Urban Homesteading

The wife and I are trying our hand at “urban homesteading.”  We thought hard about moving out to the country, but when we bought out house in town a couple years ago, we never saw anything we wanted to get.  Recently we revisited the possibility of moving out of town, but we sure like having neighbors and being able to walk to work.  We also love our old house. We also thought about just buying land outside of town for a “camp” where we grow a few things.  But, considering the cost of gas, and all of the troubles the U.S.A. has in keeping up with our gas guzzling, does it really make sense to drive 20 miles outside of town and drive every day or every time we need to go work on the crops? I had wanted to grow vegtables around the house, but the only place that gets full sun is the front yard and it would look tacky to have okra and tomatoes out there. 

Then I started reading and realized there was a lot I could do with the limited sun in the back, there were some pretty vegetables I could grow up front, and there were some places I could grow in containers in between. 

So here we go.  We just started this spring.  So far we have only harvested mustard greens (quite tastely when cooked with a little seasoning bacon and garlic by the way), but other crops continue to grow.  I haven’t grown vegetables seriously since I was a kid following my parents orders, so there is a lot to learn, but I’m diving in rather than worrying too much about that.  Where I live in south Louisiana is really good for growing as there is never a time when you can’t grow something.

By the way, although I’m not an Obama fan, I was pleased to see he planted a kitchen garden.

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 9:06 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What are you growing in the shade? We had this same exact dilemma and decided to go with planters in the front yard, not caring if it was tacky or not. We are suburban homesteaders, mostly because the job is in the city:)

  2. I’m experimenting with quite a few things. Mustard greens are doing really well. I have a little row about four feet long and we get enough to eat every three or four days–about to have to start freezing canning or giving away before we get tired of them. Lettuce is looking good. Judging by the foliage, potatoes are doing well. There are a bunch of other things I’ve planted recently, but it’s too soon to say much about them (Okra, tomato, squash, collards etc.)

    There is a good bit of information on the net about growing things in the shade. I think a general rule of thumb is that anything you grow to eat the leaves (greens, salad, cabbage) do just fine without a lot of sun. Things that you grow for the fruit need a good bit of sun. If I remember correctly, things that you grow for the root like carrots and potatoes are kind of in the middle. I won’t be crushed if “fruit” stuff I planted doesn’t do well. I figure it’s worth a shot. I used a pole saw to cut back as many limbs as I could.

  3. You should see about finding space to start a community garden if the town doesn’t already have one, this way you can meet more people from the community and have the space and sun to grow some of the other things that you really want. I have no idea how you go about start one if there isn’t one already, but it is an idea.

  4. The idea for a community garden is good. There was a space for gardens in the city limits of Kenai,Ak. It was run by the Extension service and had a limited # of plots for each gardener. Ask the parish agent about it.

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