Really quick announcement: I’m taking listener questions and comments on my weekly podcast. Want to share yours? Please do — who’s going to be first? Click here for more information.
We’re heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you’re growing and doing, we want to see it.
Welcome, Urban Homestead South Africa!
What is your name and the names of your family members?
We are a family of six. I’m Wendy, my husband is Dad aka Superman, and we homeschool our four kids, ages 17, 15, 13 and 10. Also part of the family is Lucky the potato dog who digs up our spuds; Zeus, the big white dog who tramples everything; and ten chickens.
What is the name of your farm/homestead?
Urban Homestead South Africa
How long have you been farming/homesteading?
Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
We have a suburban plot of 900 square meters (that’s 0.2 of an acre) About 150 square meters is taken up with house, office, and paving. The rest is vegetable garden, pathways, fences, and a wildlife pond. We try to use as much of our vertical space as well with trellises for climbing plants, etc.
What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We have ten chicken for eggs and we grow vegetables year round, although it slows down in winter. As we do not get snow we are very fortunate to always be able to get something from the garden. During the winter we have beets, spinach, Asian greens, broad beans, peas, salads, onions, and potatoes in the ground. In summer we can grow almost anything, but really battle with pumpkin due to space. My treasures are eight asparagus plants that I nurtured from seed four years ago. We harvested the first spears last spring. We also grow strawberries in hanging baskets around our home, have a grape vine, and a few granadilla plants. Our diet is whole food and organic, making everything from scratch, and sourcing local raw materials for cooking.
How did you get into farming/homesteading?
Four years ago I watched a Dervaes video on Youtube and was hooked. We started with just one vegetable garden and over the next three years ended up converting our whole garden into a mini suburban farm.
Any future plans?
Yes, I still want to convert our back paved pool area into a container food garden and continue to learn how to get a higher yield from our existing areas.
Any funny stories to share?
The first year I tried to grow potatoes we enthusiastically planted them in tire stacks. We waited patiently for three months, banking them up and adding new tires. Then came the day of harvest and we got a five liter bucket of potatoes from three stacks after expecting about 20kgs from each! My husband’s comment was: “If we were pioneers we would starve!”
Any sad stories to share?
Keeping chickens is the loveliest and saddest thing I do. I love watching them and listening to them and how they look for me coming through my back door with kitchen scraps. But like all creatures they do die. We have buried three of our girls over the years and each time I shed a whole lot of tears for my girl who has moved on. We have one of our original girls left. She is now four years old and I know her time is coming soon… makes me sad just thinking about it.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yes, some encouragement! Always grow something, no matter where you are. Herbs on a windowsill, pots on a patio, a full vegetable garden. There is something that happens to a person when they connect with the food they eat.
Let’s Tour Urban Homestead South Africa!
(Wardee: In the captions below, you’re hearing from Wendy, as she tells you what is in each picture.)
February Garden: The main garden in the height of summer.
Potato Dog — Lucky — and youngest always have the job of digging out potatoes. They do an excellent job.
Strawberries: In season we can pick about 200g every couple of days.
Asparagus: Grown from seed, now four years old.
Bean farm — Getting ready for spring.
(Back to Wardee) Wendy, thank you for sharing with us! We hope you enjoy your free thank you video, our gift to you. Plus, feel free to display the following graphic on your site. (Right-click and save to your computer, then upload to your site and link to this farm tour post.)
Would you like to be featured?
Are you a homesteader or farmer at any level? You don’t have to live in the country, you don’t have to be doing everything.
Being on the journey is the only qualification. We want to see what you’re doing, no matter how big or small.
Click here for submission guidelines for the Down Home Farm Tours series. We’re excited to hear from you!
If you’re selected, we will share your farm/homestead pictures and stories in a dedicated blog post, plus you can add the featured graphic to your blog or website. And, we’ll give you a free thank you video of your choice!
Please give Wendy a warm welcome in the comments! Personally, I’m so encouraged by how Wendy and her family are using every inch of space. Be sure to visit her blog, too.