After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Around the Urban Homestead

I've always called our small plot our "urban homestead," but honestly, that always felt more like a goal than a current label.  But each year, as we add more beds and learn more, truly claiming the title of an urban homestead feels a bit closer.  And this year, it feels like we're nearly there.  This year, if all our tomatoes produce well, we should be canning!  CANNING!  That's huge.  I mean, a lot of urban homesteaders focus on eating just what is in season because really, there's often not room to grow enough to preserve.  This year I just decided to go big.  Every year I wish I'd put in more.  Worst case scenario, I go big and have too much.  That's better than not having enough.  So, we have 71 tomato plants currently soaking up the sun on our tiny plot!


Not all the tomatoes are canning types.  At least 7 are "salad" tomatoes; cherry or yellow pear. 
Getting started on the long awaited "Secret Garden" helped in creating more room on our small plot to plant a lot of these tomatoes.  We have a South facing side yard that does nothing but grow weeds.  For years I've wanted to put raised beds down the whole strip.  We put in beds slowly, as time and money allows.  Over the last few months, Zac was able to put in raised beds down two thirds of this area.  The wood was free as he used our old deck boards.  So the only cost here was on soil and soaker hoses.  Planting areas like this excites me because when you urban homestead and don't have fields upon fields available, you really have to get creative and plant in any little speck of ground you can find.  This side yard will up our yield by A LOT!

In addition to the tomatoes, the garden is basically completely "in".  Meaning, everything is planted and now I just weed and water.  Its my FAVORITE time of year and my FAVORITE time of day is when I go out to water each night. 

What are we eating from the garden now?  Greens.  Lots of them!  This is our first year doing Kale and we're all pretty much in love with it.  We eat it in salad, smoothies, and muffins.  Right now we have more than we can keep up with so I'm freezing it for smoothies later on.  Onion tops (what do you technically call them?) are cut up in salads. 

We can't keep chickens, but a few months ago we officially made the switch to only farm fresh eggs.  Oh my goodness, why didn't we do that years ago?  Though we all long to be able to keep chickens and are sad that we can't, we are happy to be buying farm fresh eggs from our many friends who raise chickens.  We have also switched over to goats milk soap, made locally by a friend who is a TRUE homesteader.  Its wonderful stuff!
Having our garden grow in size, and making decisions that bring other homesteaders' products into our home, make the label of "Urban Homesteader" feel almost within reach.  Its exciting!


  1. That is so cool. Your garden looks amazing. Here we are with so much snow on the ground still. I could start some of my outside work now, but haven't yet.

    I completely agree with you on the choice of different food (and soap) to purchase. I could make goat soap, but I really don't want to, so I buy it from a friend. My mom enjoys buying our eggs because she can't afford to keep chickens and buying the eggs are cheaper. There are always going to be trade-offs. You are doing wonderfully with your lot.

  2. Oh Jenny, I am so smitten! How absolutely beautiful- I have never seen anything like it! Everything looks so lush and green- and little Arrow sitting there is so adorable!

    1. I have a hard time believing you've never seen anything like it, b/c I've seen YOUR yard. LOL! Thanks Mama. I can't wait to "watch" your garden grow this season.

    2. Thanks Jenny! My space may be large, but yours is so amazing to me- the way you've made a small space just live and produce- it looks so inviting and peaceful!