“I believe we would be happier to
have a personal revolution in our
individual lives and go back to simpler
living and more direct thinking.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder

These are the posts I just don’t know where to start when there’s much of the nitty gritty goings on of a urban homestead.

First off who stole summer?   It’s like we skipped that last bit of summer and jumped right into fall.  Certainly not going be be any monster veggies like 9 ft high eggplant and 6 ft peppers we had one year.   Of course we are closely monitoring the plants for disease.  Justin’s been vigilant in his spraying efforts to keep the plants as healthy as possible during such an erratic summer.

July was brutally hot so our green crops were affected.  It was either our customers or the animals and the customers won!   Since our animals are primarily green fed,  for the goats scavenged the Arroyo Seco for things like wild grapes, roses, eucalyptus and oaks.   The strawberry clover in the driveway is growing well despite the July heat wave so we’ve been using that for duck and chicken greens and they just love it.   Of course all the critters enjoy are enjoying some of the figs, tomatoes, peaches and other homegrown goodies.

The cooler weather has been great – don’t have to water as much.  I know everyone’s curious about the new bottom watered beds.   We are too!   Right now it’s experimental so we want to see how the concept works having gone from sketches on paper into real life application.

We received a package in the mail that contained a huge bouquet of dried lavender.  The smell was heavenly – thank you K!  I could have buried my head in the box and sniffed away.  Um well, I did bury my head in the box and inhaled very deeply.  I just couldn’t get enough.  There’s something about smell freshly dried herbs that sure beats any bottled fragrance.

We’ll be using the lavender flowers in the goat’s milk soap (got to get around to making another batch soon!!)

Fall plantings and summer clean up as the guys work their way around the yard – clearing, trimming, building, planting and so on.  For being such a small property there’s still lots to be done in the garden keeping everything tidy.

Jordanne exclaimed this morning, after noticing one our goats was growing a winter under coat “I’m NOT ready for winter!”   Could be a short summer like we suspected.   Wonder if that means we are going to have a ccccold winter.

For a few days now we’ve noticed that Dawn (our oldest duck of 6 years) is little slower than her usual self.  She has a healthy appetite (loves tomatoes!), very alert but is not walking around with the others as much.   We make sure to give her special attention – extra talking to and petting.  She’s just a sweetie.

But 7 year old Clem (one of our hens) is just as feisty as ever – you go girl.  She’s still queen of the coop and doesn’t look like she’ll give up that title anytime soon.  One wouldn’t know she’s that old, seven years is pretty old for a chicken.  She still is a good weight with healthy, shiny feathers.  We gals are jealous of how beautiful she is.

Our neighbor’s peach tree which 1/2 way hangs over our property peaches are FINALLY ripe!  Fruits were so slow to ripen this year – weird.   Anyhow that means we’ll have some fresh fruit and a bit of preserving to do.

After three weeks, the mother scoby is ready!  Don’t know how it happened by I got dragged (smile) into a taste testing contest with another fanatic fermenter.   So at the event next Sunday it’s her lemon balm flavored kombucha against our lemon verbena flavored and may the best tasting win (if you are coming to the event feel free be on the judging panel)  Hope I am not too rusty!

Also a couple of “Little House” referencing on our group of Facebook friends got me to thinking how some things we normally do around here could be topics for some interesting entries here at LHITC.     Like how we clean the house w/o the use of electricity (sure we use a vacuum cleaner on occasion but opt for wet rag and broom instead) or that we only use about 2 gallons of water to wash dishes or wearing the same clothes day after day after day.

Yeah the non glamorous nitty grittys of urban homesteading life as we reclaim our life & lot in the pursuit of simple life admist a wasteful culture.


  1. Susan says:

    You only use two gallons of water to wash dishes? Yes, I’d like to read a post about that.

    As a “goat deprived” person I was so happy to have a chance to feed and brush the goats at the Irvine Park zoo recently! It was so much fun, and they have such adorable faces. How lucky you are to have your little cuties with you every day!

  2. ruthie says:

    YES YES YES Nonglamorous Nitty Gritties! Nonglamorous Nitty Gritties! Nonglamorous Nitty Gritties!

    You should see the looks people give me when I mention things like “Our unairconditioned kitchen” or “our dishwasher’s name is Ruthie!” or “Well, I couldn’t really do the laundry yesterday because it was raining and we don’t have a dryer”. In a society where everything is automated and climate controlled I’d love to hear more from you about life on the other side so I can push myself farther in that direction without feeling too odd.

  3. Stacy says:

    Hear, hear! I’m a glutton for more details!

    We’ve stopped using paper towels in favor of old tired washcloths that I can toss in the laundry. It tends to baffle visitors to my kitchen… I don’t mind the additional laundry loads because we’re using the greywater to irrigate the fruit trees out back. Some weeks during summer my problem is not ENOUGH laundry!

  4. Theresa says:

    I love reading of your adventures and visit your site daily. Your family is an inspiration. Your site great food for the mind. Thank you for taking the time to share.

    Just a quick note regarding the lavender & the soap. The lavender will turn dark. The wonderful fragrance of the lavender won’t come through in the soap. You will need an essential oil for fragrance.

  5. CE says:

    I have always tried to use less energy and less stuff. I don’t buy paper towels. Old towels cut and edges sewn work well. I love laundry that is line dried especially in the summer but in our rainy climate it is not possible year round. I have a neighboy who ALWYAS offers to let me use their dryer when they see my stull on the line. I tell them my dryer works fine and I choose to line dry but the don’t seem to believe me because we keep having this conversation. 🙂 And yes at times my attempts to limit my use of energy and stuff makes me feel like others see me as odd.

  6. Eileen says:

    Here in NJ, it’s been unseasonably hot and wet (of 30 days in June, it rained 27).

    I was able to harvest my lettuce from the end of April (planted first weekend) through July. Will plant more seeds in September.

    Broccoli did well early on – but, with the August heat, they want to flower as soon as they bud.

    Tomatoes – while I staggered planting – early producers planted first week of April, mid-producers planted 2 weeks later, late producers planted 2 weeks after that – ALL seem to be coming in at the same time.

    Zucchini – grew like gangbusters – small one day – 2 pounders the next. Have harvested quite a few of 4+ pounders after coming home from taking care of my 87-year-young dad on the weekends.

    Waiting to see what the white eggplants and broccoli sprouts produce.

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