Mid 1980’s, Early 1990’s, Late 1990

PTF Through the Years – How We’ve Grown

Back to the land pioneer in 1972, growing food and simple living since 1973, lawn turned edible landscaping since 1990,  online since 1999 and documenting our urban homestead online since 2001.

It’s remarkable to look back and realize that PTF pioneered the very first urban homesteading” blog”/ site on the internet. I don’t know how many people know this, but PTF had the very first urban homestead blog on the internet! Back in the medieval days, when we started documenting our journey online in 2001, we were virtually alone – how far we and fellow travelers have come since those dark ages.   Wow, to think that PTF pioneered the whole internet urban homesteading movement is, well, I can’t even fathom how huge that is. It’s really amazing how many folks PTF has inspired (directly or indirectly) over the years. I can only guesstimate the numbers, and I am sure it’s in the couple hundreds of thousands.   And we haven’t even written a book — yet.   We really don’t often think of the impact PTF has had because we are so busy putting our beliefs into daily actions. But when the year starts to wind down and you look back, you come to the startling realization how much PTF has accomplished and realize that it’s been the major pioneering force behind the modern urban homesteading movement.  

Over thirty five years in the making and still growing strong, watch us continue to grow in 2008.   We’re not, God willing, done yet!

Like to view more photos? Check out ourphoto gallery (I know, it’s not been updated in awhile – but stay tuned for a brand new updated photo gallery with over 1,500 photos!)

Clay pot irrigation kitchen garden bed

In the Garden

Harvesting: broccoli, daikon radish, assortment of leafy greens, tomatoes, eggplant, squash and more

Planting: broccoli, peas, leeks, garlic, ginger, leafy greens, radishes, carrots, rutabagas, favas and more

Eating: 75-80% homegrown from back and front yard (this weeks meal to be posted on tomorrow)

Going up!

Around the Urban Homestead

Projects: Tore down the old goat house, putting up a rain cover/permanent shelter for the goats, shopping the local hardware stores (thanks to fellow gardener, David, for bringing us a load of scrap wood and ties) for the new goat chalet

Doing: planting, planting, planting, preparing the soil, tending the compost, worms and menagerie of animals.

To Do: strawberries to be divided, pruning, passive cooling trellis to be built, saved seed sorted, organize and more


Answers from the Urban Homestead

Q. What is the beautiful golden plant to the right in the photo of your home? You do create the most beautiful gardens. –Nancy

Thank you, Nancy, for your comment. We really can’t help be inspired to create beauty; we are blessed this gift comes naturally to us.   Gardening and landscaping are in our genes (the Dervaes family in Belgium owned a nursery once, has developed many plant varieties and is reportedly said to have landscaped the King’s palace grounds).    The photo was taken in late October of this year, and the spectacular dazzling golden plant is a type of perennial sunflower. Pretty striking when it blooms. It’s as if all the sunshine in the world was blooming.

Q. Love your pictures! I know you try to “push” the seasons on some plants – do you remove all brassicas (broccoli, kale, collards, etc) during the summer, or do you keep them going all year? The reason I ask is yours look so great in the pictures, and when I keep mine going year round, I have terrible problems with cabbage worm/white butterfly. What do you do to prevent this pest? – joanne

Joanne, thanks for your positive comments and questions. Good question.  It all depends on what type season we are having; however, we’ve successfully grown collards all year around. Our elderly next door neighbor (now long deceased) use to grow these gigantic collards all year round. Being from the South, she enjoyed these hearty greens with ham.    For cabbage worms tryBT

:: Field Hand Appreciation :: NL $50, LC $10 and DF $50donation towards growing PTF’s future. Thank you. Our family wishes you happy holiday season.    Many bountiful blessings to you all.


  1. connie says:

    Loved looking at all the pictures. WOW, what a change over the years. You are an inspiration to us all.

    I have read most of your site over the years, but have a question: Who are all the people on the porch in the early years photos? Do you have other brothers and sisters that don’t live on the homestead?

  2. Nancy says:

    Could I buy some sunflower seeds from you? I want some!

  3. David says:

    ^5 & great to hear the guys have Blackberry & its pal under a substantial & attractive looking cozy home. A hearty toast to the barn raisers, now let the H20 flow, Lord willing.