Not so sure I qualify for an Urban Homestead however my approach is definitely in that direction. I did install an official Potager garden last winter, hopefully it is only half of the official Potager garden actually but I’m trying not to over commit myself for it.
I guess I will validate why I want to be considered an urban homestead or perhaps I will simply describe what we have at or house/garden. Apparently I’m feeling a bit defensive, Erica at NWEdible, sets a high bar!
Location: Southeast Seattle
Resources: 8,000 sqft lot with a 600 sqft house and a detached two car garage. Unfortunately there is a double driveway that just plows through some of the best growing areas!
I am a professional landscaper/gardener so I come across useful materials a lot; stones, gravel, compost, and certainly most of the garden plants. I also have the tools and the dirt under my nails so jumping in with both feet is pretty convenient.
I’ve created different areas of the garden each with their own qualities, requirements and expectations to fulfill.
Main border: basically bordering both sides of the driveway and up the front walk. Mainly shrubs and perennials, ornamental plants with a couple fig trees, grapes, blueberry bushes scattered about and lots of cut flowers. Maintenance in this area is most frequent sometimes weekly in little bursts. I like to have it looking good and it doesn’t have the nasty weeds like some other areas (horsetail, ivy, blackberry, bindweed).
Street border: along the sidewalk in front of my house. We hardly see it. I try to maintain it a couple times per year. Very little watering and very tough but attractive plants (it is due for a renovation this fall).
Back border and slope; I used to keep the back border maintained like the main border and maybe I will soon but it has gotten far far ahead of me this year! The slope is mostly left untrimmed for habitat all spring. It is planted with native shrubs and trees as well as new and existing fruit trees; Cherry and Plum, not heavy bearers, two apples (1 red and 1 green) and two pears (Orca pear and Bartlett) only a few years old. It is beyond the lawn and playground in this photo.
Potager garden; Currently four cedar beds terraced into the slope. the Cedar planks are 2×10’s. I like having things level when possible so I leveled out the walkway between the first row of beds and the upper row of beds. On the bottom row I sunk the boards and dug out all the extremely thick clay from about twice the depth as the boards, so they look real low but the good soil and the drainage go deep! I have one entire bed being taken by raspberries. I need to find another spot for them but I’m not sure where they won’t get taken over by the bindweed. next winter I hope to add four more beds in the lawn area between the current beds and the playground and hopefully ditch the playground for a chicken coop! Included as part of the Potager garden is the tomato hoop house. It is against the west to southwest facing wall of our garage. I put down some black plastic on the weeds and PVC poles form the ground to the side of the garage wall. I leave the plastic over them for a while in the spring and again in the Fall when it really prolongs the fruiting ability.
I guess the main reason I associate our garden to the Urban Homestead concept is the way our lives function in and around it. We grow a good amount of vegetables, harvest cut flowers, dig for worms in the beds or in the compost bin, watch the spiders and the bees. I’ll let the pictures do the rest!