Northern Home Garden

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We’re heading down home… to your farms! Urban, suburban, or rural — whatever you’re growing and doing, we want to see it.

Welcome to the Down Home Farm Tours series. To see all the farms and homesteads featured in this series, click here. If you’d like to be featured, please read here for guidelines.

Welcome, Northern Home Garden!

Today, I get to introduce you to Northern Home Garden. Anna and Jakob are creatively growing a large amount of their food at their suburban home and at friends’ farms. Visit their blog here.

What is your name and the names of your family members?
We’re Anna, Jakob, and two teenage children.

What is the name of your farm/homestead?
Actually we do not have a farm or homestead. Truth is we do not even own a single square foot of land, but we do what we can and call it Northern Home Garden.

How long have you been farming/homesteading?
All our growing up years and now five years in Canada.

Share a brief description of your farm/homestead.
We live in a rented house with a small backyard of about 2000 square feet. Our climate is cold and the growing season is short with only about 100 frost free days in a row. Our summers are cool and often stormy. Our landlord allowed us to build a geodome greenhouse and have a garden. Friends allow us to have some rows at their farm and also keep bees on their land. We are so grateful for these good people! We grow lots and lots of food in our square foot garden, in the greenhouse, and at our friend’s farm. We do not sell anything; just grow, eat and giveaway if there is a surplus.

What are you raising, growing, and doing?
We are growing most winter vegetables like cabbage and spinach, and root crops (remember we only have a short cold summer). We also grow zucchini and beans, since they do not need long to ripen. In the greenhouse we have tomatoes, cucumbers, papers, ground cherries, and even eggplants along with some strawberries. Our rented property has also an apple tree and we planted some raspberries. We’re not sure if our landlord is happy about those, but we are ;). We also keep some bees (two hives so far). Our daughter has bunnies as pets.

How did you get into farming/homesteading?
I grew up on a mostly self sufficient homestead, and I guess it is in my genes. :)

Any future plans?
We would love, love, love to own some land and to build up a real homestead, with trees, and berries and some animals (dreaming aloud).

Any funny stories to share?
Every year I grow something stupid, like a whole row of rutabaga, even if we only want to eat three of them.

Let’s Tour “Northern Home Garden”!

(Wardee: In the captions below, you’re hearing from Anna and Jakob, as they tell what is in each picture. Don’t forget to visit their blog or Flickr set for lots more!)

Building a geodome greenhouse.

Geodome Greenhouse.

All ready to go in the greenhouse!

Transplanting tomatoes in the ground.

The greenhouse starting to be a jungle.

The joy of harvesting!

Square-foot gardening, a great method for little space.


Growing microgreens in the winter.

Gardening at a friends farm.

Onion harvest.

The brand new beekeeper!

First honey using the crush and strain method.

Lots more pictures at this Flickr set.

(Back to Wardee) Anna and Jakob, 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 Anna and Jakob a warm welcome in the comments! Be sure to visit their blog and Flickr set, too.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    very lovely, I would like to know if they have any problems with bugs, I seem to get white fly every year from a neighbors tree and grasshoppers this year.l Also, what kind of fertilizer do they use as my tomatoes did horrible this year? Last year was much better. I Enjoy your site Wardee, I always stop by to see whats going on and enjoy everything, keep up the amazing work.


    • says

      Thank you Juliette. Thankfully we do not have much problems with bugs. This year we had some aphids in the greenhouse, along with ants (they mostly come together). A friend suggest to wash off the aphids and I did use some Boric Acid for the Ant problem – it helped. For fertilization we use Compost and worm casting, it worked great.

    • says

      Thank you, Juliette! Saving our seeds is our next project we want to learn. I do save some here and there, but mostly bay the seeds. I have a post about the seeds, and where we get them from for now.
      We hope to have some time in the winter to write an instruction for the greenhouse. Check back sometimes for it 😉

  2. says

    Thank you so much for featuring Northern Home Garden! As an aspiring someday-homesteader, I keep thinking I can’t grow our own food until we own our own land. Wow! This completely throws that out the window! We are planning a move next year, but no matter where that takes us, I’m determined to make the best of it whether I own the land or not. Will definitely be following their blog!

  3. Nancy Roberts says

    Love this spotlight!! Thanks for sharing their garden too! I live in a suburban neighborhood and also garden off sight. I really enjoyed this post…blessings! Nancy at livininthegreen

  4. Laurie White says

    An article was on yahoo news last week about how you can buy land for $10 an acre up around Manitoba. Ask your local council for more information and maybe they know about other deals like this up there. Have you looked into buying foreclosures with land? God help you. We hope you find some land soon, looks as if you need it praise God.

  5. says

    This is great. I love the greenhouse. Is there an advantage to the shape? We are in New Mexico, 6,000 + feet elevation and a very short growing season, too! I feel your pain! My tomatoes and squash were just getting going, then it cooled off too much. But, we greatly enjoy what we do get! That is, what the grasshoppers will leave for us, lol!

    • says

      It sounds very much like us, Amy! Thankfully we have not had grasshoppers yet.
      All greenhouses have some advantage and disadvantage. The geodome shape is a lightweight structure that is very stable in wind and snow. It also has an optimal light absorption. All of this is important in a northern garden.

      • Martha says

        Anna, your homesteading while renting is an inspiration, and obviously, a success! As you mention that a geodesic dome lets in the most light, I applaud you for the great idea. We also are very northern, and cannot even be guaranteed 100 frost free days. Did you buy the dome as a kit? is it heated? Thanks, Anna and Wardeh, for this great featured homestead! Martha

        • says

          We did build the dome from scratch our self using a eBook, that was of some help and also a lot of information online in several languages. Our plan is to write in instruction how to build a GeoDome. Check back sometimes for it 😉

  6. says

    Wow, what a wonderful tour through your homestead, and how creative you have been to figure things out! I went over and looked at your other pics on Flickr–and wow! Thanks for sharing your lives with us!
    ~Heather @ The Welcoming House Blog

  7. Louise says

    Thanks for sharing your northern garden!!! We too are in Canada (Kelowna… the Okanagan Valley) where there is only cloud cover in winter and our dream is to have a yard and put up a geodome too… I wondered how it would work when days on end is cloud (our winters are cold and we are sopped in clouds for months)… Would we need a light source?… If you have any idea on that we would greatly appreciate any input! THanks

    • says

      Louise, we do not use the GeoDome in the winter. Ones it freezes (about end of October), til it warms up a bit (about March) there is nothing happening in the Dome. So I do not know how the lighting would be, especially since you have so many cloudy days.

  8. Dani says

    Ooh, that colander-full of beeswax makes me want to make lip balms and candles and moisturizing creams, OH MY! I love that you’re able to do so much with so little space–I have found that container gardening is the way to make a small space go a lot farther than a traditional in-ground garden. Nicely done, and I may just be stealing some ideas!!!

    • says

      That beeswax is still siting there, waiting for me to have more time to learn how to do those balms and candles and moisturizing creams you are talking about. If you know of any good learning pages for that, I would be interested to see them.

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