|Patio garden design!|
I have been watching videos from the Peak Moment TV online program. Through this I have seen many examples of real community based solutions and heard people's stories. This has inspired me to move out of my comfort zone. The first step is starting Michaela and my Wild Ride Homestead!Our homestead is starting off very humbly as a patio garden. By itself a patio garden is nothing really special. What is taking me out of my comfort zone (and a little radical!) is relying on community to make the garden happen. I could easily run down to the hardware store or local nursery and purchase everything I need in a day. But that would cost money instead of being free, the items would all be new instead of used (but good!) and no connections would be built.
So how do you make a garden through a community? Well first I emailed a local guy that I have been volunteering with and have had lunch with a couple times asking if he and his wife had any spare pots I could use. He did not have any but we got to talking and he mentioned a website called freecycle. Essentially its a community barter site where people barter one item for something else. He offered some frog spawn (eggs) as a trade item for pots to help me get started. Sadly no one had pots for trade at the moment. I guess everyone is busy gardening!
Not wanting to give up I decided to start talking to local nurseries to see if I could get some pots from them. Now I was not giving up on my quest to build a garden through community. I went to a couple nurseries and started talking with people working there if they had pots I could have for free. Free you may ask?! Yes! Nurseries throw (or recycle off-site) lots of pots. After talking to a couple I found one that told me that after Mother's Day (its the 3rd of April in the UK) they would have a bunch I could have. They took my name down and I'm going to head down there on the 4th and hopefully pick up a bunch of pots!
But I'm also a little impatient and I really want to start gardening sooner then that. Recently I started volunteering with the Sussex Wildlife Trust as part of their practical conservation team. This week I also started volunteering as a "Youth Ranger." I will talk about that more in another post. Through this volunteering I got to talking with the person that runs the youth ranger project. The conservation shifted to my patio garden and to my glee (I was really happy!) he told me they had a ton of extra pots and I could help myself! The result was that at the end of the day I biked home with 14 pots (medium to large in size) strapped to the back of my bike!
I now have enough pots to really get started... all I need to do is borrow some tools from my friendly neighbours! Its been fun reaching out to people in my community to make this happen. The result is that I have15 pots for the garden. All of them are used and only one cost me anything (I spent about 32cents on the light grey one in the pic which I got from a local charity that I volunteer at). It took me leaving my comfort zone and some leg work but it was very nice to build a garden through community.
Next steps are to borrow some tools from a friend and get some advice on good places to get seeds. I'm also going to be getting some free wood from some of my volunteer activities to build some trellises for some snap peas and climbing beans. I'm also going to build my own tomato cages (again from free supplies!).
I will post more as the Wild Ride Homestead starts to take shape!