Friday, February 18, 2011

My Future Garden (Semi-urban homestead?)

Today, for the first time in months, the snow was melted enough that I could see what I have to work with for a yard.  This is the blank canvas on which I will be working my garden magic this year.  Somewhere on this limited land, I'm looking to grow beans, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pumpkins, corn, at least two kinds of peas, carrots, onions, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, potatoes, green peppers, rhubarb, zucchini, cabbage, cucumbers, and ground cherries.  If I can figure out a way to do it in containers with dwarf trees, I'd also like to grow some peaches, apples, cherries, lemons, and plums.  That's right--I said lemons.  In Michigan.  I've heard it is possible if the tree is stored inside in the winter, so I'm considering it.  That's right:  I'm looking to turn this tiny trailer park lot into an urban homestead.

You can see the two garden boxes I had at our previous residence in the first and third pictures, one by the front stairs and the second by the garage.  Right now, the lot next to us is empty, so there is lots of sun coming into the yard, but I can't count on that being the case the whole summer, which adds an additional challenge.  The front yard faces the south, so that should get some good sun, so I'm thinking I'm going to plant my most sun loving plants there.  I'm thinking of trying to grow the "Three Sisters" (corns, beans, and squash) together there, since that is a traditional gardening method in this region so I think it should work pretty will with minimal maintenance.  That's about as far as I've gotten with figuring out where everything goes, but I'm confident I should be able to eek out a good portion of our food, at least for the summer if not for the whole year in our tiny lot.  Stay tuned for details on how I manage this miracle.


  1. How do you do the three sisters? Was thinking of growing all three of those anyways.

  2. Here is a good link on how it is done:

  3. more power to you. here is from one who has been at it for fifty years. remember, you can only peel one potato at a time. you can grow a couple of espalier froot trees on a wall, or grapes, we have got one grape vine on a south facing wall and it shades it all summer and gives us fruit. think hard what you want most and what is the most expensive to buy. I would consider a strawberry pyramid. I see that you have youngens, they will love strawberries, and they are so expensive to buy. You can grow potatoes in barrels or stacked tires.that will make a good barrier along the periphery of your lot.
    I would forget corn for a while, unless you have land and good soil. grow cucumbers on a trellis, pumpkins take up a lot of room. check out "path to freedom" that family has done what you want to accomplish, maybe on the same size lot. I wish you all the best. You and your family.