It’s Your Backyard…Use It!

Asia is an newer urban homesteader living in a vintage home that was owned by her grandmother and now by her.

She is a single mother of two children. While she works a conventional 9-5 as a manager in a Finance setting she longs to be home on weekends and out in her garden. In addition to gardening and working, Asia thrives on frugality, family time but also needs time in a hotel for a weekend or just dinner at a restaurant alone.

Her creativity and curiosity normally lead her to attempt most things that peak her interest, which maybe how she began homesteading and gardening. As her children grow into their own she’s working to find out what her interests and passions are at this stage of her life.

Living in an urban or suburban setting may seem like the least likely place to start a homestead. When most people (even me) think of the word, term or action it looks like acres of land, a plethora of animals and gardens as far as the eyes can see. Pretty awesome visual for sure!

But what if I told you there’s another version of homesteading in modern day? A quick google search turned up a definition that stated “modern homesteading is about creating a lifestyle that goes back to the basics.” This is why I don’t mind calling my backyard garden with four chickens, a compost system and a water storage system a homestead. It’s not traditional but it’s my little homestead.

So now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about creating an urban homestead in your backyard! That’s right let’s get to the fun part.

Yellow Door Urban Homestead started as one 28 square foot cinder block garden bed in a sunny section of my yard. So first things first, where is the sun? What could block the sun? Most vegetables and flowers need sun to grow. Before setting up or building your beds know the answer to the prior asked questions.

Not having enough sun can slow plant growth. Also, keep in mind if you plan to grow in fall the sun is lower in the sky. Due to this change items such as trees, fences and buildings will cast shadows that didn’t exist in summer. There may be a need to trim back limbs, plant in movable containers or rearrange your
bed plans.

At the birth of our urban homestead it didn’t occur to me that I could grow more by using different methods. Garden beds were my only thoughts. As the garden has grown there are new techniques being used. How will you grow to maximize your space?

My “go tos” are pots, fabric bags and trellises. Even if you’d rather not ruin your grass or take up too much space the above options will still allow you to grow a good amount of food in your backyard.

The homestead did not begin with farm animals of any kind but it has evolved. We currently raise four chickens for eggs and are hoping to add meat rabbits this summer. What animals would you like to have?


But a better question is what animals can you have? The best resource for the “can” question is your city’s local ordinances. Local ordinances can be found on the localities webpage. It was pretty easy for me to find. If push comes to shove a phone call or visit will also suffice. It would be heartbreaking to get an animal(s) only to be told you are not allowed to keep it. In additional be sure to do a little research on the breed of animal you’d like.

 

You want to ensure if you’d like blue eggs the chickens you purchase lay blue eggs or if a small goat breed is what you’re after you actually purchase that breed of goat. There’s definitely more to urban homesteading but these are the basic things that I remembered from starting out.

 

Pretty simple steps for you to quickly get your backyard urban homestead started. It totally
doesn’t have to be an event! 🙂 Visit me over on @msaiaspratley on IG and Yellow Door Urban
Homestead on Youtube. Leave a comment and let me know how your backyard urban homestead is going!

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