A Tour of My Urban Homestead

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A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

A lot of my time during this time of the year is spent outdoors. By taking a quick glance at my instagram feed, you’ll notice that I post many pictures of what’s growing and “chirping” in my urban homestead. After posting these types of pictures, I usually get some interest from others that they’d like to start their own urban homestead but aren’t sure where to start… where to begin. Many people are on a tight budget as well, so I’ve had even more people ask me how to start an urban homestead with limited funds.

Today, I want to let you all know that I get where you are all coming from. Wanting to live a self sufficient lifestyle and do so on a limited budget. Here’s the good news, it can be done! With a lot of patience, right timing, and hard work, you can have the urban homestead of your dreams. Now, before I share a post on how to start an urban homestead on a limited budget (post coming this Thursday), I want to first give you a tour of my own homestead to give you an idea of what I’ve done to create my own piece of the country within city limits.

Welcome To My Urban Homestead

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

As you can tell, I live a simple life. I have a small home that’s filled with everything I could possibly need. The only negative side to this home is that we live in a neighborhood filled with mature trees so good sunny  locations, which gardens need to thrive, are hard to come by. When my next door neighbor had his giant maple tree removed from his front yard, Gabe surprised me with 3 new raised beds in my front yard. He then trucked in loads of dirt from grandpa’s farm which I then amended with our backyard compost.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

As an urban homesteader, I’m constantly thinking of the aesthetic when I’m planning my garden for the year. Since it’s an area that’s visible to the street, I think about what my garden beds are going to look like when fully grown. I take care to think about what plants to grow together in one box and then integrate them with flowering annuals and herbs. The annuals and herbs not only serves as companion plants, but also serve as spot color to give the area a vibrant look. So far, my annuals are not yet fully grown or flowering, but just give them another month… it’s going to be like, whoa!

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

It may seem out of the ordinary, but having a front yard garden has been a great way to get to know my neighbors. People on walks and even cars have stopped to just look at what’s growing and chat with me about it. Over the years, I’ve also noticed many more front yard gardens in my neighborhood. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Do you see the nakedness in this garden bed above. Yeah, well, it should be overgrown with beets. Unfortunately, city bunnies are not leaving this bed alone. I’m doing the best I can with cayenne pepper spray but we’ve had tremendous rains that keeps running the spray off the leaves. I could put a fence around the bed but since it’s in my front yard, I want to keep it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. At least my carrots are still going strong.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

As an urban homesteader, it’s imperative to think about incorporating edibles into your landscaping to take full advantage of whatever sunny locations you may have. I take advantage of the south side of my home where I have an established raspberry patch and an extra gardening bed which I rotate vegetables in.

This year behind our air conditioner, I am growing 10 tomato plants.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

One of the first things my husband and brother in law built for my home when we moved in was a front yard patio made of bricks and limestone.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

This is where I container garden and grow fresh herbs.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

I love this area of my home. It’s not rare to find me sitting down in my front yard bistro table drinking a warm cup of coffee in the morning while taking in His creation.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

If you’ll walk with me to the backyard from the side of my home where my tomato plants are growing, I’ll show you my backyard where it’s not as tidy as the front. But hey, it’s an urban farm as well!

This is what I call my pasture…. for children and sometimes chickens.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

If you notice, our grass is not at all filled in. Instead, it’s mixed in with a variety of weeds and I like it that way. What we have mostly on this side of the house is plantain. Yes, it’s taking over, but I don’t mind it at all since my chickens will pasture on this and adore to eat it. Also, when the plantain goes to seed, I purposely let the chickens out to eat them. They love plantain seeds and it’s in the seed where most of the nutrients lie.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Seeding plantain – I think it’s lovely. We not only use the plantain for the chickens but it’s our life saver during the summer as well. We use it to stop itches, rashes, and burns all summer long.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

In the back corner of the lot is where I have my compost piles. The pile below is the one I’m using from this year.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

In the far back of my lot is where I have my backyard garden that doesn’t see as much sunshine as the front. It was fenced in with free pallets but this year Gabe had to put up a temporary fence around that to keep a dog out that we had for a short while. That’s a whole other story but let’s just say our dog didn’t work out for us just then and she’s since found a great home on a 10 acre homestead :)

Instead of having Gabe take it down, I decided to have him leave it up to trellis cucumbers on for the year. Not a bad idea, right?!

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

This is the backyard garden filled with kale, zuchinni, beans, potatoes, and cucumbers. I’ve also started zinnias in this area.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Kale…

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

cucumbers that will trellis up the fence….

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Beans that were being devoured by a sneaky little rabbit that we since patched up the hole it was getting through….

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

and some baby potatoes that I harvested yesterday.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

 Coming around to the north side of the deck is where my chickens live. I currently have 7 laying hens and 19 chicks. The new girls are about 7 weeks old.

I know what you’re thinking… 19 new chicks? Well, soon, my family is going to be making the transition from urban homesteaders to rural homesteaders (more on that soon). So, these girls are going to be my new flock on the new homestead. For now, they’re growing in this small area and hopefully soon will have many acres in pasture to forage on. Oh you lucky girls, you have no idea!!

Gabe divided the run in order to grow grass and weeds in. I intentionally bought pasture seed to grow in this area that my laying hens will have access to. I only allow my older hens out about 1x per week. I do this to cut down on the poop around the homestead since the “pasture” is for my children to play in. Trust me, kids coming in with poopy bare feet is not cute at all.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Let me out!  Soon enough girls, soon enough.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

The chicken coop.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

One thing I like to do is to bring the new chicks table scraps and weeds since they aren’t on grass often. It’s good for now and hopefully they’ll be on a true pasture before they start laying.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Hopefully that will be soon since these girls are learning how to fly the coop!

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Behind the coop is where I have my rain barrels.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

I love them, but it never seems to be enough especially in the heat of the summer. I’d love a well, lol!!

My favorite part of my backyard urban homestead is the deck Gabe built for me. It’s where we eat many summer meals and talk into the late hours of the night. With children running here and there and chickens bawking, it’s my little piece of country living.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

I also grow more herbs in containers on my deck.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

By the fall, they’ll have grown quite large which allows me to dry enough of them to preserve for the winter.

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Around my deck, I have also sown basil and more tomato plants. We’ll see if the squinnies, squirrels, and children allow them to grow ;)

A Tour of My Humble Kitchen's Urban Homestead | myhumblekitchen.com

Well, thanks for taking a tour of my urban homestead. Let me tell you, this didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken a lot of time, patience, and compromises. Stop on by this week where I’ll share with you how you can start your own urban homestead on a limited budget!

Do you urban homestead? Do you have any advice you’d care to share with others on how to start theirs? Maybe you have questions about starting your own homestead. Let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to address them in my coming post.

44 Responses to "A Tour of My Urban Homestead"
  1. Dena Norton says:

    You’re such an inspiration for me to keep learning and growing my backyard garden, Diana! And I love that you mentioned the opportunity to get to know my neighbors. Even though mine is very small and in my backyard, I have semi-frequent conversations with neighbors on my street about what we’re all growing and how things are doing. To gardening and great community! :)

  2. Lindsey says:

    I feel sorry for your neighbors who have to look at the front of your house with boxes of veggies–I am sorry but that is selfish.

    • Beth says:

      I think it’s awesome! I’d love to have a neighbor like her!!! To each their own. It’s more than time to have some self sufficient living!

    • Beth says:

      In which universe is it a bad thing for the neighbours to see vegetables growing? I’m confused. You meant because they’d be uncontrollably jealous of the bounty of fresh and delicious produce, right? Because you couldn’t possibly have meant that they’d be an eyesore – that is seriously nonsensical. I have seen a LOT of ugly front yards in my lifetime (garbage, rusted out cars and metal parts, broken old junk, etc)… and *plants* (VEGETABLES?!?) have never once struck me as a selfish thing to put in a yard. What an utterly bizarre thing to say!

      Diana, I think this entire post was just mean, because now I’m totally jealous of your amazing yard. Hahaha! Love you, girl!

    • LindaKay says:

      Stealing your idea for a “plantain” back yard and love your front yard Much nicer that the abandoned trucks in MY neighbors yard….However that’s my neighbors yard not mine and that’s her style not mine.

    • Maria says:

      Wow, really? A comment like this baffles me. There is nothing selfish about someone using the property that they own for a greater good. I feel sorry for you for feeling the need to comment so rudely. I’m curious as to why you would even be reading a blog like this if you don’t have an appreciation for homesteading. I would be so thankful to have a neighbor like Diana and her family.

    • Milissa says:

      I feel sorry for myself. I have to look at yard after yard with boring grass. I wish some of my neighbors would plant a flower, bush, tree, or vegetable. But I realized since it is their yard, they can do want they want.

  3. Elissa says:

    I think this is fabulous!! I’m slowly turning my landscaping into food too. But I still like my flowers. :)
    I want to know how you use your plantain. I just recently discovered it was useful for bites, but not 100% sure how to use it.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Elissa, I use plantain a couple of different ways. For mosquito bites, we honestly just chew it right up in our mouths and then put it on the bite with a band aid over it. It takes the itch away quickly and keeps the bite from spreading into a large lump. Kind of gross, but when you’re in the backyard with family, grilling and stuff, it’s really quick and the kids know to do this, so they do it themselves, lol! You can just as easily mash it up with a bit of water and apply it that way. For rashes and burns, I like to mash it up like I mentioned above and mix it with betonite clay from Redmonds. I wrap the area with gauze. I should share a post on this soon :D

  4. Ana says:

    Hello :-)

    Any advice on how to keep deer, chipmunks, and groundhogs away from the garden?

    Thank you for letting me draw on your expertise!
    Ana

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Ana, that’s so tough. Really, the best way is to get a dog or cat but if that won’t do, then fences, human hair, or pepper sprays is what I’ve used. It’s tough for sure!

  5. Tara says:

    Looks beautiful, Diana! I love seeing tours of people’s gardens and homesteads.

  6. Judy says:

    Enjoyed the tour. I also urban homestead and dream of moving to the country some year. Your homestead is beautiful.

  7. Lali says:

    I so want to do this but I find it kind of hard since I live on an small apartment enough for my husband and I but not for the chickens and garden I will love to have.. some day! I really enjoyed this pictures. thank you for this such of refreshing post!

  8. Krissa says:

    It’s absolutely beautiful!!! I’m so jealous! I would sure love to be your neighbor. :)

  9. Wow! I am so impressed with what you have managed to do in an urban setting. Thanks for sharing all the great pictures. I’m looking forward to your future posts as I do live in the country, but I am still learning. Trying to do all of this on a limited budget is always a factor.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      I totally understand that, Heather. I’ll share in my next posts some cost effective things that I’ve done to save money on my urban homestead. When we move to the country, we’ll have to start all over. Oh dear, that scares me, lol!

  10. Jo says:

    I love your front yard garden. What a good example you are setting for your children and your neighbors – using precious resources to grow food rather than to have a lawn that is just for show. Nice work!

  11. Kim says:

    Love the creativity of your Urban homestead. It is amazing how much you can having growing in a small setting.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Diana – I am about to retire and live the life I have imagined for many years. A 2 acre rural plot where my husband will put raised gardens for me to enjoy. Maybe even a few chickens and having a great love of knitting, possibly a couple of sheep??? For being so young, you are a true inspiration, even for us older folks:) Thanks for all the great ideas. If only I could “do it over” I’d be exactly like you while raising my four children. I only accomplised a small portion of what you have already done, but it’s never too late! Good eating and good health are lifetime goals for us all, even in our front yards – LOL!!! Self-sustaining food is not just a hobby, it’s the need of the future!!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Oh, how much fun, Suzanne! You can do so much on 2 acres!! We’re all in different seasons and can only do so much. Don’t ever feel bad about that. God knows. I know for me, he’s often prompted me to slow down so I can enjoy my family more. Keep me updated on your homestead! I’d love to see what you’re going to start :D God Bless you!

  13. Mary says:

    I think your backyard is cool. I am not fond of gardens in the front yard unless you are on land. But the way the economy is going we may all be digging up our grass in the front yard and making gardens. Thanks for sharing all your hard work and ideas!

  14. Lynn says:

    I am so jealous! I would love to do this with our property, but my husband is not on board. He’s ok with me having some garden space and a few other things, but he really wants a lot of grass and hates the weeds. I am praying that we find a solution that we are both happy with. His solution is to make our house as saleable as possible (which an urban farm doesn’t fit his idea of this) and in a few years buy a place in the country. I am just not wanting to wait that long and I have know idea if it really will be in a few years. I pray God can help us work it out. I look forward to reading your post in a few days.

    Lynn

  15. Steph says:

    I think what you have done with your urban homestead is beautiful and looks very well kept! Not sure how growing FOOD for your family could ever be considered selfish in any aspect, especially when it is done as nicely as you have it. Not sure about most people, but when we lived in a neighborhood, we also had neighbors behind
    us and on each side-so is that wrong or selfish to have a garden at all because someone might see it?! We now live in the country, but
    we used to live in a well-kept established neighborhood and I cannot tell you how many people and neighbors who had to look at our gardens stop and complement us on what we were trying to do. Many were older retired people who did have nicely manicured lawns-I cannot tell you how many times they would tell me that is how they used to do things and encouraged us to keep it up! I am guessing you probably hear much of the same. Thanks for sharing your urban homestead with others, what an encouragement!

  16. Camille says:

    I was JUST sending my mom a picture of our garden in our front yard when I got this email! Too funny! I love what you have done with your land. I must say that I am very jealous of your chickens as we are not allowed to have them! We have worked very hard (reading lots of Rosalind Creasy’s books for inspiration) to make our front yard both edible and beautiful. It’s nice to know we’re not alone!

  17. Vickie says:

    I love your rain barrels. I love the raised box garden in your front yard. I love your chickens and the plantain growing in the back. I love the deck. I just love it all! Who says you can’t homestead in the city – this is proof that you can! But, that being said, I can’t wait to hear about the new place!

  18. I love this, Diana! And so inspiring! I’m so glad you gave us a tour! I can’t have chickens, but I do hope to have more edible foliage growing around our home. Each year I add a little more here and there. I really loved your front yard raised beds. I’ve considered this several times, but always chicken out. Hmmm…now I”m seriously thinking about this!

  19. Sheryl says:

    Truly enjoyed this site! What a wonderful stewardship of the land! Sounds like you are blessed in every way and definitely have your priorities straight! I, too, would like to have you for a neighbor! I live on a small acreage and treasure everything about it!

  20. Milissa says:

    I really wish my town would allow us to have chickens. I would love to have 2 or 3.

  21. Doug says:

    I’m wondering…..do your neighbors complain about the noise the chickens make?
    I”d love to have chickens…but fear the neighbors will complain.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Hi Doug, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that chickens really don’t make that much noise. There are certain times that they do, but it’s usually during the day and not noticeable. They sleep all night without a peep. Roosters on the other hand are loud. So as long as you don’t have a Roo, you should be fine.

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