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Living Simply in town?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 36 total)
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  • #258324
    MuklukMukluk
    Participant

    I am looking for some ideas.

    I have been living on acreage for a while now, we grew a lot of our vegetables, almost all of our meat, and all of our eggs.  We sold the property and I am looking to buy a house in town now and notice that very few have any yard.  Some have yards, but some joker has destroyed it by paving or concreting it.  How do people grow any food?  I find it very disheartening.  Depending on where we end up buying I may try to se if there is a community garden somewhere that will rent me a plot of land to grow some vegetables.

    So I guess my question is one of how can I live reasonably simply and self sufficiently in town?  I know that these are relative terms and we will never produce as much as I used to, but I would like to do what I can.  I am open to hearing your ideas.

    #538554
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    My yard is small and steep and rocky and devoid of top soil.
    But I grow a fair bit of my fruit and veg and all my herbs
    4 raised garden beds 3×1.5 long gives me a fairly constant supply of salads and stir fries
    I try and grow perennial veg gailan, spring onions, capsicums will keep producing for months if not years.
    Add a few smaller wicking beds also and a few trellises for vertical growth.
    A food forest with 30 plus fruit and nut trees
    Collect all my water, make a 1/3 of my power(half my bill )with with solar and all of my hot water with solar.
    I could add chooks and quails and possibly rabbits/guinea pigs pretty easily.
    Dont want to be tied down in case I have to travel and because I would need to put in to buy feed as I cant grow it all here,I will wait until economic times get a bit harder before I think about going down that path.
    Beach, river and dams are all close if I need extra protein so are farms.

    #538555
    ballamaraballamara
    Keymaster

    I think snags is absolutely right with his approach. Raised beds and wicking beds are the way to go, not that I have ever mastered wicking beds, they are my nemesis.

    #538556
    HumanFriendHumanFriend
    Member

    Sometimes there are fruiting trees along highways, in parks, or even shopping centre carparks. Keep your eye out for olive trees, lilly pillies etc. Also, edible weeds.

    #538557
    calliecatcalliecat
    Participant

    my yard all up is less than 800sqm
    I have 4 raised beds, 2 are 4 x 1.5  and 2 are 3 x 1.5
    I have apples x 5, including a couple of tropical, (having a bet each way here) custard apple, cherry, figs, kiwi berry, mullberry, nashi,
    blood orange, mandarin, lemon, lime, finger limes, nectarine, 2 x peaches, peachcot, tamarillo,
    some are in wicking pots, I have underground pipes from tanks to house,
    out the front are china (cooking) pear, strawberry guava, brazilian cherry, a few natives,
    might add to it all if I can find more room and depending on funds
    but it can be done, – have a look at my post oh here, new house, new yard
    that was before I added the fruit trees, also have native raspberry, youngberry, as well
    doing a food forest/guild as best I can around the trees with herbs, spring oniions, silverbeet, fennel etc

    #538558
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    Ive also expanded my yard onto council land adjoining me and the neighbour by adding a bush tucker forest.
    He is aware and ok(chipped in half) and I had a word to the mayor,he was ok too.

    #538559
    MuklukMukluk
    Participant

    Great ideas, thank you everyone!

    #538560
    calliecatcalliecat
    Participant

    snags I know a lady who did that also, she has empty blocks both sides of her, one belongs to council I think, she is in a small (very small) town – she has expanded her growing area

    #538561
    LioraLiora
    Participant

    We too moved from an acreage of relative self sufficiency to a town block of 700m2. It was poorly treated, full of rubbish and cars and the house delapidated. We have cleared and ripped the yards and beautiful soil was found underneath. We’re adding bulk manure and already planted many fruit trees and the herbs flourishing We’ve added a huge water tank, wood stove installed and starting on a small solar system.
    There are so many advantages to urban living, the children being able to walk to school, having many lovely neighbours to share resources with. I love it but do miss being surrounded by ‘my own ‘ space as far as the eye can see, but as for self sufficiency, it’s shaping up well, we don’t need to raise our own meat as deer are plentiful, there’s room from our bees, I’m thrilled some frogs have taken up residency in my water chestnut pond, it’s been a huge learning curve in a new climate. :smiley:

    #538562
    ballamaraballamara
    Keymaster

    In the not too distant future we will have to move to town as age and physical deterioration are catching up with us. So I am following this thread with interest. Like Liora said I think “my own space”will feel very cramped for a while.

    #538563
    calliecatcalliecat
    Participant

    I don’t miss the open space, I have 6ft colourbond fence around the backyard – some might not like it but I still feel private

    #538564
    LioraLiora
    Participant

    We only have wire fences at the moment so I hope I feel like you calliecat when a decent fence goes up. I’m looking forward to having vertical gardening on them.

    My spouse is finding new ways to cope with foliage in such a small space, now it needs to be cut small and popped in the compost right away, rather than dragging it off out of sight and letting it compost down unobserved. Additionally a new challenge is storing large items like log splitter, trailers, caravan and cars, especially when visitors come over, we hog the street. :blush:

    Collecting fire wood has been a change, no longer our own fallen timber but gathering from other sources. However it’s a very sharing community and we found many offers of timber. A tree falls down we can have it if we move it fairly quickly, that sort of thing.

    #538565
    LioraLiora
    Participant

    With our new water tank well and truly in and plumbed up we got very excited with the first heavy rain, while it half filled it, we have realised the tiny roof of our very small house 57 m2 I think, it’s going to take a while and each rain will of course help but not fill like we were used to on a larger property/roof.

    Having shovelled manure around the yard, it suddenly seems really big, this suburban yard 😉

    #538566
    LioraLiora
    Participant

    The first water bill came in after the house has been plumbed into the water tank. Two months into the billing period and only one month on tank, but saved $53 compared to last bill which is terrific =D>

    #538567
    calliecatcalliecat
    Participant

    it all helps

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