I used to dream about living outside of the city, having a sprawling piece of property teeming with wildlife, farm animals, and kids running wild and free. I yearned for this way of life. Then I spent time on a few farms- gorgeous, working farms, the kind of farms I thought I wanted- and only then did I realize I already have everything I desire right here in Providence. I am a country mouse with decidedly city leanings.
Here’s the thing- farming is a ton of work. There are no breaks, no vacations- and my husband, although a very hard worker, doesn’t have any desire to work the land. Which means any and all farm projects would be mine, and mine alone. Sounds exhausting. Secondly, I love the sense of community, and the level of activity that our small city offers. Most days we never get in our car- we walk to the library, the playground, the coffee shop, and everywhere we go, we see people we know. I adore that piece of city living.
This year I have managed to carve out a little “back to the land” feel right here in the middle of the city. When we moved into our house we redid our small backyard to make better use of the space, and as the plantings come into their own our yard is feeling quite lush and private. We spend hours there chasing chickens, watering our plants, digging in the dirt with our many trucks. It is our little escape, and oh how we love it. We had friends over for a bbq the other night, and they commented that our backyard felt like a “little slice of country.” Hearing that made my heart swell!
In addition, I joined a community garden this year, and it is pretty much the greatest thing ever. The work is minimal (the plots are 6×9) and the yield is so high thanks to great soil, and a sunny spot. We all share our knowledge, and learn from each other. When someone is on vacation, their plot neighbor will water for them. And we all share a community herb garden, strawberry patch, and hot pepper bed. We have community work days every now and then to tend the community plots, and it has been a great opportunity to meet interesting people who are also engaged with their food choices.
Often in the late afternoon we all walk to the garden to weed, water and pick some fresh veggies for dinner. Vijay has learned how to pick lettuce, and only occasionally pulls out the entire plant by the roots. He loves helping water, weed, and scatter wood chips where they don’t belong 🙂
It’s a great feeling to be completely satisfied with what we have- a slice of country right here in our vibrant, bustling, interesting and diverse city.