We’ve been getting tons of new fans recently! Hi new fans! Thanks for being here!

I was thinking it would be a good idea to write a general post about who we are and what we do.

Who we are:

My name is Meredith and my husband’s name is Michael.  We got married in the summer of 2013 and went on a wacky Adirondack adventure for our honeymoon.

1001500_10100146268619017_1993137918_n

IMG_3993

We live in a big old house in the city. We share our abode with a wacky Australian Shepherd named Nico, a spitfire cat named Moose, a hyperactive rabbit named Dolly, and 10 very entertaining chickens.

We love to write, be arty, work on the house & yard, and sometimes just sit in the backyard, beers in hand, watching our chickens run amok.

Where did ImaginAcres come from?

ImaginAcres= Imagination + Acres

I chose to name my blog ImaginAcres for several reasons.  First, this blog is a combination of my love of art and my love of homesteading.  Photography is one of my biggest passions, and I do my best to provide my lovely fans with beautiful photographs to accompany these posts.  I’m also into ceramics, painting, drawing, and knitting.  Posts about my artwork pop up every now and again amongst the musings on chickens and plants.

ImaginAcres was fitting for another reason.  We are urban homesteaders.  Everything we do and create is in a big house on an average sized lot.  ImaginAcres is my aching desire to live on a huge plot of land, surrounded by wilderness.  It’s my Imaginary Acres.  We do the best we can with what we have, but until we can move out to the country, our acres will remain imaginary.

Here’s the breakdown of what goes down at ImaginAcres:

Our Patio Raptors

We love our chickens.  I call them patio raptors because they’re so much like tiny dinosaurs running about on my patio.  We raise our birds for eggs, meat, and endless entertainment.  At the moment we have ten layer hens, and will be getting some new chicks in a few months.  We’ve had lots of great adventures with our flock, including hatching eggs in an incubator and giving one of our hens the opportunity to be a momma.

Gardening

We have 5 raised beds in our backyard.  We don’t have any full sun areas, so our beds are used to grow partial sun crops. We’ve been spending a lot of time building up our crappy city soil and experimenting with different plants to see what will work.  Our green thumbs are getting greener every year!

Crops that require full sun are grown in containers on our patio, front yard, and on the top of our chicken coop.  Almost everything in our garden is free or cheap.  We use random containers for planters and make our raised beds and trellises out of free materials like logs, sticks, and discarded lumber.

Compost

We’ve been composting in the city for three years.  It’s so nice to take all of our food scraps, yard scraps, and chicken and rabbit waste to the compost pile where it turns into wonderful soil for our garden.

The chickens love to help out with the compost when they can.  They stir it up for us and search through it for tasty bugs!

Chicken Compost

Foraging

We also do quite a bit of foraging for food in the city and in the outskirts.  In our own backyard we have plenty of edible weeds and black walnuts.  We’ve also found blackberries, grapes, juneberries, and mulberries in surrounding parks.  You can read more about our foraging adventures in Urban Foraging

Black Walnuts

Tree Tappin’ Good Times

We’re lucky enough to have three maple trees in our backyard.  In the springtime we tap them to collect buckets of sap.  The sap is boiled down to make our very own maple syrup. 

Maple tree

From Scratch

We do our best to make our food from scratch here.  It saves tons of money at the grocery store and we can be sure we know exactly what’s going into our food. I love to share my recipes for home made goods on the blog, and have a tendency to embarrass myself by telling stories of my home making failures.  You can read all about how I spent a year failing at baking bread here.

Mixer
Angora Rabbits

We have an Angora rabbit named Dolly.  She grows a long wooly coat every few months and when she sheds it, it can be spun into yarn.  Dolly is a lot of fun and currently has the run of our sunroom, where she tends to get into a lot of trouble.  You can read all about how she ate her way through every plant we had growing there.

Future Projects:
This year we’re going to venture into some new and exciting territories! In the spring we’ll be getting some new chickens- I’m most excited about getting some Ameraucanas and Wyandottes.

There are several fun ImaginAcres knitting patterns in the works! I’m really excited about finally making my own designs.

I’m determined to grow enough food this year so we have enough to put in the pantry for next winter.  We’re going onto year three with the garden and I’ve officially determined what will not grow on our property.  Instead of being so diverse with our gardening, this year we’re going to focus our efforts on growing LOTS of only a few types of crops.  Potatoes, hot peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and herbs do especially well here, so we’ll be cranking up the effort on those crops.  You can read all about our gardening failures here.

This is the year for me to learn how to spin and dye wool.  We have a giant bag full of Angora wool and I just got an amazing book called The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes that I can’t wait to start using.  It tells how to dye your wool using crazy things out of the spice cabinet, foods, and even weeds! I think I’m going to use some of the black walnuts in our backyard for the dye on my first batch!

Bees!! We’re finally getting some bees this summer.  We can’t reasonably keep them on our property due to the lack of sun and so many animals, but we’re collaborating with a friend who lives close by so we can have them on her property.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of our homestead.  Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and explore our site.  There’s a lot to see!

Subscribe to receive ImaginAcres in your inbox!