Greetings, fellow urban homesteaders! You have inspired me to make my own blog. I am sorry that you will not find much here at this point, but I want to participate in the Take Back! event on Monday and I also want to share what I’m doing, such as it is.
I live on quite possibly the most fertile and prolific standard city lot on the planet. 5,000 square feet of weeds, spiders, ants, spores, brambles, pine cones, vines, and God knows what growing beneath layers of whatever that is over there. I have no doubt that under my house, there is a giant pulsing root system of morning glories and creeping buttercups, and it laughs at me as I scratch around. Weeds love my yard. I am way, WAY outnumbered, out gunned and, frankly, nature is smarter than I am.
I have harnessed this power to my advantage in the back yard, with raised vegetable beds and patches of raspberries, blueberries and rhubarb. I’m practically farming back there, with moderate success. I have way more enthusiasm than skill, but I grow lots of easy things that I like to eat. Peas, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, beets, kale, garlic, and onions. I took last year off because I had a newborn at planting time, but I look forward to this year, I’m ready to go!
My front yard is … not so good. It looks a little like the Munsters might live here. There’s a giant ivy choking a pine tree to welcome you. Not sure who to root for in that battle, as the pine tree spews forth bajillions of small pinecones that are the bane of my life, after dandelions. I hack down the ivy once a year or so, with no clear progress. There are 15 or so rosebushes that were probably once pretty, but now they are scraggy warriors … scarred, angular, and mean. One fearsome specimen has made the leap out of the yard boundary and takes swipes at passersby and vehicles. I am not even kidding. I did make rose liqueur from the petals of one rosebush and it turned out great!
My front yard has no lawn. It’s a ruinous hodgepodge of awesome Chuckanut sandstone edging, tired gravel teeming with gritty weeds, plants that are too big to deal with and plants that are too small to deal with. Sometime long ago, a master gardener lived here. There is even a sticker on my front window attesting to that. Sadly, renters lived here for ten years or so before I bought it and let things go wild. I’ve been here for 7 years and despite my efforts, wild is still winning out. My goal for the front is to make an edible hedge, replace all midsize bushes with edible bushes, and replace existing groundcover with huckleberries and alpine strawberries. I also want to get a couple of dwarf fruit trees in there somewhere. Grand plans, we’ll see how far I get.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my house. I love my yard. I love my creepy, wild, injury-inducing eyesore of a yard.