HARVEST TALLY: February 2012 & Vegetable Planner Giveaway!

Mr Groundhog was right, winter is still with us, well for at least a few days last week.  The rain and cold were short lived as the Santa Ana’s blew out the clouds and turned up the heat.

Praying for those of you who were in the paths of the destructive tornadoes.  Hope you all are safe and sound.

Weather wise, we have certainly have NOTHING to complain about.

Garden Report

Last week was cold & rainy but not too cold to hurt any plants (thankfully); but, then, within a day we bounced back to 85 degrees!  The roller coaster weather patten continues.   We are quickly approaching the last frost day and then we are free and clear.

Last week’s rain really boosted the garden.  Justin took the opportunity to apply a fish fertilizer mixture just before the rains.    To the customers coming to the farm stand, I had to explain why everything smelled a bit “fishy.”   I don’t know if it was the rain or fish juice but the greens seemed to have grown overnight.  Our farm stand customers are happy because they can’t get enough of our greens – you can’t beat the taste and flavor.  With over two decades of organic soil building you can TASTE the difference!  Our greens are picked FRESH each morning and our customers tell us that “they are out of this world!”

Now that we’ve crossed into March, time to start those summer veggies.    Over the winter we clean up a bit around one of our fence lines so we are hoping to take advantage of the improvements by making it more productive.

January Harvest Tally

166 lbs Produce

Eggs:     78  Duck       14 Chicken

2012 Year to Date Tally

367  lbs Produce

Eggs:     151 Duck       14 Chicken


Arugula, kale, chard, mustard, spinach, lettuce, collards, peas, radishes, celery and more

Time to Plant

Another round of peas, greens, carrots, turnips, onions, parsley,  and time to start those summer crops: tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash and more


Building trellises, making soil blocks, emptying the compost pile, another another tier to the raised beds.

:: Resources ::

Heirloom Seed Source

How to Grow More Vegetables

So Cal Growing Guide

US Growing Guide

Companion Planting Guide

Vegetable Planner Chart Giveaway

We are going to kick off the 2012 growing season by giving away Vegetable Chart each month this whole year!

Each time we post our monthly Harvest Tally we’ll be giving away this handy chart answers the following:

When is my local frost date?
Vegetable Growing & Planting Times?
Indoor Planting Times for seed flats?
Seed Planting Times & Quantity?
Plants – When to purchase and plant?
How deep do they plant, and how far apart?

Last Months Winners are……

Diane Melin
Kim @ What’s That Smell?

Send us your snail mail address.


How big of a garden do you have?

Are you planning on “growing more of your own groceries” this year?

Leave a comment in the box and if we receive over 100 “comments,” we’ll not only give away one, but THREE, charts!

NOTE: If you repost this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook or write about it on your blog – or anywhere online – you may ADD an additional comment or comments for each time you shared the link for additional chances to win! (Just make sure to share the url address in the comments box).

This giveaway will end on March 31 2011 at 12 PM PST. Open to all persons in the US and Canada.  ONE ENTRY PER PERSON

Winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be e-mailed. The winner has 48 hrs. to respond to e-mail or another winner will be chosen.

Let’s Get Growing!


  1. Tammy K says:

    We have about 1/3 of an acre in Oregon and the back fourth of the property is our garden. This year we are going to put a lot more effort into the garden in order to have enough to put away for the winter. I wish we still lived in Pasadena so we could visit your little homestead. Happy Gardening!

  2. Jonathan says:

    The garden is currently 108 sq ft with about 30 of those under cold frame. Planning to add a small greenhouse to the mix to extend broccoli, cauliflower, etc into winter. After several years with kids, my wife and I have honed in on what to grow ourselves and what to buy only a few of at the market. This year, it’ll be lots of tomato varieties…like Justin!

  3. Tehla says:

    I don’t have any garden yet, but only because I’m trying to figure out how to begin. I’m reading as much as I can to figure it all out, but I am looking forward to beginning planting soon!

  4. Leigh Anne says:

    We live on 5 acres in rural Louisiana. We have only been there two years, so we are still in the start-up phase. We want the land to work for us, not the other way around, so we are in the process of planting fruit trees. So far, we have pear, apple, plum, lemon, lime, and satsuma. Our herb garden is 25 feet long and four feet wide – it runs along one side of the house. There we have basil, cilantro, tarragon, rosemary, dill, parsley, thyme, and chives. The vegetable garden is a “work in progress!” Because our land contains so much red clay, we install raised beds whenever possible. Right now we are planting beans, peas, beets, radishes, watermelon, cantaloupe, lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. Our goal is to add five more raised beds this spring and to keep creating good compost! (We also have chickens and rabbits that help with the great poo!)

  5. Laura C says:

    I am growing my own this year! I have 144 cels that are seeded and ready for germination this week (it’s been a WARM winter down here in zone 7). Tomatoes, squash, peppers, peas, beans, sprouts, melons and more! Next week, we’ll start the next set of seed starters and get more hot peppers, broccoli and some other bits and bobs going.

  6. Janice Parker says:

    teach me to do what you do! I love it!

    • Alfonso Aguirre luna says:

      Where are you located I am in Los Angeles( Eagle Rock) if you are near by i can help you right away ! from the small to the medium process,let me know.

  7. Lisa Hames says:

    I will be planting my little homestead garden again this year up here in the San Bernardino Mountians. It has it’s chalanges with the snow, but that freshly picked lettese in the spring shure is worth it! i would love to have that calander to help me keep track of the frost dates!

  8. Bridget says:

    I have a garden plot in the foothills of Northern California. It is about 50 feet by 100 feet and I grow mainly vegetables and tried some flowers last year. Organization is not my strong suit. I’ve been at it for two years and this coming summer will be my third. I would love to have a chart like this to help me with my planning. I grow tomatoes, basil, brassicas, zucchini and other squashes, garlic, arugula, lettuces, beans, potatoes, and a few others. I get horse manure when I can from various friends and clients (I am a pet sitter.) It’s hailing today, but I can’t wait until it’s sunny and warm again.

  9. rich hutchins says:

    We have a yard in Brooklyn, about 12 feet by 20 feet. We have 2 beds that are #’X3′, one that is 1′ X 6′, 2 that are 1′ X 5 ‘. We have a rain barrel. As a housewarming present, 2 people gave us gift card at a seed company. We got $100 of seeds, plus some fruit trees! After moving in last fall, we got a few salads out of the garden, lettuce, spinach, etc, but this year we plan on getting much more from our garden! Vegetables, fruit, herbs, etc! I never grew anything before, but I love it! I already have some starts going, and started sprouting too this past week!

  10. Susan The First Time Gardener says:

    Hey… from Ohio!
    It’s still really cold here but I’m ready to begin my seeds; indoors. Found a really unique system that has a heat pad and germination box to help seeds sprout. Also, checked out grow lights from our local Lowe’s store to use after they come out of the box and grow inside before planting; so exciting!

  11. Michelle Rainville says:

    My hubby and I have a 15×15 garden spot. We have one raised bed and 4 tomato cages itching for use. We are already starting our seeds and enjoying some radishes.

    We want to supplement our CSA box and grow more of our own this year.

    We are inspired by all that you do!

    So, we wish you happy kale, squashes, beans, tomoatoes, chard, flowers, corn and well… ALL OF IT! <3

  12. Kathy says:

    We have opened up two new garden areas in the last two years for a total of approx. 2,000 square feet. Trying to feed a family of 6 by growing most of our groceries. Failing mostly. We are trying to amend the sand and gravel we have for soil more every year. Making mistakes growing things that either aren’t productive or planting too late, too early…. Or growing too many of one thing that does really well that we can’t eat all of like onions. (hey, that is what food banks are for : ) Put 9 artichoke plants in the front yard last fall and mulched heavily. They are beautiful and getting BIG and prettier than any hedge. And there are baby artichokes setting 🙂

  13. kristina says:

    We plant on just under 1000 sq. ft. including fruit trees.

    Each year our harvest increases. We have always gone vertically, we are now moving more towards perennials and less labor intensive annual vegetables.We depend most on our mature fruit trees, berries, greens, herbs and eggs year round. We have amazing vibrant soil. 4 – 6 chickens has worked best for us thru the years. Previously heavy breads, now more bantams.The eggs seem to measure 1 to 1 in recipes which was a surprise.

    Local frost date is somewhere around March 1st
    Year round growing, planting best from Nov and March – April
    Indoor Planting Times for seed flats – February-March

  14. Michelle says:

    My garden spot is 100’x30′, but I am cutting back on the size of my garden. I get overwhelmed each year. I am hoping that I can produce greater quality on less ground. I definitely plan to grow more of my groceries!

  15. Linda Wise says:

    I live in central Florida and have 12 raised beds and 3 chickens. I almost have a green thumb. I really, really learn as I go. I hope to feed my family, neighbors and friends.

  16. Sally says:

    Our urban 1947 950 square foot home is on a 6000 square foot lot in the Sherman Oaks / Van Nuys area of Los Angeles. We have 15 dwarf & semi dwarf fruit trees, 144 square feet of raised vegetable planters, and a few large tubs the we’ve converted into self watering earthboxes for more heirloom tomatos. We’ve let the gardener go and have started mowing the remaing grass with a push mower, and we compost most of our food waste. Not bad for two folks with full time jobs!

    The trees ar young, but we hope to get some fruit this year and do a lot of canning and dehydrating. Sunday was a big napa cabbage and lettuce harvest so we had our own one day front porch stand.

  17. Becky H says:

    We live in So. California and have a ” Four Way Fruit Salad Tree”, grafted stock with peaches, nectarines, plums, and white peaches. It’s a space saver. I also grow tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, zucchini, and herbs. I have parsley, basil, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, rosemary, and aloe. I’d love to grow artichokes and have citrus trees next. Thanks for all you do. it’s really inspiring!

  18. Ginger L. says:

    How big of a garden do you have?

    About 10×20 (Which is really about half that because it turns out part of it is in shade — bah), plus a raised bed of about 5×10 and various pots. I hope to start another spot this year, too, near where a tree fell and where there will be much more light than before.

    Are you planning on “growing more of your own groceries” this year?

    Oh yes!

  19. Carol says:

    We are in a typical suburban lot with about one-half of your space designated for for growing edibles. We are in the process of converting our entire yard to include edibles with fruiting trees and shrubs along with veggies and flowers. Last year we planted about 30 fruiting trees and shrubs and started a veggie garden for the first time, which produced about 930 pounds of our vegetables. This year we are hoping to almost double that. For our family of two, once our fruit trees start to produce, we hope to grow the majority of our food.

    Your family is a great inspiration to us and shows what we can strive to do on a small lot. Keep up the good work!

  20. Cheryl Christian says:

    My back yard is a garden, plus fruit trees and asparagus patch else where on our property. I try to grow as much as I can in our growing season and start seeds under grow lights in basement. This year I plan on growing more since groceries are out of sight and I have control on what how my food is grown. I have been growing organic for over thirty years. Our frost date is April 15, but I alway get things out in March with row covers. Glad spring is almost here. Oh and have two girls who lay our eggs.

  21. Sharon says:

    We have three 4×6 raised beds. We have had good luck with tomatoes, eggplant, yellow banana and jalapeno peppers and herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary). I have a dehydrator and so I have really enjoyed the dehydrated herbs and tomatoes this winter.

  22. Miss Antoinette says:

    We just love growing in our little 8’x4′ ft. boxed garden and are looking forward to (Lord willing) growing a much bigger garden for our family once we move to our future home on 28 acres in KY!!! This chart would be of great help and look forward to seeing who wins!

    praying y’all are doing well and God bless!

    Miss Antoinette

  23. Sparrow Brown says:

    I always grow veggies in homemade tospytervy planters and in buckets on my balcony. I also do some farm sharing with some friends out in the country that have a tiny homestead. I’ll be writing about urban homesteading and renegade gardening soon on my blog.

  24. Randall Smith says:

    You folks have been an inspiration to me since I lived in Lake Elsinore in the 2000’s. My girlfriend Amy and I are embarking on growing our first vegetable garden this season. We will also be slowly transforming her mostly turf grass corner lot into a fruit orchard and edible plant oasis. We’ve already participated in a seed share program generated by our local county cooperative extension, and are looking at supplementing our seeds from Seed Savers in Decorah, Iowa. Thanks for sharing all of your hard work and success. It means a lot!

    Randall Smith
    Dundee, Omaha, Nebraska

  25. Donna Scott says:

    Thanks for this opportunity. Your family is an inspiration to me and my husband. We are planting our first raised bed garden this year. Thanks!~ Would love to win this!

  26. Michael says:

    To a limited extent I grow my own groceries, i.e., alfalfa sprouts, although I do supplement them with other items from mostly salvage outlet grocery stores.

  27. Donna Scott says:

    I also posted on my Facebook wall here https://www.facebook.com/donnamariescott

  28. Brenda says:

    I found your site about 2 or more years ago.So glad that you are helping so many people start their own urban farms. I have been growing my own groceries since I was a teenager in Ohio. Here in Panama City FL, I grow vintage & standard tomatoes , lettuce and a variety of peppers (Jimmy Nardello is a favorite), and sometimes lima and green beans. I will be moving to Lake Elsinore where my daughter & her husband has turned their backyard into a garden. They filled in the pool and have put in shade for those extremely hot days that would otherwise burn the vegetble’s leaves. They had so many concord grapes that she had to take many to work to give them away. They had one yellow cherry tomato that was so productive that she needed to share them as well.They also grows limes, lemons and oranges. Once I get there, I will be helping her tend the gardens and adding a few more vegetables and herbs. I cannot wait to be working side by side with her in her gardens. 🙂

  29. Brenda says:


    posted on my facebook page… Thank you for your help. :~)

    Cannot wait to help my daughter learn more about gardening. It is gonna be great.

  30. Carol Cassidy says:

    Ever since I have found your website about 6 years ago, I have been following you and trying to mimic what you have in my yard. I grow lots and lots of produce in our yard and can or freeze what I can. I would love to have some chickens but have not been able to yet. I have added blue berries and am planning on planting some asparagus this year. Love your website.

  31. Daja says:

    We have about a 10×10 foot patch in one part of the backyard. Another another looooong and skinny patch about 30×2 foot patch. And a bunch of containers and pots on the back porch. Every year we add a bit more here and there, tucking stuff wherever we can. 🙂

  32. Daja says:

    I posted about the giveaway to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Provision-Room/341842902504870?ref=tn_tnmn

  33. elaine nieves says:

    I have a tiny garden with one raised bed 4 x 6 ft. and many large pots in the back yard filled with vegs and herbs. The raised bed was used for tomatoes,basil, bell and hot peppers and one pole bean plant last year. In the pots were collards, lettuces, tomatillos and strawberries. In the front yard and side of the house we have oregano, rosemary, spearmint, apricot tree and pomegranet bush. Hope to do as well this year but hope we get some more rain. Also grew garlic and thai basil.

  34. mary sotelo says:

    We have a small garden about 120sq.ft. This year we have planted 3 raspberries and are really excited to taste homegrown raspberries! I’m hoping that we will get at least a few to sample this year but I’m not sure. They may take another year. Why didn’t I think of planting them sooner?

  35. Beth Byrne says:

    I have six earthboxes on my back patio. Yesterday I planted the seeds of sweetpeas, pak choi, kale and spinach. Already have a tomtato plant abt two feet tall with lots of flowers.
    I love my earthboxes because they have mulch covers (no weeds) and a self watering system which uses half the water. It is a SIP system.
    This is my third year using the boxes and they are wonderful!
    I have NO INTEREST in selling these but when I find something nice I want to tell the world. I was leaving them fallow for half the year…no more… I plan on keeping something growing in them all year long from now on.

  36. deb davila says:

    We have an 1/8 acre lot (our house in on this also) and we are currently composting, wintersowing in milk jugs, growing some seeds in our sunroom and greenhouse that my husband built me for Christmas. Plan on starting more heirloom veggies mid March after last frost in Virginia Beach.

  37. Canadian Jane says:

    My garden is about 500 square feet plus some cold frames and containers. In the fall, I planted four fruit trees–cherry, peach and pear. I’ve started some seeds indoors already. This is the first year I’ve added horse manure to some of the garden (in the fall). I’m also planning to dig deep and put some fresh horse manure under my cold frames to see if the greens will keep for more of the winter–had greens until January this year, which isn’t bad for our area.

  38. Monica says:

    How big of a garden do you have?
    I have a container garden and have about 10 of my containers full. I plan on adding at least 5 more this year. Currently I have a lemon tree, an orange tree, a miniature lemon tree, a blueberry plant, 6 strawberry plants, a chocolate mint herb plant, a spearmint herb plant, a peppermint herb plant, 1 potato plant, 1 blackberry plant and 3 bell pepper plants that need planting.

    Are you planning on “growing more of your own groceries” this year?
    I just planted more with the intention of growing more of my own groceries this year! Sunflowers, onions, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, cantaloupe, rosemary and lavender. I can’t wait to see what pops up! ;0)

  39. Jen says:

    My 12’x12′ garden is currently under SNOW! And covered with frozen compost from the kitchen. No point in even starting seedlings until the end of March (in Cochrane, Alberta).

    Despite this, I do plan on growing more groceries this year by adding: broad beans, pickling cucumbers, red cabbage, mint, nettle, sage, winter squash, and sunflowers to previously grown harvest of peas, broccoli, carrots, beets, lettuces, and kale, kale, and more KALE!

  40. Todd Smith says:

    I will be building and planting mainly in boxes this year. I plan to have four main beads 8′ x 4′ that stand 2′ off the ground. I also plan to use pots and hay bails for other individual plants. I have been seed collecting and will test my germination ratios of the seeds I have harvested from vegetables in three of the two beds.
    Any thing I grow in the fourth will be of a seperate variety (mainly greens for salads)

  41. Diane says:

    I have almost two acres…..bare….starting from scratch. I have five raised beds for veggies. Planting fig, apple, mulberry, almond, cherry, yellowhorn trees. Various types or berries. Loving every minute of it! Now, if I just had that vegetable planner!!

  42. Katie says:

    We just moved to downtown Ithaca last year and are planning to turn our tiny urban lot into a food growing landscape. We started with asparagus, garlic and some berry bushes. We’re just planning this year’s garden with a CSA membership as back up.

  43. Monica says:

    I posted the giveaway on my fb. Not sure how to share that link? Here goes? https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1365112165

  44. Krista English says:

    We have 3 raised beds my husband built for me before a bone marrow transplant 3 yrs ago and I had one season of our own veggies and flowers before my transplant. It’s been all this time recovering so hoping to recover the beds this spring and plant again. We spent so much in local organic raw food so it would be nice to be able to grow our own again!

  45. Deidre in Southeast Louisiana says:

    We have 2 garden plots currently growing..one 25×30 and another 30×50. Still harvesting winter crops…some going to seed for saving. Plus we have about 50 large self watering containers that I plant most of my heirloom tomatoes in. Last year we had 67 varieties of tomatoes. Yummy! This year we’ve added a 4×25′ herb bed. We also have lots of satsuma and lemon trees. Didn’t buy ANY citrus this year and we are still picking loads of lemons. This past year we grew about 50-60 percent of our produce. This year we are hoping to increase that to 80%. This past year we also build the coolest chicken tractor. Although we live on 15 acres, we use are rather large chicken tractor to protect them from the numerous hawks that we have. We let them free range a few hours each day and watch for hawks, but we move the coop about every 3 days. Now we have wonderful, rich eggs.

  46. Isaias Saavedra says:

    Hello My name is Isaias Saavedra. I grow in an area that is two meter by four meter in a community garden in the city of Santa Fe Springs California I don’ have an set up schedule for this coming season. However i always have something in my micro garden at the moment i just finished the garlic harvest and i will have garlic for a bout six months is not bad for the space i used. I also harvest parley, broccoli and cauliflower. I do have year round produces like passion fruit, strawberry, savila, mint, thyme, oregano, flowers,tomato, catuse (nopales) but mainly strawberries. I love strawberries, my son and wife do too.
    well thanks for your time i hope one day i can show you my garden tools and share ideas.

    Isaias Saavedra

  47. Deborah says:

    Not only are we planting our own vegetables but we are starting a business selling our own handmade cold processed soaps and incense. We have 4 raised beds, 2 measuring 4′ x 16′ and 2 measuring 4’x8′, along with containers for additional veggies.

  48. Marco Baldi says:

    We live in Riverside California, not too far from you. Since I am renting for now, I grow most of my vegetables (mostly peppers and tomatoes) in pots in the backyard. I hope to soon have a lot where I can plant many more delicious things ! Each year my pot collection grows, and each year I grow more and more…. but soon I will have to expand ! Oh the fun of it all !

  49. domestic diva says:

    I have a mid-size container garden (on a condo patio). I dream of big gardens, and growing more food.

    • Albert says:

      This book was written many years ago, but its acdvie is still valid here in the 21st century. The premise of the book, as the title promises, is that gardeners can grow a vast quantity of produce in a very small space. Newcomb’s book introduces the idea of intensive gardening and gives practical instructions for creating small, productive gardens.Topics are wide-ranging and include discussions on creating raised vegetable beds; soil amendments; training vegetable plants to use less space; and planting different types of plants together for beneficial effects or to avoid potentially growth-retarding effects. While this sounds like it might make for a dull table of contents, Newcomb’s enthusiasm makes the book fun to read. This book appears to be ahead of its time. Not only is it practical and to the point, but it also champions environmental ideas such as efficient use of resources and organic pesticides. Newcomb even discusses how to use beneficial flowers to help ward off insect attacks and disease on specific vegetables. Apartment dwellers in particular might today benefit from this book. Because I’ve employed Newcomb’s methods, I know that they work. It is possible to generate an astonishing amount of fresh produce from a 4 x8 raised vegetable bed, especially if you plant seasonally. Although this book has been revised and republished, bargain-priced copies of the original edition are probably still floating around used book stores.

  50. Heather says:

    I absolutely love your site, information & inspiration! This will be our second summer of gardening and we will be getting chickens this week as well. Thanks for all that you do!

  51. Kim says:

    We relocated to Plevna Montana last June, unfortunetly I was out of town until the beginning of September. I have designed to build our backyard with raised garden beds as well as containers (freestanding and hanging). I have never gardened in this area of Montana, its a whole new ballgame. Our closest store is about 20 minutes away, because its a rural store the prices are very high, not to mention the gas to get there. The first thing I noticed here was there was no Farmers Market in the area. There was one weekend of a side-walk-sale that had a total of 1 table of veggies. I need to change this…. My hope is to add more gardens and fruit trees each year, not to mention chickens by next summer. I have a five year old daughter, I am hoping to raise her with the same love of nature and gardening as my mother taught me. Is there a better way to bond than in the garden?

  52. Robyn Fichter says:

    You are all so inspirational; I would love to have a garden planner to make my own garden as optimum as can be : )

  53. kristine says:

    This year I hope to have enough to can.
    Make a dent in the budget. I love having
    a garden.

  54. kendra in sc says:

    My garden is only 20’x60′ but there’s always something edible growing all 4 seasons. We built a 10×14 greenhouse this winter out of recycled windows! And we have 3 fugs, 6 blueberry, 3 ea. of black & raspberries. Grapes & strawberries wull be added shortly. i grew enough carrots, lettuce & broccili to share with my unemployed neighbor this winter. i grow sprouts & make bread with them also. i have grown comfrey for two years, adding more plants by splitting regularly. ive got 60 rooted to sell/share. i made salve also. this year im adding feverfew, st johns wort & more medicinals to what ive got. i planted sweet peas & onions this week & weve had a cold snap so i covered everything. all fruits and berries had buds or flowers already! We had a very mild winter in coastal southern south carolina. the chemtrails have been awful this year. thank you for your newsletter.

  55. Pamela Pinto says:

    We have a 2 acre lot that we have slowly been clearing and converting to growing spaces instead of brambles, woods, and lawn. We now have the “East Patch” which is 16’x62′, the “North Patch” which is 15’x 50′, a blueberry patch with 9 shrubs; 3 each of early bearing, mid-season and late-season bearing. Last year we put in 100 strawberry plants. This year we will also have 9 4’x8′ raised beds for vegetable “experiments” (meaning vegies we haven’t grown before). This year we will be trying kidney beans and navy beans.

    We also are planning a corn patch, a pumpkin patch and a sunflower patch to use not only to feed ourselves but also our chickens. We are learning all the time and looking for ways for feed more of ourselves as well as our animals.

    This year we will be reclaiming 3 apple trees that were here when we bought the property a few years ago. We also planted 2 apple trees last year, and this year are planning on adding 2 peach trees and 2 plums as well.

  56. Sarah Severns says:

    We’re expanding our garden out of the yard and adding a community garden plot. Hoping to grow 80% of our veg with some to share with neighbors and the food pantry.
    First plants are under the grow light, winter planted greens are peeking out of the mulch, so spring has arrived in Kansas.

    Best wishes to the Homestead, and all my fellow green thumbs

  57. Linda says:

    This is the year I am going to start a container garden. So excited to grow and eat our own veggies.
    Love your blog, thanks for your sharing and information.

  58. Duane says:

    I think your farm is a great inspiration for what you can do with a small spot of land. I am surprised that what you are doing hasn’t been criticized by the local government of Pasadena. Local farms are not something that our local government encourages and I live in far Northern California where it should be more common.

    • Anais Dervaes says:

      Actually, Pasadena is a pretty progressive city! In fact, our project has received TWO awards by the city for our urban sustainability. Pasadena has drawn up a GREEN CHARTER http://cityofpasadena.net/GreenCity/ to become a greener, more sustainable city.

  59. Gail E says:

    I dream of having a garden such as yours. Until then we only have a small bed, plus several containers. We’re still learning and hope to increase our gardens in the near future. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  60. Judith says:

    I started last year trying to combine permaculture & SFG techniques in my backyard. Im not using chemicals. I learn to attract toads to my garden so they take care of the snails and some other pests. But we have a very bad problem of ants, when it becomes unbearable specially in the rainy season they invade the garden & the house and yes i confess i had to use some ant killer. I live in Puerto Rico, we have a tropical , warm (sometimes HOT) humid weather most of the year and in my town rains almost daily.

    I build 2 raised beds 4X4, last holidays I add a 4X9′ raised bed, a spiral to grow ornamental & wild verdolaga & a chicken coop & run with 2 hens & a rooster, and increased the size of one of the 4X4 bed to 4×8. Last year I plant mostly Aromatics, Herbs & Medicinal ( 3 varieties of oregano, 2 of basil, rosemary, verbena, lemongrass, anise, cilantro, recao, ginger, bruja, aloes) most of them are thriving, later add spinach, pumpkins,arugula, corn , pineapple , passion fruit, stevia, henna … assorted ornamental (heliconias, orchids and bromelias) among them.

    Already had a banana plant, Guanabana (sour-sop) , Avocado and Mango trees, and many ornamental bushes. Did not succeed at pineapple (too much rain) , pumpkins (many flowers not fruits) or corn (many ants, but they produce enough seeds for trying again this year), cilantro ( too much rain I guess). Henna & stevia do not germinate as well as wild, roses, marygolds and other flower seeds I tried.

    Green pigeon peas did great from 3 bushes we ate 4 times and are still producing, the empty pods are good forage for the chickens too. By the way my 2 hens produce between 9 and 11 eggs weekly ( i will probably add 2 more hens)

    This year I am growing tomatoes & cherry tomatoes(doing great so far, white beans, pumpkins, carrots(first attempt), strawberries (not doing good), loofah, Jamaica (hibiscus), holy basil, cotton, other ornamental hibiscus , spinach and tumeric.

    Soon God willing will start to plant corn, peas, lettuce, arugula, henna, pigeon peas, black eye peas, peppers, ornamental, medicinal plants and edible wild plants and everything I found!

    I’m still in the experimenting phase…so far I learn by experience that my version of the “mulch-layer- bed technique” is working wonderful (I lay down newspapers as a base for the raised bed (to stop weeds from growing inside the beds), in a 4’x4′ beds (or longer in one side) are constructed in 4X8x16in construction blocks (this allows me to expand it size easily), 1st layer is organic kitchen vegetable scraps, coffee grinds, tea leaves, eggshells, etc… that I collect in a Styrofoam cooler where it started the decomposition process, 2nd layer is dry, horse (or cow) manure, 3rd layer is organic soil & finally a 4th layer of hay (or dry tree leaves).

    Blessings! & happy gardening!

  61. Wendy Palfrey says:

    We are trying to grow tomotoes unsuccessfully year after year. We’ve tried seeds, plants, towers, ceramic pots, plastic pots, food of all kinds, special soil, nemetode free soil, full sun etc. One time a few medium sized ones actually had a nice flavor but a very tough rind.We have gotten a few stunted globes, much black rot and a great deal of bone dry blobs. What are we doing wrong? Help, please! My inlaws used to have a giant fight each year over whose techniques would grow the most tomatoes. They had hundreds each (in the San Gabriel Valley which was much warmer than our area near the coast in San Diego County) Our daughter’s ten green thumbs grow amazing flora in South Pasadena, but no food as yet.

  62. Jeanna M says:

    Yes we are growing our own groceries. I can’t really say how big our garden is going to be this year because we are expanding. I can say it is going to about triple the usual size. We have rhubarb already peeking through and tomato’s started in flats. We are hoping to put in lettuce and cabbage this weekend. We also have strawberries to plant, 5 new apple trees, 4 blueberry bushes, and 6 grapevines we are adding this year. You guys have been and inspiration for many years. I hope this year is a good one for you all.

  63. Denise H says:

    I saw a report on tv recently that some scientists are trying to grow hamburger in a petri dish and that SCARES me!! I believe its time to get off the pot and take some action to protect my family from this. Growing up my mom always had a graden untill I was about 14. When my kids were little and we lived in town I grew tomatoes and peppers in 5 gallon buckets on our deck. We currently live on 3 acres 10 miles from town and have grown tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers (my 3 favorite foods) just enough to eat during the summer. However, this year we plan on making the garden bigger with some raised beds, and I want to plant enough tomatoes and peppers to learn how to can tomato sauce and salsa. My mom passed away a few years ago so unfortunatly shes not here for me to learn from but I still have her canner, and cant wait to learn how to use it!!!

  64. Lorraine says:

    I have a tiny garden in an even smaller Reseda back yard. I have numerous citrus trees, apple trees, apricot trees, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, Boysenberries, herbs, blackberries, figs. We have three chickens, two ducks and one rabbit.

    I try to make use of every bit of the garden by composting, canning, baking, cooking, pickling and anything else I can.

  65. Debbie says:

    You are all such an inspiration!

    We have a small lot and when we re-landscaped a couple of years ago I made sure that everything we planted gave back in some way to us or the local wildlife. We have used a lot of natives and of course many edibles. I maintain a small garden and this spring I will be concentrating on planting/growing more produce in the front and back yards. We started composting last year and solar is going in this month – yeah! Currently, I have growing pomegranate, citrus, espalier apples (3), grapes, boysenberry, turnips, carrots, lettuce, radish, strawberry, strawberry guava. I’m getting ready to start tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, peppers, more herbs and I’m adding bush beans for the first time. Oh, and I’m working on hubby for a couple of chickens as our city has recently amended the ordinance allowing a few.

    I look forward to reading more about your urban homestead. Thank you for the opportunity in the giveaway as well.

  66. Azri'el Collier says:

    This year, being the second year since we moved here in northern MO., I am expanding the garden area and we are buying some chicks to begin our own backyard chicken ranch. I have built one raised bed and am going to build some more. I am using all recycled materials in them including the nails and screws. I am also planting some cherry hedges that are called purple plum hedge. I also am planting more of the native mulberry trees and am training the wild black raspberry vines so it will be more productive and easier to manage. Amongst the fruit trees I am allowing more of the native wild carrots to grow as well as more of the wild rye. Not really high producers but add a nice touch to the breads and the salads. I also expanded my potato beds and am going to do more vertical gardening this year. All of this plus putting in a water reclamation system to use not only on the garden but towards the end of this year to have a large fish pond set up to raise crappie as a food fish for us and use the nitrogen rich water to feed the garden. Lots of work, but will be well worth it!!

  67. BJ Gingles says:

    Just recouperating from surgery so am behind in the garden and not sure when I will be able to get back to “puttering around with vegetables” as one friend put it. I might just have to cut back to a couple raised beds this year. I hope to do more.

  68. betty bagwell says:

    This is my favorite time of the year and one of the best ideas is container gardening & window herbs for this senior lady from the suburban area of Stl MO. Would love to have a vege planner of my very own….. Peace & Blessings to all.

  69. Andrea Watts says:

    We have a 12 by 36 garden plot in the back yard. We plan on growing twice the amount of groceries than we did last year. We want to eventually learn how to plant all heirlooms but we are still learning as we go.

  70. Liza says:

    my front yard is my garden, it’s about 15×25. I need to make better use of it and plan better, I grow what we eat 🙂 Now we’re trying to get some bare root fruit trees going in the backyard

  71. Lori says:

    We are making our garden bigger this year..going to try growing things we haven’t grown before like asparagus, peas, broccoli & okra along with the usual tomatoes, green beans, squash, carrots & lettuce. Who knows what all we may try 🙂

  72. Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead says:

    I am starting a small farm, I’m quite interested on how this will help on my recording in the near future… Thank u so much for this info… Looking forward for more suggestions from you… I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I’d love for you to drop by and join in.

  73. Janell and Kenton Abel says:

    We are working with our 13-year-old to convert a portion of our yard from flower garden to kitchen garden. We have gophers, so are lining the area (bottom and sides) with something similar to aviary wire. Once that’s in place, we’ll plant a variety of fruits and vegetables to share with family and neighbors. We’re looking for suggestions for natural pest control – we’ve heard Marigolds are good. Any other suggestions?

  74. Sally says:

    We have many raised beds and fruit trees in pots. Our lot is small but we are beginning to see the results.

  75. Pamela Neitenbach says:

    Hello, We are looking to a great season at our farm in Ohio… We grow on 2 acres which consists of medicinal herbs and vegetables. We grow for ourselves and the local farmers’ market here. A vegetable planner would be very handy seeing that we start all of our own vegetables and herbs!

  76. Mordechai and Rachael Welt says:

    This is the time of year when we begin uprooting our winter crop and start turning over the soil and preparing our 80 raised beds for the spring/summer season.

    With the exception of six varieties of kale and collards which grew beautifully in the cold weather and snow of the Judean mountains, most of our gardening efforts were not too successful these last few months.

    None of the many Asian vegetables we planted seemed to do well in our locale. Our lettuces, arugula, and other greens were eaten by bugs and birds.

    Not to be dismayed we are getting ready for the spring.

    We will be converting our living room and an upstairs bedroom into a temporary “greenhouse.”

    We are preparing to start about 300 seedlings.

    These will include the basics: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc. In addition, we are excited to be planting about ten types of summer and winter squash.

    Our initial experience with squash last summer was positive and we want to expand on that success.

    Our continued thanks to you and your family (and your site contributors) for being such an ongoing source of inspiration and motivation.

  77. Barbara says:

    Last year we planted a 28 x 20 area in raised beds Mittleider style. This year we are expanding that garden by adding another 28 X 20 garden all tilled up. We grew tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, strawberries, set a grape plant, and a boatload of crookneck squash and cantaloupe. This year we are planting tomatoes, peppers, culinary herbs, eggplant, kale, onions and anything else we get the courage to plant and care for. We currently have seeds planted indoors for 3 kinds of tomatoes. Goal is to fill lots of jars for next winter.
    We moved here two years ago and are little by little adding farmstead projects. We have 1/2 acre at the end of a cul-de-sac just outside city limits. We have 5 little hens and a rooster and 12 eggs in the incubator. We love homegrown eggs.
    A lot of our inspiration has come from you. W.W.T.D.D.? has become a favorite mantra (What would the Dervaes’ do?) Looking forward to putting more greens on the table and in the pantry. Thanx.

  78. Terrie Ann Schmearer says:

    We live in New York State, in the mid Hudson Valley region. We have an acre, but the back half is pretty wet. We have a gargantuan willow tree back there that takes up most of the space, but do have a lot of black raspberries growing along the fence. We built seven 4×12 ft. raised beds and plan to add another one. I also have a 4×4 raised bed that I plant herbs in. Last year we had bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, a huge mix of lettuce greens, red potatoes, bok choy, sunflowers, yellow squash and cucumbers. We tried Rainbow Chard, but the deer think it’s candy so I don’t think we’ll try that one again. One of the beds was planted with asparagus. This will be our third year with the asparagus so we will be able to harvest some this year. We also planted rhubarb in the yard and it’s also on it’s third year. Last year we planted one bed full of strawberries that are the kind that come back each year. Last summer I put up raspberry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam and Bread and Butter pickles. Canned and froze tomatoes. Chopped the bell peppers and the onions and put in the freezer. We had potatoes for a while but they didn’t quite last the winter. I also tried drying some of my spices. I have two kinds of basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary in my spice bed. We usually go to local orchards and pick apples and I put up apple jelly, apple preserves and apple butter.

  79. Katie says:

    I’m moving to a house on 10 acres, so this year will be my first planting. I am VERY overwhelmed by the whole thing and excited at the same time 🙂 I want to become as self sustaining as I can be! 🙂

  80. Deanna B. Pilling says:

    Greetings from the Rainforest coast of British Columbia, Canada, where I too live on
    a 66 foot by 132 lot, about 450 feet from the shores of Sechelt Inlet (Kayakers Paradise)(Pacific Ocean waters) and have slowly cleared out my land from forest for 15 years now, retaining Naturescape certification by protecting indigenous wildlife habitat and pathways to the beach (yes we have regular visits from bears, deer, the odd cougar, bobcats, wild mink, weasels, pileated woodpeckers and of course the always present bald eagles (which we have to protect our cats from) and of course raccoons, coyotes and now the wolves have recently shown themselves to us.
    Nowamongst this I have been working towards growing a good portion of all my vegies,and so many medicinal herbs, and all the basics of Permaculture.
    I am an able senior citizen, and although I have slowed somewhat with age and the back is always nagging, I am putting the rear of my property into food production this year also, with raised beds The pond is built, the chicken/rabbit coop is planned for this year, one hive of healthy bees have come through this long cold winter, with a second/third one joining this year (on the roof of my weaving studio….away from the bears).
    I so love the work your family has done and you inspire so many, and particularly me, as I discover it is awesome how much even one family can do, and more so
    what one woman can do, and amazing what one senior citizen woman can accomplish, and will do so even more this year. Today I spent the day tending to
    cleaning seeds that I dried over the winter, and will start seeding in the green house in two weeks. I grow only Organic and Open Pollinated Seeds from local sources
    and enjoy good results, and mulch, mulch, mulch.
    I live a fourty minute ferry ride and half hour drive from Vancouver, but in a spot
    aptly called Paradise, on the Sunshine Coast in Sechelt First Peoples Territory
    with the ocean at my feet and the mountains at my back……..Hugs Deanna

  81. Regina Rose says:

    British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Victoria

    My garden is my back yard. We are Urban Gardening. Built on property that doesn’t have lots of room for much. We are building raised Garden beds out of things we already have. Left over wood, rocks and bricks. It’s about 8ft by 12ft and we are packing it full of veggies and ripping out the grass that I’m allergic to any ways. 🙂 Our patio is going to also be full of Herbs this year.

    Was given your sight via Facebook by a friend. I’m so excited by the ideas and problem solving that you all have done!

    Happy Gardening!


  82. Bobbi Anderson says:

    I have a small but expanding urban garden. My plot is more of a 12×12 for veggies, i have many perennials, and i am working towards creating more of a permaculture! I plan to put in an herb garden (i live in cleveland ohio so i can only plant cold weather things now) and add a self-pollinating cherry this year!
    Oh and i just discovered you.. so fun!

  83. Merry says:

    I started gardening late last year with just some tomatoes and those were wonderful! My son ate most of them. While he was playing in the yard he would just walk over and grab a handful of cherry tomatoes and have a little snack! This year the garden is growing and we hope to grow most of our produce and maybe a little of our fruit!

  84. Annie says:

    I have a small backyard garden area. We have 10 small raised beds and 4 children (plus one due this September)! We have attempted each year for the past 4 years to grow a garden. We’ve had some success and a lot of failure. We live in Northern CA and have no greenhouse and really don’t like buying starter plants. Learning a lot about healthy soil and conditions, but seem to come up short a lot. But, we don’t want to give up!!! I’d love to grow more veggies, as the kids seem to like them more if they are from our garden!
    Thanks for all that you do, it’s very encouraging.

  85. Mari says:

    I have a small container garden on my balcony/fire escape. I plan on supplementing the food I’ll get from my CSA as my limited space doesn’t let me grow enough to feed myself. I’ve tried growing food the past two years, but have met with little success. I think a big part of that is because I just don’t plan things right. This year I’m trying to scale back the variety of things I’m growing so I can better focus on a few things instead of juggling a bunch of different plants with different needs. A planning tool would really help with this!

  86. elizabethanne says:

    This is our first year really gardening, and we have an “L” shaped garden around the side/back of the house. I don’t know the exact measurements, but I think it’s something like 30′ x 30′ on the long sides, and about 16′ x 14′ on the insides? We already have a couple of fruit trees that produce (avocado, plum, apricot, and meyer lemon, none are in the garden area that I mentioned, though), along with some cherry tomatoes. We have planted a few things, but we really want to tear up the rest of the grass on that side and do more intensive planting this year (have about 2/3 torn up now). Also, we want to turn the other half of the yard (a bigger area, but we won’t tear up the grass because the dogs need a place to play) into an “orchard,” of sorts with more fruit trees, and maybe some hops and other vine-y plants along the walls. 🙂

  87. Cristy says:

    I love your site, and the wonderful photos and updates!

    How big of a garden do you have?
    – I have 4 – 4’x15′ raised beds for veggies, plus a bunch of pots and hanging plants, and around the perimeter of my backyards I have raspberry and blackberry bushes (the blueberry bushes didn’t make it). I’m in central Wisconsin, so I’m looking into creating a greenhouse to grow food year-round. You’ve inspired me!

    Are you planning on “growing more of your own groceries” this year?
    – Yes, my hope is that by mid-summer, I’ll be able to live off the veggies and fruits without having to buy at the grocery store (except staples foods). I’m getting really excited about it!

  88. Stephanie says:

    We have a 20×35 backyard which lost every blade of grass last spring and is now raised boxes. We grew 260 lbsof food last year (including eggs from my contraband chickens) and we are aiming for 350lbs this year. I think my highlight from last year was when I gave a lettuce to my neighbor she couldn’t believe lettuce had a scent. For her lettuce used to just “round out a salad” which she ate not because it tasted good but because she was supposed to. So she has inspired me to grow lots of different lettuce this year and we are going to try a bed of wheat just for fun. I can’t wait for the last frost free day (in May in the great white north of Alberta, Canada)

  89. Sarah C. says:

    We have a garden that is 14’x22′ and completely fenced in to keep out all the hungry deer we have around here. I’m hoping we can grow enough for veggies on the table twice a day and enough to can for winter for our family of three. Fingers crossed and trowel ready!

  90. Chun Lucker says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

  91. T-Bone's Mom says:

    After living in a condo the past 8 years my fiance and I finally bought a house and we are learning to grow our own vegtables. We are “newbies” and enjoying learning more about what, when, and how! Stumpled upon your website and hope we will learn even more

  92. Tana Gonska says:

    Hi, I recently have become aware of your site, and discovered that it’s really insightful. All the best!

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