June 24th, 2012 will be the 2nd annual St. Louis Region Sustainable Living Backyard Tour. I got involved with this last year through a girlfriend who read about it on a Backyard Chickens Meet-Up group. Best thing I ever came across accidentally. I had been working on having an edible backyard for about 8 years. I had no idea what I was doing was “sustainable”, I was just trying to do ecologically sound things. I also like growing my own food. It was a fun challenge for my brain.
Last winter, my girlfriend called me up and said I really, really needed to sign up for this thing. She was sending me the link for the info. I didn’t think my yard would be up to snuff, but at her insistent urging I signed up. Best thing ever.
The day of the tour I spent the day meeting fascinating people interested in the same things I was. We shared stories, I learned a ton, I hope they learned a ton. It was great! I had such fun being a host on this tour. Apparently, I had enough fun, that the organizers noticed and kindly invited me to help with this year’s tour.
The night before the tour St. Louis apparently got about two feet of rain in half an hour. When I got up that morning, my basement had flooded. I put that out of my mind and went on with the day. This is where my mom sat and handed out seeds to everyone who visited our home. Wasn’t the cabbage gorgeous that day??? I hope I can grow cabbage that well one more time in my life. I had a great garden year last year.
Here’s another feature of the backyard…. the original sink from the house. It’s about a million pounds. We’ve tripped over it for years on the back porch and finally decided to make a potting station out of it. The biggest bonus of this is that we only had to carry it 30 feet and not the 60 feet to the alley. It works wonderfully. Over to the right you can see my straw pile for oyster mushrooms I had last year and leaning against the fence, some of the logs I have plugged with mushroom spawn.
Our house came with a tub in the back yard and another on the back porch. We have the worlds worst tub on the first floor, but outside we have two beautiful claw foot tubs. This one was too far to salvage for the house, so I converted it into a pond. I really like it. I hope to have a regular pond in this summer and possibly run a waterfall out of this tub across a little stream to the new pond. Who knows. I’ve thought I’d dig that pond for a few years now.
We are looking for more backyards for the tour! Do you think you might have a few elements of sustainable living in your backyard? Contact us and we will have one of the node leaders come out and vet your yard. All of our node leaders are really great folks who love this stuff and love meeting other people who love this stuff. Send me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you the application straight away! Please give it a thought.
This is a free tour and is put on by a bunch of people who like to promote sustainable living. We don’t make any money off this tour, if you would like to volunteer some time, please let us know as well.
Now, because Google won’t let me send this file to the planning group on Google groups, I’m posting a rough draft for some literature on the tour here: tour cover.