This recent article stresses the importance of how we all should start taking gardening seriously.    Growing your own food in the city: it’s a challenge but a good one – an a very important on too!

Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Will – Alternet

There are at least five reasons why more of us should take up spade, rake and hoe, make compost and raise good soil and garden beds with a vengeance, starting this spring and with an eye toward forever.


It’s officially Spring and what a rocky start  weather wise.   We spiked into the 90’s for a few days and then dipped back under 60 with gray skies  and drizzle.  Crazy!

Busy, busy, busy – bees, biodiesel, soil blocks, picking, packing, watering, planting, building, etc. Where does the time go?  Not complaining; it’s good to have longer days to work on the farm here in the city.

Sis handed me a “to plant list” of things she needs for her home canning operation.    She makes a mean jalapeno jelly and wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget to plant them!

Squash, tomatoes, peppers and beans are all up and ready to transplant into the garden.   The new strawberry starts are filling in nicely. We are expecting to harvest berries in early June and the potatoes are just about ready to be dug up.  I know I’ve been looking forward to homegrown potatoes – they are way better tasting than the store.

The small invasion of aphids is now under control, sweet!  We spotted a couple ladybugs and have already noticed a huge difference on the chard and kales.    Thanks to the exceptionally warm weather last week, the greens seem to have grown a few feet (ok, inches) overnight.  We are now offering a slew of assorted greens at the front porch farm stand.  Sis is manager and CEO (“chief” for short) of the front porch farm stand and she’ll be posting more of what the stand has to offer.   It’s a wonderful feeling to feed the family and be able to offer the surplus produce to folks who are wanting to eat closer to home.

The hennery is cranking out eggs – yeah!

Last week, I helped a friend who manages a few urban bees divide a few hives for spring expansion.  Of course, we had to suit up on the HOTTEST day of the year (so far).   It was sweltering!  Hive work waits for no man, so we both suited up.  Long pants (I HATE long pants), long sleeve shirts and were sweating buckets just after a few minutes work.   I got some delicious honey comb in trade for a couple of hours work. What a treat and worth the (sweaty) effort!

The rescued hive is still here, bees going to and fro. It’s a wonderful site to see bees working the citrus.

March Harvest Tally

252 lbs Produce

Eggs      Chicken 91   Duck 160

2011 Tally to Date

663 lbs Produce

Eggs      Chicken 117   Duck 345


  1. Meg McKay says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your urban homestead and the information you offer is priceless. You are a great inspiration. I have(since being introduced to your family in Mother Earth News)increased the size of my backyard garden to about 3000 square feet this growning season-aiming to be as efficient as you{that’ll take a couple of years ;)} And I am excited to say the we will be adding ducks to our crew of animals-they’ll be here this week!! I live in Tennessee in a not-so-urban city and have convinced my family that if your family can support itself with an urban homestead of 1/10 of an acre, we certainly can make a go of it on 3/4 of an acre. Again, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless your family and keep up the amazing work. Much respect-Meg,Tennessee

    • Anais says:

      @Meg McKay: You are welcome, we are certainly blessed that we have this opportunity to share our journey and offer inspiration. Way to grow! How exciting to hear about your garden’s expansion. And ducks! Ducks are FUN. You will enjoy them and their EGGS! Our family wishes you a productive, blessed and bountiful year.

  2. Chris Bowers says:

    I’m in AZ and we get everything after you all. Looks like cooler weather on the way. I’m new to homesteading and rely on people like your family for advise. Been thinking about bees. Liability exposure makes me a bit nervous. What do you think?

    • Anais says:

      @Chris Bowers: Welcome aboard the urban homestead journey. Yep, certainly is cooler – thankfully! It’s not summer yet so the heat can hold off till then. LOL Keeping bees in the city certainly can be challenging with fretful neighbors. If you are on good terms with your neighbors, talk to them about your plans, see what they feel like if you were to keep bees. Perhaps sweeten the deal with promises of honey! Good luck.

  3. Mia says:

    Glad that your aphid problem is solved. Happy Spring!

    • Anais says:

      @Mia: We are too, just have to wait a bit till nature finds the right balance.

  4. Rosa says:

    Thank you for the daily updates they are so interesting and I learn a little more about urban homesteading every day. Your family inspired me and my 3 kids(4, 6 and 8) to plant a few plants this year to see where it takes us.

    • Anais says:

      @Rosa: Of course, thanks for the positive feedback. We certainly enjoy sharing our journey. Way to grow! Wishing you all a bountiful harvest.

  5. kim arcos-perez says:

    My husband and I have a small concrete patio for a backyard. We are very interested in growing a few vegetables in pots. Any vegetable or herb ideas for beginners?

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