Welcome to our Backyard!
Do you ever get tired of watering, mowing, and caring for a lawn that takes all your weekends and gives nothing back? We did. Have you wondered what it would take to be able to grow your own food in the Suburbs? We did. Do you want to eat healthy, fresh local, pesticide-free produce that hasn't traveled further than you did on your last vacation? We definitely did. We wanted to save money on our grocery bill too. We eat a mostly plant-based diet, and with a family of eight eating fresh and organic can be expensive. We also wanted to encourage native songbirds and pollinators and to improve the soil. Enter the grass eradication plan for our backyard. In 2009 we moved to a brand new house in the suburbs. We told them to leave out the sod, but they couldn't sell the house without this beautiful greenery, so they scraped the soil down and laid sod which we dutifully watered all September to keep green. We have been taking it out ever since, and now we have over 100 small trees, fruiting shrubs and vines. Last year we grew 1700 lbs of produce in our yard, (not counting the wheelbarrows of kale that always get away from us), and the fruit trees are just getting started. We grow tomatoes, peppers, and all the standard veggies, but we really love the fruits you can't get in the store. We have 4 kinds of currants, hardy kiwis, rhubarb, honeyberries, Aronia berries, elderberries, blackberries, raspberries in all sorts of colors, and strawberries too. American highbush cranberries, blueberries, serviceberries, guomi berries, Corneilan-cherry dogwoods and lingonberries are scattered all over the yard. In fact, we have a mostly edible landscape, and when the trees get bigger it will be a food forest. We have Asian pears, red pears, Bartlett pears, several varieties of apples, plums, peaches, and apricots. Grapevines line the fences and hardy herbs like mint, thyme and chives fill in spots between. We are always adding one more thing. We garden with permaculture principles working with nature to build an abundant, regenerative, delicious system. Come see how we grow!
The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.
— Joel Salatin