I need to come clean, I feel the name of this blog, City Garden Bliss is somewhat of a misnomer. "City garden chaos" might be a more appropriate title. I have to admit to being more than just a little manic with the whole "homesteading" thing come spring time, the starting of seedlings, the planting and digging and weeding and cleaning chicken coops and managing the bee hive and micro-managing the watering.
Also in May is the chaos that occurs with the end of school year. If you have kids you know just what I'm talking about. So many class trips, picnics, galas and requests for volunteers that I can't keep it all straight, (did I mention I'm a little ADD) so to relieve stress I plant more plants.
Before you know it is time to harvest the garden, there is cooking and baking, and canning and drying. I do feel Barbara Kingsolver is to blame for my manic attempts to make from scratch everything my family eats. Go ahead and read her book, Animal Vegetable Miracle and just try not to make your own yogurt! I dare you.
If you are not familiar with the book, she and her family move from Arizona (see the connection...I moved from Arizona...) to West Virginia and make a pact to grow or buy locally everything they eat for a year. But she is a talented writer of fiction, and instead of depicting the hell that it is, she paints the most warm, homey, back-to-your-roots image you can imagine.
Before you know what is happening you are buying a dehydrator at a yard sale and spending hours cutting up tiny pieces of locally grown cherries to dry for the winter. Five pounds of cherries that you planned on carrying you through the winter with the promise of local harvest cherry scones on a cold December morning, will yield you one measly baggy full that your kids will consume before you are finished cleaning cherry stains from the dehydrator.
Lets not even get into the daily bread making. The worst part about this book is there is no going back. Once you have made your own yogurt, there is no store bought yogurt for you. You will never again enjoy the simple pleasure of buying jam or a pie. It's all homemade, handmade, scratch or nothing for you.