Whew! The 3rd Annual NoCo Urban Homestead Tour is in the books! Thank you to all who opened their homes and backyards, and to the volunteers that organized and made it happen – I can honestly say that both hubby and I had so much fun exploring and observing the different approaches and techniques on display.
Rarely do I have an opportunity to completely geek out with others who are just as passionate about gardening, orchards, chickens, flowers, water features and brambles. Who ever knew that an in-depth conversation lasting more than 15 minutes over the pros and cons of different raised bed construction methods would be so commonplace?
Other overheard snippets of conversations included expressions of surprise at the well populated and active bee hives, that compost bins smelled earthy not sour, the use of grapes, hops and other vines were commonly used to create shaded patios or screens between properties. Pruned branches provided structures for beans, squash and tomatoes to climb, and that each of the homesteads on the tour had a prominently placed, old and often-large apple tree that needed to be accommodated along the way.
There were several commonalities between the 6 stops (three in Loveland and three in Fort Collins), yet each had it’s own charm and personality; each reflected the individual interests and needs of it’s owners, their differing philosophies and methods of growing, harvesting, and preserving what is food for the soul and the stomach. None felt awkward or cookie-cutter in the execution and the adage that “Not all who wander are lost” certainly describes these six very different homesteads.
The weather was beautiful, and you couldn’t find nicer people as our hosts. Though Karl and I were tired after spending several hours observing, absorbing and exploring, one could easily spend a lot more time or an entire day at each of the homes.
Unlike my own spot of land with it’s typical layout that would take all of 5 minutes to explore, these urban Ag examples are complex, multi-faceted, and ever evolving.
I hope that you enjoy a few of the moments that we caught and now share of our experience – and I encourage you to be on the lookout for next year’s tour. If it’s anything like this year’s, it is well worth the price of the ticket, and proceeds benefit two essential non-profits.
The best part – we were both able to see that homesteading is as simple or complex as you make it, that there is no ‘right’ way of doing things, and regardless of the size of what you have to work with, if you are connected to the land and all it has to offer then you too can be a modern-day homesteader.
Next on my list; Chickens. And if you are like me and are hesitant about investing a lot of money and time into a flock, a coop and all of the accouterments only to discover you’ve made the wrong investment in something, stay tuned for Wednesday’s post.
Until next time, may your knees be green and your spirit light.
*Financial compensation was not received for this post. Two complimentary tickets for the tour were provided for admittance and promotion of the event. Opinions expressed here are my own.