporary” fencing we put up when we moved in.
Well, I’m not sure what clicked this year but I just started moving. One of Permaculture’s principles is “the problem is the solution” . . . something I’ve always struggled with just a bit. I mean, sometimes, a problem is just a problem . . . right? Maybe not. Also, I’m embracing more and more the full-on frugality essential to actually homesteading and not just “living in the country” (a way too expensive endeavor, in my opinion); instead of trading our dollars to meet a “need,” looking to see what’s around first — even if it’s not the prettiest.
Anyway, there were a few “problems” that have been annoying me since we moved in. One, the huge pile of bricks we inherited.
I really like how these turned out. I’ve done them all around the house and even added a spot that wasn’t previously a bed (this one).
Two, the sticky clay non-draining soil, also inherited. Also, a large surplus of unused tires in our neighborhood . . . putting the two together equals:
I have to admit, I actually kinda like the tire beds. It’s recommended to cut out the sidewall when using them for garden beds, but I didn’t . . . mainly because it was WAY too much work. Plus, I like using them for garden benches at the same time.
And three, trying to design our landscape in a way that makes sense, for none of our attempts have worked.
The chicken coop/greenhouse area finally makes sense. And as of today, Emma and I knocked out a pretty kick-ass little chicken yard for when they need to be contained (like tomorrow morning when we’re at the market and our spring fox that’s been hanging around lately comes looking for breakfast).
Emma’s teepee will be her green bean tower, and I’m excited to be finally expanding the garden to a more subsistence level with the addition of the trellises on one of our few flat spots. The potato bins are new too — in the past we’ve used the cattle panel bin method . . . but since those cost money and we have a TON of chicken wire, here we are.
So there we are. The world is freaking out, but we’re just staying busy and building on. Seems a reasonable course of action in the face of current events.