Monday’s Guest – Mel’s Urban Farm Story

Mel, who runs the blog Pollo Loco, shares her urban farming story and photos with us.

Our journey towards more self sufficiency started in earnest when we bought our first home in 2005, but in spring of 2010 we had the opportunity to purchase the home I grew up in from my parents.  The first thing we did was build a new coop for our chickens and expand the garden area.  Then we built some raised beds, installed a rain barrel and made plans for a coop expansion.  I finally had space to expand my seed starting efforts in an area in the basement.
The raspberries and blueberries have been in the garden for over 30 years, and continue to fruit with abandon.
It is difficult to describe how happy it makes me to be living in this house, the house my parents have tended and remodeled, that I grew up in…there is a continuity that makes me feel the most content I have felt in my adult life.
I spent my 20’s and early 30′ living in San Francisco, single, living a totally different life. It was a good life, I grew a lot, but I have now, literally, come home….and instead of feeling restless or looking for the next opportunity…I feel like it can all happen for me here, with and for my family. 
I have included a photo of the garden with my sister and I picking pumpkins with my Dad circa 1979…and photos of the garden today and our chickens and coop.  My blog is http://polloloco-pdx.blogspot.com/ .  We opened our urban homestead to the public as part of a local non-profit, Growing Gardens (http://www.growing-gardens.org/), fundraiser – Tour de Coops (http://www.growing-gardens.org/portland-gardening-resources/chickens.php), that they have been doing some 8 or so years….it was absolutely fantastic sharing our experience with the almost 200 people that came through that day…in addition to making some great new like minded connections.  I am also volunteering to help set up a garden/farm program at a local high school that will be fully integrated in the community and in the school.

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