Welcome back to another season of farm and homestead tours! I'm ready for more entries for 2013! Please read here for guidelines.
We're heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you're growing and doing, we want to see it.
Today you get to visit ImaginAcres in Rochester, New York. Meredith and Michael are homesteading on their city lot, raising vegetables, edible landscaping and even chickens — all in the city! Please visit Meredith's blog here.
What is your name and the names of your family members?
We are Meredith and Michael.
What is the name of your farm/homestead?
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
We have been homesteading for about two years.
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
Our homestead is located in the city. We live in a big old house that was built in 1922. We have a big backyard and a small front yard. Our backyard has three raised beds, a large vegetable garden, and tons of food growing in containers on our patio. We also have a large sun room on our top floor where we grow more food in containers, including spinach, lettuce, and herbs. We converted our shed in the backyard into a chicken coop and we attached a large run to it.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We have a flock of 12 chickens that we allow to free range in our backyard. We converted our shed into their coop by building nesting boxes and roosts out of tree branches. This spring we hatched nine of their chicks in an incubator, and four chicks under one of our broody hens. It was so much fun!
In our raised beds, we grow tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, carrots, peas, and beans. We grow lots of herbs in containers on the patio. In the front yard we have lots of edible landscaping, including a giant lavender bush, a gooseberry bush, alpine strawberries, and creeping thyme.
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
I've wanted to be a farmer for my entire life. It's always been my dream to be as self-reliant as possible and be surrounded by farm critters and thriving greenery. When I met Michael, he expressed that he had the same dream. We knew it would be years before we could move out into the country, so we decided to start farming in the city. We have crammed as much farming into our small lot as we can, and we're striving to learn as much as possible in the city.
Any future plans?
Within the next two years we plan to buy a farm house and a lot of acreage out in the country. I'm dying to get some goats, bees, and cows. We'd love to be able to feed our animals and ourselves off our land and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Do you have any funny stories to share?
Our second rooster came to live with us when she was a few months old. ‘Her' name was Francesca and she spent her first few months being picked on by the rest of our flock. I noticed she had grown a considerable amount and her comb and wattles were quickly growing much larger than her flock-mates. One day I went out to feed the chickens and saw trying to mate with her mother, who had come to live with us at the same time. “Hey!”, I yelled, “What are you doing to your mother?!” It then occurred to me that this was no hen! Francesca's name was changed to Frankie, and he went on to sire many of our current baby chicks!
Do you have a sad story?
Our saddest day so far was the day we had to butcher our first rooster. We tried to find a home for him to no avail, and we're not allowed to have a crowing rooster in the city. We took him to a relative's farm and they trained us in this necessary part of farm life. Having raised him from a tiny one day old chick and having to see the end of his life was very hard for me, but it has taught me a lot about being a farmer.
Let's Tour ImaginAcre!
(Wardee: In the captions below, you're hearing from Meredith, as she tells you what is in each picture.)
The Farm. Our backyard in the middle of summer, a jungle of vegetables.
Spring garden. Our raised beds in spring — everything is just beginning!
Sunflowers. Growing sunflowers in egg shells, we sure have plenty of those to go around!
Summer beauty. Our trumpet vine growing up the side of the chicken coop.
Marley and Me. [Wardee: Such a cutie! Both of you! 🙂 ]
Frenchie. Covered in Greek yogurt from her daily treat. [Wardee: Our chickens love cultured dairy, too!]
Big ol' Frank, king of the castle.
The first sign of spring! Tapping trees for the first time was so much fun. [Wardee: I would looovvvvveeee to do this!]
Maple syrup. All of the maple syrup we made from our two maple trees in the backyard.
Thank you for sharing with us! We hope you enjoy your free thank you video, our gift to you. Plus, feel free to display the following graphic on your site. (Right-click and save to your computer, then upload to your site and link to this farm tour post.)
Would you like to be featured?
Are you a homesteader or farmer at any level? You don't have to live in the country, you don't have to be doing everything.
Being on the journey is the only qualification. We want to see what you're doing, no matter how big or small.
Click here for submission guidelines for the Down Home Farm Tours series. We're excited to hear from you!
If you're selected, we will share your farm/homestead pictures and stories in a dedicated blog post, plus you can add the featured graphic to your blog or website. And, we'll give you a free thank you video of your choice!
Please give Meredith and Michael welcome in the comments! Be sure to visit their homestead here.
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