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Feb 14, 2016

Our Little Homestead Layout Overview, Annabel Langbein- The Free Range Cook

Our Little Homestead Layout Overview-
I started thinking last week that many of you may not have any idea how out little homestead is set up. I thought I'd do a post about how we're set up here to give you a better idea! Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

First- our city lot is 5,663 sq. feet or about 1/8th of an acre. We have a pretty standard size front and back yard for this part of town. Our front yard faces south, and the back yard is on the west side of the house. The backyard is completely organic at this point, the front yard about 90%. The backyard veggie garden/chicken run/berry patch area is in the top photo. We have a nice sized, well-thought out coop that is safe, easy to clean, well ventilated and the hens love it. We started off with a small coop and quickly realized it was just too small and way too hard to clean-

1st coop

Current coop Dave and I built, painted to match the trim of the house, 
90% or more recycled materials!

We get wonderful eggs every day, we use the deep litter method and that litter goes into our yard. It really lightens up the heavy clay soil.  Thank goodness we have a HUGE maple tree in backyard or we'd cook! The chickens love the shade in the heat of summer, since Boise can get into the 100's. We have one 55-gallon rain barrel, and I'd like to add at least one more.

The backyard has a small deck we built that's about 10' x 25', with turf in the yard-

Ellie enjoying the deck

 The perimeter beds are planted with herbs, perennials and pollinator attracting plants. Flowers too of course!

We built a cold frame in the shade, which is great for cool weather crops, and have bird feeders and birdbaths-

From the cold frame, yummy collard greens.

Our compost pile with Poesy the neighbor's cat, cause she needs shade too!

We downsized and tore out our old, dilapidated shed last spring in the south side yard and are using the space to grow more food!

Italian beans growing, shed's gone!

The front yard currently has turf, a pear, apple and peach tree (planted last spring). We have 2 edible berry shrubs. We also have tons of perennials and shrubs to attract pollinators in the front, as well as herbs. Sorry these are early spring pictures, in the summer is a blast of color and green!

A snapshot of our veggie harvest

And our lovely eggs

Our little homestead is always in progress! We will probably build a small mini-shed on the north side of our house for the wheelbarrow and hoses. They ate up too much room this winter in the garage. That's life! We will use as much recycled materials as we can as usual So I hope that gives you a better idea of what we're working with. There's always more change coming~~~ guaranteed...

Annabel Langbein, The Free Range Cook-
Life can sometimes have some unexpected gifts. When we ditched satellite TV we suddenly had four PBS channels instead of one!!! SCORE! I found several great new shows I'd never seen before. One of my favorites is Free Range Cook, Simple Pleasures showcasing the talents, recipes and charm of Annabel Langbein, a cook/chef from New Zealand. She really does "keep it real", by growing, harvesting, foraging, and preserving her own foods. She has excellent, tasty and healthy recipes. I LOVE a woman who can cook on a propane burner !!! She's great on camera and some of the episodes are filmed in jaw-dropping, gorgeous wild areas of N.Z. Her website has lots of great free recipes and she has cookbooks out. She was just on American TV this week, which sadly I missed. She has a marathon of episodes on Easter weekend coming up, so check her out!


Candy C. said...

The tour of your property was fun! You guys have really done a nice job laying everything out. I will have to look up Annabel Langbein, she sounds like my kind of girl! :)

Mama Pea said...

LOVED the overview of your little homestead. Just shows how very much can be done on a small piece of property.

In the picture of your current Taj Ma Coop (!), what is that little horizontal area on the front under the nest boxes?

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Candy! She's great~~~

Mama, that's a vent made from hardware cloth for ventilation...

Susan said...

Excellent use of space! It was so interesting to see your layout and all that you and Dave have done with it. I am thinking of providing a 'greenhouse' for the hens for winter, as we have had such bitter weather, I hate to keep them "cooped" up.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes we built a sunroof for them in the winter, the we deconstruct it in the spring, made from mostly recycled shower doors and a simple frame...

Kathryn said...

Love it! (We are on 1/10th of an acre) Thanks for sharing at Front Porch Friday!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Kathryn!