A Farmstead Is Born
The Pierce Farmstead started as a curious slab in our Central Florida back yard in February of 2009. An 8 x 8 foot slab on which the prior owner (or the one before him) had built a gazebo too small to sit in because he didn’t know what to do with the slab. I took that down and it was a slab again. Then came the idea to make it a garden. Then came quite a few concrete blocks. Then it was a raised-bed garden, a peach tree in the back, a coconut tree in the front and a lot of pots with herbs in them. Then there was another raised bed garden in Februrary 2014, then an expansion a year later for the upcoming growing season. Soon it was something more than a back yard, it was, at least in jest, a farmstead. I have always wanted a lot of land to grow things on,and at some point, I guess I decided I just couldn’t wait.
My motivation was and is simple curiosity. How does this grow? What would that taste like? What did my own ancestors eat? What did mankind itself eat before everything was mixed with high fructose corn syrup and put on a shelf? A garden supported the intellectual side of my (continuing) quest to diet and lose weight. Herbs, spices, roasted vegetables all worked toward that end. Slowly I came to begin eating low carb, again, this time under the banner of “paleo”, with a motivation to try different species of herbs, vegetables and the like. Ones I’ve never had. Ones that you can’t find at the grocery store. This on top of the ones I like and that grow well here, which took years of sorting out.
It is, in short, my little outdoor research project. What can I grow? What can I eat? What is the history of it? In what ways is it healthy? Did we discovery this or did people always know it? From native flora to vegetables from Asia or South America, it is my little exploration of the world and its edible history, located 10 feet from my back door.
As a result, the articles here will be on things I’m interested in, and they’ll be interesting if you’re into this kind of thing, and probably quite dull if you’re not. But with the push to eat local, eat organic, to provide for yourself, to live more like people once did, this may all be accidentally topical. In reality, it’s just another exercise in curiousity and my little attempt to contribute to the conversation. I hope you like it.