Cappers Farmer Blogs > Homespun Life in the City

Starting an Urban Homestead

Erin SheehanWhen we bought our house, we didn’t know we were getting a fixer-upper! But here we are, three weeks after our closing, and we still have a list of repairs (big and small) that’s more than two pages long. We have been working hard at trying to fix things, but it seems like when one task gets ticked off the list two more things somehow slide on. I’m not complaining – we love our new house, but the list is daunting, especially since it’s time to put in the garden.

In spite of our ever-expanding to-do list, our top priority has been making our new vegetable garden. We moved eight cat litter buckets of compost from the old to help get it started, such is our dedication!

We transplanted the rhubarb and the chives a couple of weeks back and they seem to be doing OK with the move. I’m not sure we’ll be harvesting much of either this year, but they should be recovered by next year. We also started 15 containers of greens on the deck, and Jim put two dwarf apple trees in the front yard.



Last weekend Jim got out the rototiller and ripped up a large section of the backyard. We left enough room for a new compost pile and to get around, but most of the rest is destined to be fruit and vegetables.

Our goal is to have as little lawn as possible and, instead, grow food. Our lot is small, only 40 by 125 feet, so we have to be careful with our planning. The backyard is a lot shadier than we would like for a garden, but we’ll make the best of what we have. We also plan (down the road) to put in two raised beds out front for attractive vegetables like Swiss chard and cucumbers.

The progress seems slow right now, but we hope that within a few years, our urban homestead will be providing a lot of homegrown food for us.