Claire, Tammy's spirited seven-year-old, occasionally made appearances, proudly showing off her stick-on fingernails or volunteering to let the dog out. Claire's photo had recently graced the pages of the Mt. Airy News, highlighting Tammy's homesteading efforts. Although Mt. Airy is far from being a bustling metropolis, Tammy's dedication to organic gardening and homesteading is gaining recognition.
Tammy and her husband, Jay, have dreams of purchasing a larger farm in Pinnacle, 15 miles down Highway 52. This farm, complete with an 80-year-old farmhouse, will provide them with more space for their endeavors, including raising goats and expanding their organic farming operations.
One significant aspect of Tammy's homesteading success is her participation in Community Shared Agriculture (CSA), where customers pay $300 annually to receive a share of the farm's produce. This approach reduces financial risks for farmers while fostering a sense of community.
Tammy's journey into homesteading began in her childhood, growing up under the influence of a Marine father and a hippie mother who instilled in her a love for baking bread and a deep connection to nature.
Urban homesteading poses unique challenges, but Tammy manages them admirably. She recalls the time when they had to leave town for two weeks, and upon returning, their garden had turned into a jungle. In addition, a roving dog or wild animal had wreaked havoc on their bunnies and hens, leading to the bunnies relocating to their climate-controlled basement.
One exciting development in Tammy's gardening journey is her exploration of the Mittleider Method. This precise and scientific approach to gardening, often called "poor man's hydroponics," has piqued her interest. Tammy plans to compare traditional gardening methods with the Mittleider Method, conducting an experiment in her garden beds to evaluate their effectiveness.
The Mittleider Method was developed by Jacob R. Mittleider and focuses on efficient, high-yield gardening techniques. Despite some skepticism, Tammy is open to exploring this method and its potential benefits.
Tammy's urban homesteading story exemplifies the dedication and hard work required to balance family life, raise children, and pursue sustainable farming practices on a small urban plot. Her commitment to organic gardening, community involvement, and constant learning makes her a true inspiration for those looking to embark on their own homesteading journey.
Barbara looks forward to returning to Tammy's homestead in the future, where she hopes to witness the next chapter of their farming adventure, including Claire's continued 4-H pursuits and the family's new life on their larger farm near Pinnacle.