Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Acre of One's Own

About every year or so, CP and I start talking more seriously about moving to greener pastures. That is, we start surfing the online real estate databases and dreaming more concretely than we do the rest of the year about buying a house with more land.

One reason for wanting a couple of acres is so that we (well, mostly I) can have a garden that produces a more significant portion of our food. This aspiration of mine was recently fanned into flame by Barbara Kingsolver's compelling book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In her witty, gritty, intelligent style, she describes her family's experiment of becoming "locavores"--eating only food raised on their Virginia farm or produced in that region (or state). The reasons for doing so are too many to list and explain here. Anyway, Kingsolver does it much better than I ever could, so you'll have to read the book yourself.

As a result of reading it, I found a web site called Local Harvest that lets you search for family farms, CSA's, farmer's markets, etc. in your own geographic region. I was amazed and excited to find that surprising numbers of these resources exist practically in my neighborhood. A few phone calls and emails could connect me to a regular supply of homegrown eggs, poultry, produce, and more. This is my project for March, I think: read up on heirloom vegetables, plan my modest suburban garden, buy seedlings from one of the family farms down the road, check out the farmer's markets (some have limited winter hours), and consider purchasing a share in a CSA, as well as a (mini though it may be) freezer for preserving local produce/meat.

Another reason for wanting more land is so that NS can grow up with a healthy love of the natural world, and with plenty of space for outdoor, creative play--something that is, appallingly, getting squeezed out of kids' lives these days. Out with the TV's and mountains of toys, I say, and in with the sandboxes, tree swings, and gardens.


  1. I agree whole heartedly! I really need to get into the local food thing too. I just found local honey at a place down the road. I think I'll check out that website you mentioned and see if I can't find more local food!

  2. sounds like you've been reading Last child in the woods- a popular Exed text... I dream of what you dream of...

  3. just make sure that your kid doesn't sneak off to the sandbox with the i-pod.

  4. Hey, I'm getting tired of reading this entry over and over. Post something new!