Urban homesteader

It’s hard to believe the new school year is right around the corner in my neck of the woods. The Great Darke County fair is a precursor to fresh pencil erasers, sheets of blue-lined paper and much weeping inside the school bus and cheers on the outside.

Along with the beginning of school there is the heady sense of fall which signals the end of the growing season for gardeners and farmers alike. The last of the summer crops will soon be brought in for harvest, soil swept clean for next spring and all the fixings of splendidly used tools put away.

These tasks of ushering in a new season has left me in total grief as I planted all of a single tomato and pepper plant this year, along with several strawberry plants in my mother’s backyard, that was all and it is killing me.

It has been a rough year for my abbreviated family, somewhere along the line I had hoped to reacquaint myself with one of my truest passions, gardening. Beyond the planting of those three aforementioned plants the most I did in the yard was mow both my mother’s lawn and that’s of my brother’s on the other side of town. I could barely muster the energy to water the flowers that my mother has slowly started to acquire in the landscaping without feeling a truly deep pain in my heart over all the flowers I left behind at the burgeoning urban homestead I had been creating with my now ex-husband.

In seemingly odd tandem of my own divorce another urban homesteader who had lavishly outfitted her condo deck into a garden oasis had likewise lost it all to divorce. The inspiration behind my learning to can my harvest that included so much spaghetti sauce I could feed all of Italy and what I had hoped to be a story here, moved back in with her parents, too.

Yet, for seemingly multiple endings there are unique chances for new beginnings.

While my divorce was exceedingly painful the change of environment helped me regain my health. Believe it or not, for all the outdoor work I used to do at my former in-the-works urban homestead and eating garden foods, I was in miserable shape and constantly sick.

I’ve not been sick once the last 14 months, minus a round with tainted turkey.

Bad habits such as too much TV and social media time have been nearly eradicated as I’ve not sat down on a couch to watch a single program in over a year.

I closed my blog last week and Facebook is about to follow the same fate.

With every ending there comes a new beginning, fall will come with cooler temps, gorgeous color and eventually lead into the dead of winter.

However, we all know, that come spring, comes that new beginning and I’ve faith that with it will come a fresh start for my children and me.

It’s just a matter of time in the end.

Have faith, my urban wanna-be homesteaders, that if you didn’t get your garden started it’s okay. There’s always another chance, there’s always a new growing season to be had and as long as you are kicking there’s time.

So what do we have to look forward to in the future, besides an eventual spring?

Currently I’m reading a fantastic book on urban homesteading by Novella Carpenter and seeking an email interview with her. Also on the agenda, a visit to a not-quite-so urban homesteading grape-growing enthusiast and with any luck, a former co-worker and her spouse who entered into the urban homestead frontier.

With any luck one of these three will adopt me before spring 2012.

• Bethany J. Royer is a reporter for the Piqua Daily Call and wanna-be urban homesteader. She can be reached at bethanyroyer@yahoo.com.

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