To best explain WHAT we do, you need to know WHY we do it! Here is our story.
After buying this little property in April of 2000, we had to do a major amount of clean up. The yard was a mess! Plants, bushes and flowers were planted at random all around the yard. There were junk structures littering the yard. Dead tree’s came down, debris was dug up from around the yard and everything was tilled under. Everything had to go to rebuild this property to a usable space.
After removing everything that needed to go, we seeded the yard and waited. What we got was a backyard that could not grow grass or anything else it seemed. We did build a small raised bed in the first couple years out of “green treated” 4″ x 6″ timbers. It was about 6 feet wide and 10 feet long. We grew there for many years with moderate success. But nothing was really a priority.
But then, everything changed…
In 2008, we found out that our daughter had an auto-immune disease and multiple food allergies. We also started finding out that everything we ate seemed to contain things that caused her problems. Up to this point, we were a pre-processed/pre-packaged food family. We ate what was quick and easy. But that had to change.
A New way of Living and Eating…
We began a journey to rid our lives of “bad food”. We knew the only way we could truly know what we were eating was to grow it ourselves. We ripped out that little, poisonous, “green treated” garden. We bought a greenhouse and lined it’s walls with gutters for extended growing space. We built 8 new large raised beds out of clean lumber to cover every bit of growing space in our little yard. We planted food where flowers once lived. We built a coop and raised a flock of laying hens. Everything we did was to live as pesticide and chemical free as we possibly could.
The results are coming in…
So, did we succeed? Well, you decide. Our daughter is now one the healthiest young ladies you will ever meet. In fact, after recent testing, she may have been cured of some of the food borne allergies she once had. Her autoimmune issues rarely show themselves anymores. As for my wife… her chronic joint pains are gone and her energy levels are through the roof most days. As for me… our diet change has allowed me to loose 60+ lbs and I feel great. It is amazing what REAL FOOD can do for you!
We have no plan to stop now…
Our plan is to break the stereotype that you must have big spaces to grow lots of food. Or that you can’t “have a yard” AND “have a garden”. We have worked hard to create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere while growing as much food as we possibly can. I mean, who says you can’t have a farm in the city! We Do! Well, sort of. It’s not really a farm. It would better be described as a growing “Urban Backyard Homestead”.
Our backyard today…
Our property is a 3750 sq ft lot with a 114 year old home in the midst of restoration and a VERY small back yard. We sit just blocks from downtown Colorado Springs in a small, older neighborhood. Not an area known for growing food. But that is the fun part! We are here to teach and guide others in all we have learned. To show others how they can do the same.
Currently our yard holds:
9 – raised beds (8 standard, 1 vertical), 1 – large herb/rock garden, 1 – 6′ x 8′ Greenhouse, 6 – 8′ Rain Gutter Planters (6 more coming this spring), 2 – Chicken runs (soon to be upgraded), 1 – Large, custom Chicken Coop, 9 – Laying Hens (multiple breeds), 2 – Compost Bin/Locations, * All this along with multiple other growing areas, rock pathways, multiple seating areas. a pergola and fire pit.
Summer Additions to Come:
– a flock of meat chickens
– a bee hive
– a potting center
– multiple “vertical” growing locations
– an outdoor “solar” dehydrator
* And additional seating/entertaining areas around the yard