Early summer garden

It’s about time for another round and reader favorite — “Pictorial Post!”   Bringing to you once again snapshots from the Urban Homestead.  Enjoy!

Late spring greens

Out with the spring crops and in with the summer ones

Beneficial border on the parking strip



The countdown to ripe tomatoes begin!

Heirloom roses


Red poppy

Basketful of berries



Climbing roses




Fence line of trailing nasturtiums

Garden in the afternoon

Green beans in the garden

Summer starts

Squash climbing its way up


Garden projects




Home brewing biodiesel

Knitty & kitty. Cassidy share the bed with three of my latest knitting projects

Jammin' Strawberry preserves and grapefruit marmalade

Red Roses

Marking out the succession summer plantings

Morning on the front porch farm stand

Goats at play

Jordanne practicing guitar

Jordanne talks to a reporter about city chickens

Visitors enjoy refreshments in the garden

Laundry day

What’s going on at your homestead?


  1. Lesa says:

    My little garden is growing like crazy: beans, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, cucumbers, lettuces, zucchini, and various herbs. I just finished the school year (I am a middle school English teacher), so I am organizing all my summer projects: Canning, knitting, spinning, and gardening! I’ll be making strawberry jam tomorrow, and I am working on knitting projects all the time. Sadly, my community will not allow me to have chickens or goats. We are planning our move to the country for next year.

    • Anais says:

      @Lesa: That is sad. Way to grow, sounds like your garden is coming along nicely. What sorts of knitting projects are you working on?

      • Lesa says:


        I am an avid sock knitter, and always have at least one pair in the works. I have a couple of sweaters going too because I teach 10 miles from Chicago, and my school is very energy conscious (it is cold in the building). I have been doing lots of hats and mittens with my homespun to give as gifts.

        Made strawberry jam this weekend, and my beans will be ready to go in about two weeks.

        • Anais says:

          @Lesa: I love making socks! So fun working with four needles.. and turning the heel – sweet! Lucky you get to take full advantage of your knit wares, here in So Cal we barely have a winter! Happy summer!

  2. Judy Songer says:

    You are so generous to share these lovely photos. I don’t know how you do it because I know you receive less rain than we do here in Florida. We are in a drought and I have given up on watering. We are hoping the mulch and organic matter will help and that it will rain again someday.

    • Diggity Dog says:

      @Judy Songer, Are you using rain barrels? I was always running out of water and having to pay for city water until I put in my 55 gallon rain barrel. Now it gets me through droughts for my size of garden(200 square feet). So an investment of $30 helps the local rainshed and saves me on watering costs. I load up the riding mower’s tow behind cart with 5 buckets of water, slowly haul it to the garden and water by hand. Now that I’m expanding my garden I’m putting in a huge tote(200+ gallons) on another downspout that will support my growth in space. You can also use greywater, ie output from washing machines, dishwashing machines, shower water and general overflow from sink usage.

      • Bev says:

        @Diggity Dog, Hi, you can use greywater from washing machines – as long as the detergent doesn’t contain borax (borax will kill the plants).

    • Anais says:

      @Judy Songer: We;ve been MULCHING heavily for the past 25 years. Ollas http://www.peddlerswagon.com/p-19-olla-oy-ya-pumpkin.aspx help too to conserve water. Praying that ya’ll get RAIN!

      • Erica says:

        @Anais, What do you use for mulch?

        • Anais says:

          @Erica: Local tree trimmers drop of oak and pine mulch for FREE!

  3. Robert Gentzel says:


    I wonder how the planting of vegetables and flowers in your garden planning. Do I try this in my garden for years. But I will not succeed easily. Mostly I saw more than I need and then I bring it not have the heart to throw out the weaker plants. You will then go somewhere where gepflanze just a place is free, which I actually thought for a different vegetable.

    • Anais says:

      @Robert Gentzel: I owe you a few emails, sorry, for the delay. Will get back to you shortly.

  4. Candace says:

    Wow! You make it look so beautiful and easy, but I know it’s hard work. I juggle working out of the home and trying to maintain a full garden in a drought. Lots of trudging back and forth to the rain barrels. The garden pests have been a huge nuisance this year, aphids, flea beetles, squash vine borers (the worst), and grasshoppers. Everything seems to be behind schedule this year too. We are still waiting on our first tomatoes, and we were eating tomatoes this time last year. Thanks for sharing and providing the inspiration.

  5. jillp says:

    Canning, freezing, and pickling are going on at our own sub-urban homestead. The dry weather seems to have helped the tomato crop. I’m into the second round of tomato sauce canning, and the still the dining room table is covered with them! Cucumbers had a good year, too. I’ve finally stopped after three rounds of bread and butter pickles. We do need some rain, though. We’re hoping our new cistern project will help bring our watering costs down.

    • Anais says:

      @jillp: Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing, way to GROW! Wishing you a bountiful and blessed year.

  6. Ginger says:

    Thanks for posting your photos. I’m looking at the corner of your raised beds. What sort of hardware did you use to join the wood? Wood screws did great for the first couple years, but now weathering is making the boards pull apart.

    I’m going slow with my garden this year. I had plans for a big garden, but all the deaths in the family, caring for dying parents, and so forth put a kibosh on the plans. All my seed starts died. However, I’m really OK with this.

    I have two little raised beds that are teaming with kale, collards, bok choy, parsley, and onions. I planted some purchased transplants of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cilantro, and basil today~can you say Mediterranean? My indoor garden gives me several pounds of greens per week. The fruit trees and bushes also share their bounty. Although my back 40 (ft.) won’t be in production, I’ll have a little gardening fun anyway. Instead this year we’re building the soil with fava beans, sunflowers, buck wheat, etc. We made a drum composter, too.

    My dream is to have a lovely place like yours some day. sigh……Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: Oh dear, so sorry to hear. Our prayers are with you and your family. That’s really tough and heavy load. Family does come first. May God be with you and your entire family. Blessings to you all. Love and hugs too!

  7. Thy Hand says:

    Everything looks beautiful- you all really do an amazing job. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures- I love seeing others’ gardens.

    • Anais says:

      @Thy Hand: Thank you, so glad you enjoyed them.

  8. Joy Giles says:

    It all looks beautiful and lush. We are still fighting a drought and consecutive days of 100 degree weather here in Austin, Texas. Last night I thought about picking some near ripe tomatoes — wish I had as a deer bellied up to the salad bar and wiped out all the peppers and tomatoes. It’s so dry they are coming into neighborhoods they rarely visit looking for water or food. Now the garden it deer proofed and hoping for a second round of tomatoes.

  9. elaine nieves says:

    My collards, kale, lettuce and strawberries are doing well. However, the tomatoes and some of the peppers have yet to blossom even though they are healthy. Then I see in the garden section of the paper today that they shouldn’t be fed til they blossom and that you should stop watering them until they start to wilt, then water a little so they recover overnight. Then water slightly til they flower. It also said to spray a epsom salts and water solution on blossoms and leaves for more magnesium. Who knew? I am going to try it and see.

    • Anais says:

      @elaine nieves: Way to grow!

  10. jengod says:

    Beautiful, guys. We’re just eating lots of apricots (you can hear the slurp as my son bites into them) and boysenberries. Volunteer peach tree (!) and Anna apples are growing well. Trying to figure out how to expand the planting areas again without it descending into chaos. 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @jengod: oooolala boysenberries? mmmmmm Ha, ha I got you – growing chaos now are we? LOL

  11. Linda says:

    I adore all of your pictures – someone is quite artistic with a camara! I was wondering if you could tell me how your washing “machine” works and where I could get something similar. Or maybe you made it? Thank you for such great inspiration!

  12. Brenda Hatch says:

    OOOH! Thanks for the lovely picturful update. Things in my neck of the woods are slowly coming on now. Very cool, wet spring. Green onions, Lettuce & cilantro are readily available. Snap peas soon. My cherry tree loved the delayed spring and is full of fruit this year. My 4 chicks are now poults and are growing quickly. Our mason bees have come and done there thing and are now gone.



    • Anais says:

      @Brenda Hatch: Thanks for sharing! So jealous that you have a CHERRY tree. That’s awesome. Chicks sure do grow up fast. Wishing you all the best on your little homestead.

  13. Cheryl says:

    These are beautiful pictures! Your homestead is an inspiration to me. I planted my first garden since I was young girl living at home. I’m showing my young sons (and husband) how to garden and with a little prodding will have a coop, rain barrels and the well pump fixed this summer. I began hanging the clothes out to dry last summer and my husband loved the electricity bills. We save $50.00 a month. Here in Florida it seems silly to use a clothes dryer with this much sun.
    If you have time can you tell me how to cope with squishy squash stems? So far I have lost 4 squash plants to the gooey stem stuff. Also, how do I deter really big grasshoppers? I live in NE Florida and I know you used to live here. How do I get rid of these big guys? They’re big enough to skewer but too scary to try.
    Thanks for your wonderful website.

    • Anais says:

      @Cheryl: Way to grow, that’s awesome. Small Steps do have BIG Impact! Gushy stems huh – how big are the plants. Could be “damping off” “squash beetles” Lucky for us we don’t the MONSTERS – grasshoppers I mean. I HATE GRASSHOPPERS! Can’t remember if we had those bugger when we had 10 acre homestead there.. I’ll have to ask! Have a lovely day, happy growing!

  14. Rhonda says:

    I always looks at your photos and get so envious. 🙂 Some day I’d like to do this to my entire back yard. As it is right now, My children need somewhere to play so only half of the yard is planted. I have a question about the seeds I’ve purchased from you. Are these seeds actually saved by you guys? It’s kind of neat to think that my plants are “babies” from your plants. 🙂

    • Anais says:

      @Rhonda: Glad you liked the photos, in reality, it’s a LOT of hard work (but worth it!) Wasn’t till we were finished playing as youngin’s we turned the WHOLE backyard into a garden. 🙂 They are seeds varieties that we luv and GROW here in our very garden; however, we don’t have actually have enough acreage/space to save and sell all our seeds.

  15. karla allaman says:


    • Anais says:

      @karla allaman: Thanks! It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s sooooo worth it!

  16. Erica says:

    Yesterday, I harvest and froze 12 quarts of rhubarb. I harvest completely in the spring so that it doesn’t shade out the strawberry plants. I live in northern Canada zone 4, so things are just beginning to grow here. We are eating lettuce that I started in an unheated greenhouse at the end of winter when it was well below freezing. I started many of my seedlings this way. I insulated the floor of the greenhouse with styrofoam insulation and started the seeds in covered flats which were placed in a mini greenhouse in the large greenhouse. Many of the seedlings did better than the ones I started in the house. It was so warm that a tray of cucumber seeds got burnt.

    This spring we have completely transformed the front yard into mostly edible crops, 4 raised beds I
    Including one made out of twigs. The beds contain vegetables and edible flowers. We have also planted a graphed apple tree and some fruit bushes.

    In the backyard, we have more raised beds and a raspberry patch. On the more shady side of the house I am growing lettuces; they seem happy there and the other side of the house is a garden is a garden of strawberries. I also grow my tomatoes here (all started from seed) in containers.

    I am also growing peanuts and other crops in containers in the greenhouse.

    Our growing season is short here but everything happens very quickly. At this time of year we have light from about 4 am to about 9:30 pm and even after that it doesn’t get really dark until 12 am. Before the mosquitoes come I often work in the garden till 11 pm. With all that light everything grows quickly but at the end of August it begins to get cold very quickly. I have purchased some seeds for greens that do well in the cold and I am going to experiment with the help of cold frames and the
    greenhouse to see how far I can extend the growing season.

    Thanks for sharing pictures of garden and animals. It has been inspiring my husband and myself to grow more of our own food.


    • Anais says:

      @Erica: Way to grow! Peanuts, wow! We grew peanuts one year (many, many years ago) for fun. Boy, it sure was fun pulling the nuts out of the ground. Thanks for sharing, wishing you a bountiful and productive growing year!

  17. All Natural Katie says:

    How did you create the rectangular stakes for the plants? Can you point me to some guides/instructions? I would love to create something like this that I can reuse.

    • Anais says:

      @All Natural Katie: The stakes/trellises you see are primarily bamboo poles that we got from a local nursery. They are good for building trellises and tepees – and they last quite awhile!

    • Anais says:

      @All Natural Katie: Justin is the one that get all these nifty garden items. I think he got those online from Gardeners Supply. Though have to warn you, these babies get tangled up if not store properly. One time I spent HOURS getting them up untangled. URGH!

  18. zz says:

    Everything in your garden looks so fresh and delicious!

    And seeing that nice green tomatoe gives me hope. I see the flower budding on my little tomatoe plant at church, I’m just watching and waiting for something to come out.

    • Anais says:

      @zz: Glad you enjoyed the pictorial tour of the garden. Happy summer and good eating!

  19. Tim says:

    Love the pics! We’re a long way behind you guys, but you’re a daily inspiration to us, thanks to your blog and they ways you generously share pics and information. We are so thankful for you. Our main projects right now are developing a succession planting schedule, learning to milk our new Nigerian Dwarf goat, and trying to love our neighbor who stole one of our watermelons. We have some pics at our blog at littlefarminthehood.blogspot.com. Thanks again!

    • Anais says:

      @Tim: Thanks for your positive comments, our family is indeed blessed that we are able to share our journey and inspire others. I’ll have to pop on over to your blog. Thanks for sharing and hope to hear more about your little farm in the hood 🙂

  20. kitsapFG says:

    I love these blog posts that provide a glimpse at the garden and daily life at different points in time through the year. Always inspiring and fun to look at.

    Our garden is growing beautifully despite the unusually cool year we have had to date in the maritime pacific northwest. Over the years I have learned alot of tricks that ensure bad weather years do not severely impact us. Our harvest totals are ramping up and will start peaking in July and August.

    • Anais says:

      @kitsapFG: Thank you. I just love taking pics so glad you enjoy them as much as I do. Happy summer!

  21. Janice says:

    Gorgeous photos as always! Happy Father’s Day to Jules!

    • Anais says:

      @Janice: Thank you! Will pass on your greetings!

Leave a Reply to Tim Cancel reply