Urban Gardening and Homesteading

Lara DeHavenHomeowner Tips, Lake Conroe, Montgomery County

Between the cost of food and eggs on the constant rise, today I want to explore urban gardening and homesteading. You can grow your own food. Since most people need to see what the end result can look like, I found a video to show you. You will not be able to totally re-create her garden as she grows vegetables in San Diego, California. However, Texas Zone 8b has a long growing season, which extends almost year-long. Therefore, you can take her success and apply it to your tastes and needs.

The video is called “Suburban Garden Tour” by a company called Epic Gardening. The video tours Kris’ home garden. She is one of their employees and raises 80% of her produce needs for a family of five, plus she raises backyard chickens for eggs. Therefore, in a typical-sized front and backyard, Kris is able to heavily supplement her family’s food needs. That is inspiring!

Maximize Your Space

The biggest key to truly impacting your grocery bill by gardening in any suburban area is to maximize your space. Kris utilizes both her front and back yards. In addition, she expands her square footage by going vertical. Whether beans or peas, she has a cattle panel arch ready to support them as they grow vertically. She also plants a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers together. Notice she planted lettuce in the middle of a planter where it would grow in the shade of bigger plants. Kris also planted corn and green beans together. The green beans will use the hearty corn stalks as a support to grow vertically. You could argue that Kris has absolutely maximized her yard.

Worm Farm

Having a worm farm does not take up much room, but its impact on your garden can be huge. Worms break down paper and compost into worm castings, which is just a polite word for worm poop. Worm castings are highly beneficial, nutrient-rich soil that will not burn your plants. You can work it into the soil and/or lay it on top of the soil. These worm castings will feed your plants as an organic fertilizer. The most popular worms for this job are red wigglers.

Chicken Eggs

You will have to check out your Homeowner’s Association rules to see if they allow chicken coops. But if they do, you can easily raise chickens in a small space while reaping the rewards of fresh eggs. There are many ways to house your small flock of chickens. It doesn’t have to look like hers. Chickens need a safe and protected place to roost overnight. Hens need a place to lay their eggs. I personally like to give chickens a place to run and be chickens during the day, but they do not require a lot of care. In addition to giving you fresh eggs, these birds are also really good at keeping the insect population down in your yard.

In a small, suburban yard, it is possible to be successful at urban gardening and homesteading. Here is a Texas Gardening Guide in case you need it.  Imagine the vegetables and eggs you can produce from the comfort of your home. It is better for your pocketbook and your health. You not only can enjoy fresh, organic vegetables, but you get out in the sunshine and move around in your garden. Looking at your space, what are you inspired to do now?