Someone sent us this (above) image via email. Apparently, some artful person worked up a nifty graphic meme about our urban farm. Nice! Unfortunately, the harvest and figures quoted are somewhat outdated — stats would be prior to 2010.
So, given the fact that the data is dated, what would we modify on this meme?
1 ) VARIETIES: Definitely, less varieties due to the 5 year drought. Normal rainfall for Pasadena is about 19 inches a year average. In these last five years, we’ve seen barely 6 inches and so we’ve adapted our planting efforts. Unfortunately, our lovely patch of blueberries was one of many plant casualties from the drought. With no irrigation system in the front yard (only hand or clay pot (ollas) irrigation ), we had to let some of the edible landscaping “go” fallow.
2) PRODUCE POUNDAGE: Unfortunately, haven’t had time to keep track of the harvest tally. So can’t say what our poundage “weigh in” these days are. Still have 50 raised beds in the backyard and over 40 self watering container boxes that are growing non-stop through the season.
3) EGGS: We increased our flock–more chickens and ducks (more eggs!)
4) GROSS SALES: The biggest change is that in 2010 we moved away from selling to restaurants and caterers and now sell more to individuals in our community through the front porch farmstand and farm box program By partnering with other local farms and food artisans, we have at least $60k (2015) in farmstand sales, thanks to our amazing and supportive customers!
Although the image says “full-time” working adults, I have to clarify that while it’s our occupation, we don’t spend the whole day in the garden. Some of us have taken on a more managerial, educational outreach position. Others are managing sales and the partnership with other local farms and food artisans to build the farmstand into more of a co-operative. That means that on some days we barely get our hands dirty while other days it’s “all hands on deck” to pick the bountiful produce.
On our multi-faceted homesteading journey, there are good, bad and mediocre years. Weather patterns and circumstances change so the homestead life evolves; and we grow along with it.
For an overview, check out 10 Elements of the Urban Homestead