URBAN AGRICULTURE IN ACTION

 Edible driveway

 Looking out our front door

 Reuse of urbanite

 Another view of edible front yard

 Backyard intensive, square inch garden

1/10 acre producing 3 tons of produce Approx annual income from DerVaes Gardens ~$ 25,000 year

Of the 6,000lb we figure: 60% consumed by family, 30% sold and 10% consumed by animals (these figures are guessimates)

Since we grow 99% of our produce needs (in wintertime we occasionaly purchase extra organic potatoes and onions for meal stretchers) it would be interesting we could calculate how much our family the saves in not having to purchase any produce (fruits, vegetables and herbs).

For years now our family has never have to buy eggs (and hopefully dairy products soon since we’ll have to breed the goats)  If bred Ms Fairlight would give about 3/4 quarts of milk a day … more than enough for our family.

Ok, back to the urban ag aspect of the urban homestead. Not only does our garden provide us with but also income to purchase food that can’t be grown (staples like flour, rice and oil). So we are, in affect, directly and indirectly living off and from our little plot of land. We are growing for freedom and that is a full time job and lifestyle.

Tally Ho

Upping the urban agriculture anti, the latest tally on the Grow for Ten Challenge

As of April 30, TOTAL: 1,130 lbs.

We are making a statement not in words ( or book just yet)- but striving instead to make a proactive statement by the “fruits” of our labor. So only 8,870 more to grow!

Can we dig it?

Yes, No, Maybe So?

How many of you have been inspired to liberate your yard and grow more? Raise your hands… er trowels that is. Extra points go to folks weighing their produce – onward garden soildiers!

The homegrown revolution is on.

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  1. mary says:

    I have been gardening for years – an my family has been supportive but not exactly involved. Then about a month ago we watched the film ‘the future of food’ and suddenly everyone was interested in gardening! We have added three new beds since then – including one in the front yard where we planted corn!- this brings our raised bed total to 12. Our best in sun is in the front yard – so we have had to get over the ‘what will the neighbors think’ issue and move ahead. I also bought three semi-dwarf apple trees on Saturday and have put in squashes and melons in the flower beds instead of the usual bedding plants. [We are growing some edible flowers as well] I keep walking the yard thinking – where can I plant something else??? our lot is 1/5 acre and the house is small [1700sf] so we do have room to grow!!

    • ali says:

      Hi,
      I have been gardening vegies for 3 years.Thye place I live is cold and windy and the soil is clay.so the produce is not qualified.I need to your experience to do well.

  2. Ken Kunst says:

    With such great pictures of your yard, you certainly have me inspired! Since finding PTF a few months ago, I’ve been collecting cardboard and horse manure and any other mulch materials I can find, and have been laying down a “kill-mulch” over the grass and weeds I’ve been dutifully mowing for 16 years! I’ve planted a fig, apple, and two almond trees…Now I unfortunatley need to cut down a large, beautiful fruitless pistachio that is shading that area in my front yard…oh well, sacrifice is all part of Life…but the benefits are: the pistachio is a very hard wood, with some of the most fragrant pitch I’ve ever smelled, so it gives off a beautiful aroma when burned. And it burns hot! I heat with a wood stove, and I’m also in the process of building a cob oven, so I will gain by my sacrifice! Can I ask how much do you at PTF use your cob oven, and are there any drawbacks working with it? Thanks for your time, and all the work you do,

    Ken
    Ken

  3. Kristi says:

    Inspired by your website, I started weighing my garden’s harvest last year. I managed 180lbs of produce from 400sq feet of veggie beds, four young apple trees, a few strawberries and an herb garden. Nothing compared to what you guys can do, but I’m working to catch up! 🙂 I’m starting to mess with intercropping and permaculture design this year, so hopefully my pounds per square foot will increase in the veg garden and overall harvest will also increase.

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

  4. Harmony says:

    What are the dimensions of your beds in the backyard? We’re putting in beds for next year’s garden (this year’s garden is mostly haphazard, being our first year out of containers).

    We’re working on becoming self-sufficient in our produce needs, but we have *much* less space than you do – our HOA does not allow growing in the front lawn, and our backyard is no more than 1/30th acre. Still, we’re trying. That’s all anyone can do, right?

  5. Melissa says:

    cool edible driveway! I attended an event graciously offered at your home about 3 yrs ago and the driveway was not yet covered with so many plants. great to see how you continue to find more space to grow.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been amazingly inspired. In short order to boot. Gardening is a relatively new hobby of mine. Two years I have been at playing around in the dirt and I am ready to get serious with it! Your website was the perfect find to encourage me along with turning my urban backyard into a little mini vegetable market. Well, hopefully!

    I’m looking forward to trying more things in the garden this year. I still have a long way to go with improving my clay soil, and my resources with both time and money are limited. So I expect I will have to go it slow and steady and trust nature to help me build a better soil for my garden.

    I looked around your site quite deeply, with just the intention of learning something new about gardening. But I think I ended up with more than I bargained for! My family and I are looking more carefully at our electric and water usage and will be working toward trying to lower it just a little each month. We also are quite proud that we haven’t used the central heat and air system in a couple months. That’s no small feat for our crazy Texas weather.

    I also want to share a cute little comment or two with you. My seven year old daughter was looking at your vegetable pictures last night. She asked me if you painted your vegetables to make them so bright! She pointed out several things that she wanted to try (that she would normally never give a second glance). She now wants to grow lots of vegetables, just like you do. She even will help me keep them all watered:-) And would you please share with me the name of the pink speckled lima beans? I had never seen such excitement over a bean before in my life!

    So thank you for sharing all that you do! It’s an inspiration. You are SHOWING what is possible and providing helpful information along the way.

    Thanks from R and family

  7. Nancy Kelly says:

    How do you keep your garden looking so beautiful? You never seem to have those after-the-peak, seedy times.

    Right now half my plants should be pulled, but they are covered with ladybug larvae and I hate to pull them until the larvae are safely hatched. How do you handle this? Also, I am letting the veggies go to seed, to liberate myself from Burpees, and that is not such a pretty stage -and the cats play and knock the taller stalks over.

    What to do? My garden was glorious a month ago….

    Nancy

  8. Becky L. says:

    You have inspired us too here in MD! We’ve got a full bed of potatoes, another of onions, another of cabbage,
    and another mixed. We’ve also planted apples, pears, blueberries, etc. We’re striving for food independence
    for ourselves, friends and family! Not to mention Click and Clack,the new duckies to the suburban farm,should contribute as well.

    Thanks for your hard work and inspiration… Now I’ve
    got to get a food scale (got one of those in the Peddler’s
    Wagon???????).
    Becky L.

  9. rachel says:

    I too have the addiction. We have a teeny backyard in brooklyn, mostly paved, but every weekend I’m planting more stuff. As of now I have a decent amount of herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, cammomile, lavender, basil) and veggies (romaine, red leaf lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes, broccoli) and all I can think of is how much more I wanna plant and grow!

  10. RedStateGreen says:

    I’m looking to double my edible growing area this year, very much inspired by what you’ve done. Thank you so much for your example.

  11. Sharon says:

    Harmony, those HOA’s can be a problem. Some cities are enacting legislation to allow everyone to garden freely in their front, side or back yards and over ride the backward thinking HOAs.

    In the meanwhile, try growing nonobvious food in a typical landscaped front yard style in the front yard such as:
    Daylilies for the buds (not Asian lilies).
    Roses that have big hips for the rosehips (Vitamin C).
    Asian flat leaf chives for the greens–they have beautiful flowers in late summer.
    Sweet potatoes as a ground cover.
    Sunflowers.
    Scarlet Runner Beans, but call them humming bird vines.
    Hibiscus flowers (either the one where the red part of the flower is used for tea or the one otherwise known as okra)
    Painted Mountain Corn as a clump of ornamental grass.
    Some of the new amaranth varieties that look just like coleus.

  12. Sue says:

    You (and your efforts) have been such an inspiration. All winter I’ve been reading your website and looking forward to enlarging my garden and getting my city chickens. Spring is here! My nine chickens (I was only planning on seven but they sent extra) are more interesting then I ever anticapated. I have tripled the size of my garden in the backyard and planted blueberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and a cherry tree in the front yard. So far so good. Everyone is fascinated by the chickens. The neighbors haven’t said one bad thing, in fact they seem to get a real kick out of the “girls.” Thanks again for being an inspiration. I’m not doing as much as you are, but you are doing great as a leader and count me as one of your proud followers.

  13. PhoenixJen says:

    Growing, growing!!! 274 lbs so far this year. Still dealing with soil issues but well on my way. Many neighbors, family and friends harvest from my yard because there’s already too much out there for me to eat by myself. I am my neighborhood’s example of “going edible”.

    PS: Thanks for posting all your videos – I have reposted them on our website http://www.phoenixpermaculture.org.

    Jen

  14. Harmony says:

    Thanks for the ideas, Sharon. 🙂

  15. Jan says:

    HEy there. I live in KY so our seasons for growing are not as long as yours but I have been inspired from oyur family.
    We have gardened for over 10 years now. I can, freeze and dehydrate as much food from our gardens that I can. Wiht our 5 member family we go through alot of veggies and fruit.
    On our 4 acre mini farm we have a large garden, not sure how many square feet, 2 apple trees, 2 peach trees, cantolope patch, NEW watermelon patch, and a sunflower bed. I alos have made a greenhouse that I start all my plants from seed so I know it is grown without fertilizer.
    In the next year or so I hope to get at least 4 more apple and peach trees, a dwarf banana for the house, a 16×8 foot raised bed jsut for tomatoes as we grow at least 50 plants per year in the garden.
    Thnaks again for your website!!

  16. Anais says:

    What wonderful comments everyone. Thanks for sharing your stories and growing efforts.

    Becky: that’s a good suggestion. We should look at stocking some scales on the Peddler’s Wagon.

    Rebbecca: Oh, what a cute story about your daughter. It’s amazing how intense the colors (and flavors) of homegrown . The pink speckled lima beans are an old heirloom breed called “CHRISTMAS LIMAS”

    Nancy: Yes, it’s quite a challenge to keep the garden tidy and also let the veggies go to seed. Since we aren’t just growing food for ourselves, most of the salad green crops are harvested daily that they don’t have time to go to seed.

  17. Ellen Christian says:

    Can you give us an idea of what you grow? I’d love to know the different types of fruits, veggies, etc. that you grow there. Do you save seed from year to year? Or buy new seed each season?

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