The Ups and Downs of Urban Farming

Urban farming is what I call my food growing style, hopefully me living in Iowa doesn’t automatically exclude me from that title.  If the proper authorities are reading this post, you let me know.

I grow food in my front lawn, I grow food in spare corners of church lots, I grow food in parks and in other people’s lawns. Most of the time I love it. I get my cardio in as I’m hauling kids and tools in between plots. I get to visit with lots of people in my neighborhood.

It does have it’s downsides though. One of the main drawbacks is that space can disappear. Not like it vanishes, the dirt is still there, but suddenly I find out that my share of it is only 10% of what I expected (or less) because now the old gal wants to let a girl scout troupe plant it to earn badges.  Or the church decides they are much more comfortable with spraying Round Up around the food plots than they are about letting me hoe and mulch the weeds into submission. Or the vacant landlord returns and no longer wants vegetables there.

The girl scout one is what happened this past weekend. It lost me my largest plot. I tried not to be mad about it. For a minute or two I was, because this is my food we’re talking about. But I know the crazy old gal is interested in seeing more of her elder granddaughter, who’s one of the scouts. I’m sure I’ll swing by with seeds for the girls. *sigh*

I knew I couldn’t wait around about finding new dirt though.  Spring thaw waits for no gardener, and every warm day counts up here.

Kale 001In this case, social media came to my rescue.  I am on the town trade/borrow/swap board on Facebook. All I had to do was post a need for garden space and my quaderant of town and I had a reply within 12 hours from someone who had sunny space with access to water.

So because I stayed flexible, and in a way, because of the crazy old lady, I have access to a LOT MORE SPACE, more than I could really handle this summer, if I planted all of it. With better access to water, I was doing a lot of hand watering at the old lady’s plot. And all in time for spring planting.

Whew.  One thing’s for sure, this spring is full of surprises. Like the snow yesterday, that was a surprise.   O_o

How’s your spring shaping up? Do you have your gardening spaces sorted out for the season? Shout out in the comments!

– Calamity Jane

6 comments… add one
  • Ray April 15, 2014, 8:30 am

    Well we had two weeks in the 70’s and 80’s , so my bamboo sprouted and my pear trees bloomed . Tonight we get a hard killing freeze (18 to 20 deg.F. for 6+hr’s.) so I can kiss my bamboo and pear crop GB! *sigh* . Glad I’m a native and knew not to plant ’till after “derby”.

    Reply
  • mom of 5 April 15, 2014, 10:38 am

    Fun!! The past week it’s been nice, especially over the weekend. This morning, ice and snow. Tonight we’re probably going to break the record low, set in 1875!! My hubby was spreading manure and his tractor wheels sunk deeply into the garden!! LOL

    Reply
  • Badger359 April 15, 2014, 11:25 am

    Been in the 70-80’s for a spell now but got hit with a freeze last night in 30’s here in north Texas, had to cover my raised beds and bring the black berry pot into the garage. Still learning how to deal with Texas weather.

    Reply
  • Jacob @ prepperswithaplan.com April 15, 2014, 9:30 pm

    This crazy weather is playing havoc with attempts at gardening!

    Reply
  • Marc April 15, 2014, 10:53 pm

    Not even gonna think about it till mid May here in Western NY

    Reply
  • Pineslayer April 15, 2014, 11:12 pm

    Jane, you are the Guerrilla Gardener that we should all aspire to be.

    There is about 8″ of snow/ice on my plots, so give me about a week or two to sow. I bought some Remay and plan on mini-hoops this season. We have Plum and Cherry tree’s inbound, yea!

    Reply

Leave a Comment