Winter is long in the Midwest with the sun low in the sky and long shadows everywhere. This seems the perfect time to dream, learn and plan ahead for the warming months ahead.
My thoughts drift to new growth activities: flowers, vegetables, urban farming. I love the idea that even if you only have a deck, or sidewalk you can still grow food. Revealing to children the magic of growing life from seeds is a fun activity for adults and children alike. It’s fresh, you know what produce is organic or not, and the food is close to home. One premise of Urban Farming is that a local food source could be right in your own backyard or neighborhood. This definitely is a benefit for those who live in an urban food desert, one square mile or more where local fresh food is scarce. If growing your own food is something you are considering, Egg|Plant on-line and at the St. Paul, Minnesota store, has a variety of garden and urban farm resources, including baby chicks in the Spring.
More and more cities are even allowing backyard chickens for fresh eggs. Be sure to check your local city laws. There are many resources for a successful food endeavor and a healthy happy flock. One of my favorite is Fresh Eggs Daily, a charming blog and resource by “Lisa, a 5th generation chicken keeper dedicated to encouraging others to use tried-and-true old timer’s methods to raise healthier, happier flocks…naturally.” ~ Fresh Eggs Daily. The winter months can give all of us cabin fever, including the chickens, so if raising happy egg laying hens is an interest read Lisa’s Winter Chicken boredom buster ideas.
For a resource magazine on-line or published try Urban Farm Magazine. If want to learn urban gardening hands on or prefer to volunteer to help others grow food, go on-line to google “urban garden volunteer” or in the U.S. go to Volunteermatch.org. Most major cities have opportunities or you can start your own urban farming project.
Shadowed Winter months can also present photography challenges. Weekly Photo Challenge: “Low-light photography can be difficult to get right, but sometimes the absence of light can make for a compelling, dramatic photograph. Experimenting with shadows can be a fun and rewarding way to push yourself to try something new with your camera and your surroundings…” ~The Daily Post Photo Challenge
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