For me and where I live, my goal is working my little backyard, growing organic vegetables, fruits, berries and grapes, hopefully being able to raise a few chickens (if the chicken laws in my town get changed) and keeping a beehive; doing whatever is practical on my little suburban lot to attain the wholesome life I am striving for.
I’m trying to learn how to live without big-business as much as possible. Besides growing my own produce, I’m in the process of learning how to make homemade beauty products. I’ve got the whole natural cleaning supplies thing down to a science. Well, not everything, but what I do make for myself works very well. And, because it’s possible to treat our medical needs naturally rather than always filling our bodies with prescribed or over-the-counter chemicals, I want to learn how to make my own health products… responsibly, of course. I plan to do a lot of research on this before actually growing plants for this purpose.
As far as energy conservation goes, I’m very frugal with the electric, but would like to install solar panels on the house. I’m also going to look into wind turbines. I don’t know if turbines are allowed where I live, but I’m going to check into it. And, money… we all need money and we should all save for that so-called “rainy day” that might come around. Living a frugal lifestyle by purchasing second-hand items and, whenever possible, reusing and re-purposing what I already own helps a lot and isn’t new to me. I grew up with frugal parents and I carried what I learned into my adult years. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t grow up this way, so we’ve have “words” over the years about whether purchasing an item was, in fact, truly necessary or not. I don’t know if I’ll be able to ever live debt-free, but I’m sure going to try my darnedest to get there.
Right now, my homestead consists of veggies in the backyard and herbs in the kitchen window. Until this year, my “hobby” garden was planted in traditional rows. This year, my garden isn’t so much a hobby, but my new way of life. I’ve planted more of certain veggies than in years past for canning, hopefully growing and canning enough to last throughout the winter and spring. We’ll see.
I still have some traditional rows because that’s what I’m just used to doing, but have planted some veggies using the square-foot gardening method. The squares are doing well, so next year there will be less rows and more squares.
I want to plant some dwarf fruit trees and some berries and grapes, but I have to figure out where I’m going to plant them. My husband isn’t as thrilled with this whole idea as I am because he’s primarily a meat and potatoes kind of guy and doesn’t eat many fruits and veggies, so I’m not going to be able to use as much of the back yard as I would like… unless I can figure out how to grow steak in the garden!!! lol
I’m planning to venture to the front yard with the berries and grapes, but I have to find a way to camouflage them. I can’t have the front yard looking like a food garden, which is too bad. My front yard faces southeast and has the sun all day long. I wish I could plant the whole garden out front!!!
I guess homesteading may be a little overwhelming to some, but I think that with a little determination and elbow grease, it’s absolutely doable. I know I won’t be able to do everything that a homesteader with multiple acres is able to do, but I will do whatever I can the best way I know how. I know I can’t do everything I want to right now, but I’ll be adding a little more each new planting season.
I’m far from being where I want to be as a homesteader, but I’ve begun. I’ve researched and read everything I could find online. I’ve gone to the library and found many wonderful books on homesteading and bought the ones I like the best. I now have quite the library myself of gardening, homesteading, DIY and frugal living books. I haven’t been able to do everything I want, yet, but I’m learning. And, little by little, My Little Backyard Homestead is expanding!!!
You don’t need acres to be a homesteader – do what you can with what you have. That’s our philosophy. We’re just beginning our homestead journey, on a 134 x 130 lot, and from what I can see, there’s plenty of space for all kinds of projects – garden, greenhouse, root cellar. Just be creative.
I really enjoyed reading about your garden and plans for your property – keep it up!
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Thanks for your comment, Christine; I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I’ve subscribed to your blog. I’m looking forward to reading about your progress. I wish you lots of luck in your homesteading journey!!! ~ Linda ~
I think foodscaping could provide some additional space for you – include food with your landscaping. For instance, you could grow grapes on a pretty arbor instead of in a row. I’ve done that, and it works great. Raspberries are the easiest berries ever, and you could put a row in the back of something and keep them trimmed to look more like a hedge. Good luck and happy gardening. 🙂
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Thank you for your comment, Judy. I’m planning to grow grapes next season and the arbor sounds like a great idea. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. lol
Almost all of my vegetables are in my front yard, which is where most of my sun is! I’ve never gotten any static from the city about it. I have a nice metal fence from a home improvement store in front of it. My vegetables are planted in raised beds and tubs as well as in the ground. I mix herbs and flowers with my vegetables. Everbearing strawberries also look very nice in a front yard garden. They make a nice groundcover as well. I’ve lined paths with them, too. Tell your husband that with all the money you save on buying fruits, vegetables, and herbs, he can buy more steak!!!!! Go for it, Begonia
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Thank you, Begonia, for your thoughts. I am going to venture out to the front yard this year… not a whole lot just yet, but it’ll be a start. I’m going to put up a picket fence across the front of my property, about three feet from the street, and up the sides. Between the street and the outside of the fence, I’m going to plant perennial flowers. This will attract pollinators and, hopefully, disguise the veggies and berries… and, it’ll keep the kids and dogs out, too!!! I was planning to put berries or maybe some medicinal plants in that space but, since they’ll be on the outside of the fence, I don’t know if I should chance using them, what with the dogs possibly using them as a rest room… ugh!!! Thanks for joining me on my homesteading journey.
Hi: Be sure to check with your city to see what the fencing ordinances are before you put the fence across the front (or anywhere). Mix your vegetables with flowers and herbs and you’ll be fine unless you are governed by covenants that restrict what you can plant in your front setback. Yes, anything outside the fence or too bushy near the fence with become a dog latrine. I planted parsley too close to the fence in front last season and dogs peed on whatever was poking through the fence and onto half of what was inside. Before I had the fence, I offered one dog walker all the Kale she wanted from the sidewalk side of the plant. She hastily declined! Good gardening! Begonia
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Hi Begonia, My neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks. As long as you can see through the fence (such as a picket or chain link) and no taller than 3 feet, we can put the fence to the street line. Once the fence is up, then we can plant whatever, within reason, of course. As long as it doesn’t grow through the fence, taller than the fence, out into the street or look like the traditional veggie garden planted in rows, we should be good. Putting the perennials between the street and fence will, hopefully, act as a buffer for the potty-puppies. I’m just a little apprehensive about spending good money on pretty flowers only to have them die from being peed on. So, how did your offer of Kale work out? Did that dog walker keep her dog away after that?
The border of perennials is a good idea. You could also go with robust annuals like zinnias, 4 o’clocks, dwarf sunflowers, bells of Ireland, climbing petunias, the big marigolds–less investment and some of them reseed.
Nothing keeps dog walkers away except a barrier. It only takes one dog to leave some pee-mail and everyone after it has to reply! The end of my kale story in one of my old blogs: https://mylittlefarmintown.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/bloglet-yard-work-fences-and-kale/
Hope your garden is abundant and dog free!