I will admit that the major metropolis of Christiansburg, VA doesn’t really fit the description of urban. It is a small town in Southwest Virginia surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, a section of the Appalachian Mountain Range. We are in an apartment complex with little growing space and certain rules to follow. I have been naughty and planted a few ideas in the head of our apartment manager and maybe just maybe some of the unused green space can be developed. I have also stated that they need to let their lawn contractor know we (residents) do not want harsh chemicals sprayed all over the lawns here. That will take some doing to keep them from spraying fertilizer and pesticides. But I am stocking up on the documentation to present showing that it is all bad.
We are definitely not in a food dessert with two large farmer’s markets in the area, Blacksburg and Floyd, there are some further out as well. It really isn’t convenient to get to these markets. We do have a tiny, unnoticed market here in Christiansburg, they have a pretty good location and I know many of the vendors there, they are my neighbors. Not a lot of to do and it lacks the festival quality of other market. They just opened officially this weekend, not enough full time vendors for earlier or later hours, and I was thrilled to death. Now between our locally owned grocer and the farmer’s market I can see my food budget going further. They are both within a mile of where we live, opposite directions of course. However, we can carry re-usable bags and walk or bike to either place to shop for what we need. Pretty sustainable and supportive of our local vendors.
As for utilities we have public water and sewer, electric and natural gas here. We are using many of our lessons for conserving water and electricity. We are using CFL light bulbs, yes there are issues regarding these as well, I am open to other alternatives. We are only using central air conditioning when the temperatures are over 80 degrees. Luckily our little cottage is in a corner with a huge birch tree that offers shade and keeps the wonderful breeze blowing. Natural gas is a clean energy source, our hot water heater and heat source use it, however, we do not agree with the method of obtaining it, fracking. We do not have a choice but to use it so we are doing our best to conserve what we use.
We have one vehicle to use to get everyone, everywhere. We combine as many trips together as possible. Living in town has made some things easier, such as we can walk to many places including the library, grocery store, church and the park. We have also began asking the butcher what days their meat is delivered and request that ours is wrapped in paper instead of plastic and Styrofoam. Generally speaking we aren’t buying anything that has unnecessary packaging.
We aren’t self sufficient on our property yet but that will come in time.
Light, Love and Peace