Yesterday it rained (at times torrential) buckets, we got over 2 inches!   What a  tremendous blessing – great for the garden!

Around the urban homestead we’ve been busy.  There’s so much to do, I can’t even begin to start.  Spring is so about “happenings”  don’t you think?  And we are ready to roll… are you?


Oh, and before I post another pictorial dispatch, seems have to clear up a few things.

Folks have been commenting and emailing asking for us to post recipes – like the Three Citrus Marmalade we just made.  Though the recipe wasn’t posted in the post per say it’s there!   Since I only linked to the recipe we used.

And there’ also been a few who wondered where they can buy the ollas –  once again the word “olla” in posts are in fact linked to the source.

So, if you see  green colored underline wording therein probably lies the answer all your questions!

Portablella mushrooms popping up

And in a weeks time – ready for picking and eating.

Late winter garden, raised beds filled with broccoli, onions, chard, cabbage, radishes, garlic and all types of salad greens

Lettuces and greens


Ok, I don’t know what it is – stars aligned or something.  But these year the radishes taste out of this world.  No joke!  The are so sweet and juicy – almost like eating an apple.   These days you can catch me popping these beauties in my mouth – a little dirt and all.

Remember all these gorgeous vegetables you see here can be purchased via our online seed store –

Potato harvest – we had these tender, creamy beauties with some homegrown broccoli and meyer lemon, herb butter.  More about our meals here on the urban homestead in an upcoming weekly meal wrap up!

Happy faces

and sleepy ones


This is what goats do MOST of the day!   What a life I tell you!

Oh, Blackberry you look so cute!  Did you hear me?  I just said “what a life” you lazy daisy!

Hey what about me?  Yeah, so what about you your ladyship?

Going to say something there Fairlight, huh, speak up, we are listening!

Muffins cooking in the solar oven

Ollas are here!

Last week we finally got our spring shipment of ollas (there are now in stock on

When the ollas come we gals go shopping!  Yeah “shopping” — urban homestead style.

Seriously, since these babies are packed, wrapped in second hand clothing and we gals pick thru and find duds that fit us.

There were a few scores in this batch.  We got a few nice long sleeve shirts, long pants for us and flannels for the guys.  And for the clothes we can’t fit, we re-use in packing/shipping these ollas out.

Front yard farming

Backyard intensive production

Central planting station! Getting ready to make some soil blocks

Thanks to the guys hard work over winter, we have a new garden shed and potting table/area!

Farmer Justin gets out the ol’ soil block (we’ve had that thing for over 15 years – one of the best investments we’ve ever made!)

Like to get your own nifty soil block maker?  They are in stock and flying off the shelves!

I lend a hand, or two, and in my apron pocket are a bunch of labels that I scribbled.

In one day we make up a few hundred soil blocks and planted squashes (winter & summer), pole beans, basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and more!

Most of the seeds are from Freedom Seeds a few we got at the seed swap at the Eco Farm Conference and others from Farmer Sergio.

What a relief that planting day was, not only was it fun to get your hands dirty (three days later I still have dirt under my fingernails!).  We had been so busy with other projects but we had to get seeds in and now!  Whew, now with a jump start on plantings I can sleep a little better at night.

The cabbage heads are growing bigger and more gorgeous by the day.  I am so proud of Farmer Justin!  These head are so beautiful I am going to hate to eat them.

Remember all the vegetables you see here are from our little seed company, Freedom Seeds – profits help support this site too.

Are you growing Freedom Seeds?  Care to share how well they are growing for you?


Bee on flowing broccoli

And apple blossoms.

Spring is here!

Coming up

Weekly Meal Wrap Up x2 and details for a GIVEAWAY in March!


  1. Maureen says:

    Can you tell us when your potatoes went into the ground. We are also in CA and ours aren’t near ready….what’s your secret?


  2. Patti says:

    I’m getting my spring seeds started today. I’ll let you know how they do. I am especially excited about the Great White tomaotes. Our gardeners club seed swap is this week, so I am looking for some new varieties to try. Keep up the good work!

  3. Turling says:

    Wonderful pictures. I’ll have to pick up the pace on building the vegetable garden in the backyard. It’s beginning to resemble a maximum security prison, as we have rabbits and gophers something fierce. Do you have issues with rodents? If so, how do you handle it?

  4. Chris says:

    I read your blog pretty much every day. I love it! I was greatly inspired by your family a little over a year ago by a video I saw on YouTube. I was so moved by what I saw that I immediately made plans to rip out my back lawn (which luckily faces south). I was wasting so much money, time, and resources on something that had no value to me. Over the course of a year I’ve put in raised beds and learned a lot about soil and gardening. I’ve been gardening ever since.

    I was wondering if you could comment more about how you grow Portabella mushrooms. I’ve researched this topic on the web and in books. But, I don’t think I want to go the route where you put spores in logs. Your method looks much simpler. Can you please comment on how you go about it. I really want to try it and I have not found a product or method that will help me do this simply.

    Thank you for your blog and your continued passion for urban homesteading.

    Happy Gardening,

  5. Paul Gardener says:

    Everything looks great… (big surprise there!) Do you find that the bees really love the brassica flowers like the broccoli? Last year I left a few Kohlrabi to go to seed and the bees just loved them! This year I have a few Kale that I am leaving to seed. Spring comes late here in the Rockies so anything the bees can get is good!

    I was able to plant 300 peas this weekend in a gamble for early harvest. The weather’s been unseasonably warm and I did put them under covers so “fingers crossed”.

    Here’s to a good start to 2010!

  6. Tamlynn says:

    Hooray for bees on blossoms! I’ve been a little worried about not getting enough bees to come to my yard this year-I’ve only seen 2 at a time on my peach trees. I hope they go tell all their friends where the good eats are!

  7. Nathan Strange says:

    Hey there! Do you guys have any plans/diagrams of your animal enclosure? We are finally in a position to start our own urban homestead and I’m developing plans for the garden and animals. We will have about the same amount of space as you guys, and thought you could offer some insight. Thanks so much!

  8. Jill Pittman says:

    All the seeds I ordered from you guys have done great. I grew the Johnny’s Long Red Cayenne pepper last summer and it produced loads of beautiful peppers all summer long, despite our torrential Florida rains. Right now I am growing the Giant Red Mustard, and it has done well, but did get nipped back a bit when we had two weeks of temperatures in the 20’s. I have since covered it up when its going to be really cold, and it has bounced back. Keep up the good work.

  9. Tommy says:

    A comment about the flowering broccoli picture—I grew broccoli for the first time this last fall/winter, and tried to quickly pinch-out the flowering heads.
    Are you letting them flower for seeds, or did some just get through without you pinching them out? I read somewhere that the broccoli gets too bitter if you let some go to flower?
    I would love to get your input since I’m so new at this.

  10. Janice says:

    We’re letting our napa cabbages go to seed and the bees love ’em. As usual, your pics are wonderful! I wish I had an outside source for that nettle tea! We are doing green manuring with hairy vetch and it seemed to do great with the napa cabbages this winter. We pickled the cabbage, it’s yummy. We’re growing peas we bought from you last fall. I think they were called British Wonder. It may have been my fault for planting them too deep, only about 40% germinated but the ones that did are VERY productive. We’re actually not eating them as shelling peas, but as snow peas, and leaving some to seed it’s self. We have started some Amish Paste tomatoes last week. I’ll keep you posted on how they do!

  11. Heather Hawkes says:

    oh, i am green here! we are still so cold up in the north east. i can’t even think about starting seeds for at least a good month. waaah! your garden is so amazingly lovely! thank you for sharing this!

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