Some homestead happenings today….

Plantings, transplanting, turning over raised beds from spring to summer crops
Picking strawberries, blueberries
Harvesting first cucumbers, figs
Whipping up delicious homegrown, homemade meals
Picking and packing client orders
Picking and hanging herbs to air dry to use in soaps and herbs
Animals chores (still caring for Sairey – her foot looks better) – egg harvesting
Power Point presentation for this Saturday’s “Getting Our Hands Dirty – Growing the Future” presentation Pasadena Smith & Hawkens

… and today yet another unsolicited coverage from CBS Evening News & correspondent Bill Whitaker who visited the Urban Homestead. Their new piece is focusing on how more and more people are starting to grow food in their front lawns. Back in the 1990’s when we smothered the lawn it was strange now it’s starting to make sense to a lot more folks who are growing food instead of grass.

Not sure when this CBS piece will air, but we’ll let ya’ll know.

Justin (background middle) takes a picture of….

…. me taking a daily photos of the garden. On the left you can see the Anna apple tree which are loaded. I am standing among some edible and medicinal herbs

The blueberries are prolific this year! Jordanne picks blueberries which will be either used fresh for homemade pancakes on Saturday or frozen for later use (can you say blueberry muffins!)

Chef Jim ( a client of ours for the past seven years) picks up his order and chats with our resident urban farmers about the recent tomato scare

Front yard edible landscape – apples, basil, swiss chard, blueberries, tomatoes, guavas, oca (edible tubers) peppers, nasturtiums and more

Morning chores: taking care of the animals and hanging up herbs to dry. Thanks Liz for giving me “I can no longer fit in this” skirt (fit’s perfectly!)

Dried, homegrown lemon verbena. The dried herb will be used for teas and to scent homemade olive oil soap

Farmer D shows CBS News around the ‘stead

Lunch time, everyone sits down to enjoy a homegrown, homemade meal

Stay tuned for more entries about flies control and citified farm animals, drying and using herbs, soapmaking, remineralizing the soil, weekly meal wrap up and much, much more!

No Comments

  1. Di says:

    love the pics! Can’t wait to hear all about the things you have planned, esp the soil, drying herbs etc. Nice to see your pic of the guava. I picked one up at the weekend, it has fruit on it already which hopefully will get bigger soon.

  2. Tara says:

    You’ve read my mind! Our flies have been horrific since starting our front lawn conversion. Any advice on keeping ants outdoors would be great too!

  3. Sinfonian says:

    Great pics! I see your rustic tools are limited to farm implements and not cameras, that’s a major piece of equipment!

    Your blueberries are making me jealous! Mine are still green and tiny… another instance of Seattle vs. So. Cal. hehe

    Your stead looks beautiful! Great to see you using everything!

  4. gina says:

    I have GOT to stop reading this blog or I’m seriously going to quit my job and dig up my front yard!

  5. Jennifer says:

    You’ve read my mind too! Would love to know more about proper hanging of herbs for later use. (And if they can be properly dried out inside rather than outside in rainy UK weather) 😀

    Keep sharing!


  6. Nuno says:

    Once again congrats for all the deserved attention you’re getting. The Ny Times already featured you and has highlighted a series of articles on organic local grown produce:


    There is now a strong momentum.

  7. Britta says:

    Can you tell us more about the tomato scare?

  8. Ken Kunst says:

    Yes great photos…your photography skills match your garden and animal husbandry skills…your gardens are such a sight to behold!
    The satisfaction I get from growing my own food is beyond words. It makes me excited to get up in the early hours, and see what Nature has done overnight! It’s a thrill. And it takes time, and patience, and sometimes failures, but in the end, this empowerment is so important. PTF is leading the way, and I happy the media are taking it seriously, and you all deserve the attention and successes it may bring.
    In Peace and Unity


  9. Anais says:


    Sorry, should have link to article

    US tomato Salmonella outbreak reports rise to 228


  10. Anais says:

    Thanks all for the positive comments.

    There’s certainly a lot happening here on the ‘stead – so many topics, questions, etc to feature! We’ll do our best ….

    So many folks have asked for more and more photos, we decided it was high time to get a decent digital camera.

    The constrast, like you mention, is certainly a hybrid mixture. We only invest in a few techno gadgets that helps with “outreach work” – not for personal use only. Photos are, as they say, “worth a thousand words” and sharing what beauty we have been blessed with is an honor and a privledge – giving hope of a better, more sustainable future.

    After so many years of dedication and hard work, the unsolicited media coverage is definitely helping spread a hopeful message of positive change. In the midst of the media flurry, we strive to continue to live and follow our passions whether the media is paying attention or not; however, it has been interesting to see the sustainable lifestyle evolution – from “strange” to “trendy”

    This PTF project no longer is about us and our family trying to live a low impact life – it’s grown into something larger, a movement of modern urban homesteaders.

    With blessings we been given, we have to pass it on to others.

  11. lavonne says:

    Tara, I used to have a terrible ant problem and couldn’t use pesticide because it makes me very sick. I actually used tape to cover the cracks where they were coming in, but of course they always found another way. Then a friend suggested spraying a mixture of vinegar with a few drops of dish soap wherever they entered. It took two or three spray sessions but eventually, it worked. That was five years ago, and they haven’t come back!

  12. Chicago Mike says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I saw that Anais posted a brief mention of citified animals. I actually met my local police chief yesterday, by chance, and asked him about it. While not unfreindly or overly stern he noted that it was against local ordinance and if they had a complaint they would have to act.

    My wife and I are discussing trying to change the ordinance, but it will have to be replaced by language regarding nuisances.

    Has anyone else out there successfully challenged or changed ordinances which prohibit all animals which “can be considered livestock, even if kept as a pet.”?

    Any info would be helpful.

    With Best Regard,

    Chicago Mike

  13. Joy says:

    I agree with you Chicago Mike, I too would be interested in fiding out if anyone has successfully challenged their local by-laws. Or perhaps recieved a special permit?


  14. Janice K says:

    I would LOVE to hear all your tips about enriching the soil. Thank you so much for all your beautiful, inspiring photos! Boy, how do you find time to do everything! It’s mind-boggling!

  15. Chicago Mike says:

    @ Janice K:

    I am not sure how they find the time either. But, the level of dedication is truly exceptional.

  16. rhonda jean says:

    Hi Anais. Your gardens are looking really good, as usual. We’ve just started planting out our front yard with potatoes, tomatoes and bok choi. Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Anais says:

    Regarding ant control – one of the remedies we have used is cinnamon. To protect our beehive from ants, we just sprinkled some around the base of the bee box and our ants did not cross it.

    Smells yummy too!

  18. Anais says:

    As to those who wonder, “How we do it all?” I have to honestly say “we don’t.” What we like to do and what gets done is totally a different story. We’ve had to turn down book requests, speaking engagements and other tv requests.

    The first and foremost priority here on the urban homestead is to grow our own food to feed ourselves and make a decent income from selling the garden’s bounty.

    It’s a difficult juggling act to handle everything – but we’ve gotten where we are due to the hard work and dedication of each individual family member who’s passionate about homegrown lifestyle.

    We definitely do have a lot on our plates and the moment, but like in nature – there’s a season for everything. So we have to take it in stride and be grateful for the opportunity to inspire change.

  19. Anais says:

    To answer your questions about citified farm animals, Seattle is one of many cities nationwide who are allowing backyard livestock and poultry.

    Also, word has it there’s a new CITIFIED FARM ANIMAL website in the works ….

  20. Anais says:

    Hello Rhonda Jean

    Thanks for dropping in., always a pleasure to have you comment. I popped on over to your website – love the changes!

    See you along the path.

    Happy yard liberation!

  21. Judy says:

    Love the pics and tour of the garden. Everything is beautiful. Great to hear about CBS doing a piece for their Evening News — that is wonderful! You are doing such a great job getting the word out to everyone and I think the news interviews and segments are the best way to expose the most people.

  22. Marci says:

    I will be interested in hearing about fly control. We went to a farmer in Florida to observe and help with some things. There was not a fly around even in the heat, even while we butchered chickens. He had a system that I am not sure would work in the city, but should work in the country. Our main problem with flies is with our cows. I want to incorporate part of what he did to help. I would like to get a couple of banty chickens and leave up in the barn. They could pick through the manure, etc. and eat the larvae. Cows just seem to attract flies though.

  23. Steven says:

    Its been a long time since I have been at the site. I have been very busy in the sustainable college realm. I have always wondered what camera you were using for your images……it looks like a Canon EOS?

  24. Anais says:

    Hello Steven

    Thanks for your comment. Yep, I was fortunate enough to get a CANON EOS REBEL XT

  25. Urban Farmers Plant Seeds Of Change | Little Homestead in the City says:

    […] off the archives, just kidding.   But, seriously, this CBS story was actually shot back in June 2008 and then a small snipped again in August 2008 when Mr Whittaker actually come to shoot his stand up […]

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