ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Urban Farmer Handbook: Getting Started

Updated on August 21, 2014

First a Definition

For those who are a bit confused by the term “Urban Farming,” I think it’s only fair and prudent that I give you a definition to work with. For the purpose of this article, urban farming is:

the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town, or city.

There is nothing new about this practice. It has been around since ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but we have seen a resurgence of it lately because of poor economic conditions. More and more people are looking at their available resources and finding new ways to make those resources work for them.

Urban farming is tied directly to sustainable living, a catch-phrase that refers to the following:

“Sustainable living is fundamentally the application of sustainability to lifestyle choice and decisions. One conception of sustainable living expresses what it means in triple-bottom-line terms as meeting present ecological, societal, and economical needs without compromising these factors for future generations.”

In practical terms, an urban farmer uses the resources he/she has at their disposal, to provide for them and their family.

Let me give you an example. Other than aesthetics, what good is a lawn? There is no practical reason to have a lawn. You can’t eat it, so why have it? An urban farmer looks at that lawn and sees row upon row of carrots and tomatoes. An urban farmer looks at those azaleas along the side of the house and sees blueberry bushes. An urban farmer sees that 200 square foot patch of weeds and sees a chicken coop.

Let me walk you through the process we used when we first started, and then we can discuss some specifics.

It all began with an herb hill
It all began with an herb hill | Source
We then added raised beds
We then added raised beds | Source

My Own Experience

Four years ago my wife and I decided to embark on a new journey without even leaving our home. We decided to start raising our own food and making our yard work for us instead of us working for our yard.

We started with a typical ranch-style home in the city of Olympia, Washington, a home situated on a large lot…about 1/8 of an acre….front yard with lawn and bordering bushes, back yard with lawn and existing raspberry bushes. We started small that first spring and planted an herb hill atop an old rotting cherry tree stump.

The next year we really got serious. We built six raised vegetable beds and dug out another 15x30 bed for potatoes. We planted carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, pumpkins, beans and peas. We also divided our back yard using a wooden pallet fence, and prepared for the day we would start raising chickens. Three berry bushes were added to the front yard. Our urban farm was taking shape.

Year Three saw the addition of chickens for fresh, healthy eggs, three more raised beds for vegetables, rain barrels to collect water, two fruit trees, three grape plantings, more berries and of course, a compositing pile.

And here we are in Year Four with a new quail run (again for fresh eggs), more berries, more vegetables, and more fruit trees. I am currently working on a rabbit hutch, a worm bin, and we will add miniature goats next year.

And You Can Do It Too

Fact: 400 square feet of vegetable garden can feed a family of four for one year.

Fact: Organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat are infinitely healthier than any store-bought, genetically-altered swill.

Fact: An organic urban farm does no damage to the environment. It does not waste resources like the caring for a lawn does, and it does not pollute the soil and water because there are no pesticides used.

The only two reasons we were able to do all of this while others haven’t is because we were willing to do it, and we live in a community that encourages urban farming.

So, how about you? Do you have the space and the desire?

If so, then let’s get started.

We then learned how to compost to prepare and amend the soil
We then learned how to compost to prepare and amend the soil | Source

LET THE SUN SHINE

Quite possibly the most important factor in having a successful vegetable garden is the amount of sunshine that garden receives during the growing months. Planning a year in advance is helpful. In preparation, you can study the sunshine for a summer so you know where maximum sunshine falls. Most vegetables need a minimum of six hours of sunshine per day; eight would be delicious; ten fabulous.

SOIL PREPARATION

Once you have decided upon the location of your garden, start preparing the soil a year in advance. Get yourself a Ph kit and test your soil. Add compost to the soil during the winter. There are few things more discouraging than planting a vegetable garden and then getting midget crops for your trouble.

Then we brought in chickens
Then we brought in chickens | Source

START SMALL AND BUILD FROM THERE

Using our example, we began with six herbs on a hill. That gave us a chance to dip our toes into the water and warm up to the activity. We added on with each year that followed. I would suggest you do the same. Start with a few raised beds and get the hang of it all before you tackle 400 square feet.

DIVERSIFICATION IS THE KEY TO ABUNDANCE

Vegetables, fruit, berries, herbs, eggs, and even meat….all of those are available on our urban farm, and, if regulations permit, they can be on yours as well. We have pretty much maxed-out our back yard, so now we are moving to the front in a full-tilt boogie. The lawn will be gone in two years, replaced with more berries and fruit trees. An arbor and trellis are in place for future growth. Our goal is to make our front yard as bountiful as the back, and we should achieve that within two years.

We freeze berries, and we are learning canning. What we have in excess we trade with neighbors for their excess. We estimate that our urban farm could easily feed ten people for a year and we plan on increasing that output.

and berries
and berries | Source
and quail
and quail | Source

LOCAL REGULATIONS

This is a true stumbling block for many. I mentioned we have six chickens, but there are many communities that will not allow chickens. We also have fourteen quail but again, check the local zoning laws to find out what you are allowed to raise. We live in an urban farming Shangrila, but not everyone is so lucky.

ONE OTHER NOTE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY

We strongly believe in leaving as small a footprint on the environment as possible. That is why we reuse and recycle religiously. I do not buy new lumber for my projects. I used recycled lumber I found on the side of the road, and I also used wooden pallets, which to an urban farmer are like gold.

I am always looking on Craigslist for people giving away stuff I could use on our farm. Why do I need new fence posts when used will suffice? Why do I need new bricks if I can find a great deal after a building is torn down? Why buy a composter when I can make one using household items?

Will you give it a try?

See results

The Bottom Line

Anyone can do what we have done if they are willing. I constantly wonder why people eat foods tainted with GMOs when they know they are poison. I constantly wonder why people buy vegetables at the store when they could grow their own. I’m blown away by the number of people who have lush, green lawns….but then, maybe I’m just a little bit different.

If you want what we have you can have it.

Get out there and start planning today.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I really should be growing my own food too. It would be so much healthier and think of the money I'd save. Maybe next spring I'll start. Great hub Bill!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      The funny thing is I had a big garden when my kids were little. I canned and froze things, I even made my own ketchup and french bread. As they grew and I was away from home for work the garden disappeared. It is certainly appealing.

      Our town won't allow any "farm animals" in our residential neighborhood but there's nothing against raising crops!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      I replied to your comment on my latest blog post that you need a goat, and now I see you have goats in the plan. Do you plan to raise them for milk or meat? I always thought it would be cool to have a goat and make goat cheese. And will you be raising the rabbits for meat? I'm not sure that I could ever get to a point where I raise animals for meat, although I am always happy to get lamb from my sister-in-law and beef from my brother-in-law. I just don't want to think too hard about where it came from. :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, you are truly an inspiration and definitely need to follow your lead more on this. Thank you for always sharing how you have done this and want to indeed wish you a great day now!! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, start small like we did and then build each year. That way it doesn't seem so overwhelming. :) Good to see you here so often again. Have a great day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I check the regulations and then fudge on each one of them. LOL I hope you can enjoy fresh veggies again my friend. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Deb! The goats will be for milk...the rabbits to sell as pets. We don't really want to kill our animals unless starvation becomes a factor. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, with two little girls, I don't know how you would have time to garden...but...what a great activity to share with your daughters. :) Happy Thursday my friend.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Another excellent hub with novel ideas. Bookmarked for further references.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi Farmer Bill,

      This is great to help many people with a little space and a lot of great ideas.

      My grandfather was a farmer and my Mother would never let me plant or grow anything since she had to work on her parents farm growing up.

      I love to plant flowers and watch them grow, and so with all my farming background your hub still helps someone like me.

      Thanks Friend,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, SANJAY!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bobbi. I appreciate you taking the time to visit me here....have a wonderful Thursday my friend.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      Phew. Once when I was young, we visited my uncle and aunt's farm for a few days. One night for dinner my aunt served what I thought was stewed chicken in a tomato sauce. Only after I ate it did I learn it was rabbit, like those cute bunnies I had been playing with all day. I think that incident left some emotional scars. : )

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 2 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      I have returned back, as I remember the Japanese Research, that the plants increase the yield when the music, especially classical is played in the fields. One of the favorite according to them is the soft Indian classical music and the symphonies of Beethoven. You can try it. I am going to write a hub on this topic.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

      So many projects seem overwhelming when you look at the end result. Gotta take one step at a time. You're doing a great job, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I've slaughtered before, but I didn't enjoy doing it....and if I'm not going to enjoy this adventure, then why do it? :) I'm with you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SANJay, now that you mention it, I have heard that before. I am going to try that next spring. Thank you for reminding me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I'm expecting your help next spring.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      As you know I'm going to give it a shot. Last weekend my neighbor and I attendrf a class put on by our local extension service. It was very helpful since they concentrated on what to grow when in Central Florida.

      At one point I asked where we can buy GMO free seeds. Boy, did that open a can of worms! One of the other attendees asked a follow-up question about GMOs. One lady who is a certified master gardener answered my question. However, another woman who works for the extension service got quite irritated and told us what we read on the Internet is not true. That GMOs only apply to commercial farmers who supply to industry. Excuse me, but aren't the grocery stores part of industry? They very quickly changed the subject. I couldn't believe that this woman tried to push this bs on us in a class for the beginner organic gardener. Hello? Organic!

      All in all we received great information (for the most part) and some very helpful handouts including planting guides, etc.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My kind of hub! lol I am getting double yokes from one chick Bill; I thought that was great but come to find out it is probably just an upset chicken and although they say it only happens 1 in 1000 times (whoever they are) I have had two in just a few days and a few so huge in stock I am betting they are doubles too! Just when we think we have a gold mine we find out we got a dud. :(

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Such a good guide for those starting out; a simple, steady process which yields such amazing results.

      Your neighbourhood sounds wonderful.

      Happy Thursday, bill!

      Ann

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Question: Your video was very interesting, but is it hydroponic or soil farming? Much of the produce we buy today is hydroponically grown. We are again attempting hydroponics this year, although Mr. B had sworn never again. We are starting small, but he is keeping us supplied with cherry tomatoes. I’m hoping the squash and melons produce, but this is a slow learning process. It is also very expensive to get into. We have spent hundreds of dollars over the years on equipment and methods that didn’t work.

      Miniature goats on 1/8 acre –I urge you to reconsider. Goats do take a little room, and if they were to get out of the pen, well, there goes the veggies. Our back yard in town was about 70 ft. by 110 ft. We got one little African pygmy goat, and she ate everything but the irises. She cleared out the privets in the back yard and didn’t differentiate between those and three ornamental bushes. A friend had two of them that managed to get out and clean out her garden. She got rid of them immediately.

      Anyway, you are doing an envious job of feeding your family on a tiny plot of land. I love reading about your progress, so keep writing about it. Be careful, though, or I will be reading about a goat roast in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, Sha. That is amazing that the woman got irritated over the question and then tried to lie. What a joke. We need to keep educating people about the dangers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Jackie, you kill me. We have chickens who are hiding their eggs now, so every day is an Easter egg hunt for us. :) Happy farming my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, it is a wonderful neighborhood, and you really need to come and visit us. In fact, I think that is a....wait for it....BRILLIANT idea. :)

      Happy Thursday my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, that video was hydroponic, something I have never tried but always wanted to. I hope you write articles about your experience.

      Goats.....still sitting on the fence on that one. We may wait until we buy acreage....if that day ever comes.

      Thanks for the share....and a very happy Thursday to you my friend.

      bill

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      What a wonderful adventure. Communities all over America should be encouraging this not discouraging it!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      @bravewarrior, look up heirloom plants and seeds. There are several companies that deal only with heirlooms. We buy heirloom seeds, which are quite pricey, and then try to save seeds from year to year.

      Bill, I intend to write a hub whenever I can get Mr. B to sit down and explain to me what he does. It is quite time-consuming, so I haven't gotten into doing it myself. Thanks.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Don't worry, should I be over that way, I shall be knocking on your door!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you completely, Brie. I think it is happening, but like all change, it happens slowly. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is for sure, MizB. That's one reason I've never done it...yet.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll leave the light on for you, Ann. :)

      bill

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      I honestly think that more and more people have been thinking about urban farming given the increasing prices of produce and pesticide concerns. I've been putting it off for a while now, but I need to go buy some seeds and get started with some tomatoes and bell peppers. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DealForALiving, thanks for returning to my site. I believe there is a huge change happening in this country, but like all change, it takes time...best wishes to you my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      What a pity that it took "poor economic conditions" to open our eyes to what's best for us. I remember when almost everything we ate was local. In the Caribbean too, folks got to the stage where they didn't want their hands to touch the dirt; that's when supermarkets came into existence. Thanks to my mother who always kept food in her yard; now I inherit the challenge. Nowhere near what you're doing, but you're an inspiration.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Darn it Bill, after two months I have to buy some vegetables and that hurts. New growing cycle starts in about NOW so some things will take time.

      I think I need a 20 by ten green house. But we are only one year into it. Thanks for all your help in making it a reality. And a big thank you to the desert here for a possible 12 growing seasons.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I wish that I could have those types of animals. We do live out in the country and in the woods, BUT there is a HOA that prevents us from having anything other than pets and that includes chickens and other poultry or goats and other animals. I love this place but we do have a local and large farm market 10 minutes away from here.

      You definition also is for Neighborhood farms. I was in one of them too a very long time ago. Now the government is making it difficult to do that around here. They are afraid someone will get sick and sue. Way too much suing going on in this country.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I agree with you, it is a pity it took these conditions to bring about change, but at least change is happening. I think we will see more of this in the near future. Thank you for your reflection.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I can't imagine having that long a growing season. Take advantage of it my friend...hey, make your own greenhouse out of PVC pipe...inexpensive and very useful.

      Thanks buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debra, those darned HOAs. And I suspect the government cracks down on personal farming because the big farming corporations are paying them to do so. I hate to think it has come to that, but I suspect that might be the truth. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I agree with everything you say. Lawns really don't make ay sense. My husband and I pour tons of money into the lawn. We have a lawn service that mows and maintains the lawn and it is expensive. If I wanted to embark on a different way of life (like yours) I would have to move. I really admire you and all your efforts. Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, breakfastpop. I realize this isn't for everyone, but for those contemplating a change of lifestyle, I hope this helps them.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, I have just one thing to say to you, "my raspberries are bigger than yours!"

      But I guess size isn't everything. :)

      You and Bev are inspirational, you've accomplished much, and in the process, demonstrated what can be achieved with determination a good old fashion grit. I've already saved this to bookmark earlier. Exceptional as always, my best.

      P.S, if you have the time, take a look at my new bookcase on my blogsite woman4good, hope you'll approve.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL..Jo, that sounds like a raspberry challenge. LOL Way too funny. Maybe they are my friend, but ours taste better, so neener neener. :)

      I'll head to that blog now. Thank you!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      I love a lawn, but I also had one side as a lawn and the other side of the path was a huge veggie garden, we grew virtually everything we could get our hands on, even tomatoes which aren't supposed to do very well over here outside, I really miss it, you are doing a great job bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Nell. I understand why people love lawns....I just want something that I can eat rather than something that eats money. LOL

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Backyard beekeeping seems to be popular here - honey to add to all your other goodies? Just saying...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What a beautiful berry patch! I especially enjoy pies, jams and other treats made with fresh berries.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great concept. Best wishes! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maj, I do believe it is right up our alley. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish. We had a great year for berries of all kinds.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. My pleasure!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I did enjoy my strawberries and raspberries, now i'm enjoying my tomatoes. My cucumber plant died, i only planted one, next year i will plant two or three. I love my flowering trees and bushes. The birds love my flowers and berry bushes. All in all it's a great way to live. Thank's for all you do...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, truthfully, I would be very happy with a yard full of just berry bushes. I'd be in smoothie heaven all year long. :) Thank you as always my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oops, my comment went away ...

      Hi Bill, I find it amazing that when we plant something small such as herbs and start to see them grow, we just want to plant more and more Yum, berries ... so sweet and juicy! Love them.

      Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge on urban farming. You and Bev are an inspiration.

      Blessings and peace always

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      We grow our own veges and have many fruit trees but this year has not been so good with grapes and olives. Other food turned out great thank you for another superb hub.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Another useful hub from you about Urban farming. This is really motivating me to grow my own vegetables and fruits.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. I'll tell Bev you think she's an inspiration. She'll like that. :)

      Have a great weekend my friend.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I'm happy to hear most of your foods grew well this year. It was a very good year for us. Thank you and Happy Weekend to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ChitrangadaSharan, I am so happy to hear that. Happy growing to you my friend, and thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a useful, interesting and very inspirational hub, Bill. I have to gently disagree with your assertion that there is no practical use for a lawn, though. I have two dogs. Yes, they get a daily walk, but they need a safe, enclosed space with room to play, explore and do their business. Grass provides a good surface for their activities. I certainly don't coddle my lawn or add any chemicals to it. It would look very unappealing to many gardeners! It does the job, though.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that perspective, Alicia. That reason I can understand. :)

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      You are so right about the GMOs, Bill. Thumbs up to an awesome hub!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Everything you say makes sense my friend and you have a magical way of making it sound so doable for us, even with restrictions in areas. I have always wanted to have my own foods and seeing what may be accomplished on your land is so inspiring.

      Thanks Bill for this wonderful journey of yours. You and Bev have really shown were there is a will there's a way!

      Hope you both are having a nice weekend lotsa hugs your way xx

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, vkwok!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irish, I got lucky the day I found Bev. Not only do I get to do what I love doing, but I've got a partner who shares all the joy with me. :) Love having you here my friend.

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 2 years ago

      Make a plan and follow it - you, sir have done that to perfection on 1/8th of an acre. Well done.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      We are doing much of the same, except for the birds. That is our next project.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Scott. I appreciate it very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very cool Pawpawwrites. We finally got our quail run critter-proof....I think. :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 2 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Very inspiring article! I am planting my first ever purple Okinawan potatoes today and pretty excited about it!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 2 years ago from Jersey Shore

      We are just beginning with herbs, tomatoes and a fabulous fig bush--I can see this getting better each year. We also 'reuse' when possible and I like seeing others doing the same : )

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Pam, and welcome to HP. Planting in late August? You must live in Hawaii. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck with that, Martie. I love that you are going to reuse and yes, it gets bigger every year...and that's part of the joy of it all. Thank you.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      My urban gardening is limited to what I can grow on my north-facing windowsill, which right now is microgreens. I long for the day I can have a real garden again. Another excellent article. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and expertise.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, ecogranny. I hate to hear of people, like you, who want so badly to garden and yet can't. If I could, I'd give you some space in our garden. :)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Thanks billybuc. So many people want to garden here in SF that the wait-list on public gardens is loooooong. Someday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh goodness, ecogranny, I can only imagine. Good luck.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Hey Billy, I just came back to congratulate you on receiving Hub of the Day for this page. Well deserved.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Congrats on HOTD!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Well I had to come say congrats on your HOTD! I haven't even gotten to this one to comment yet, but I saw this when I checked my account this morning and had to say congrats.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. We are well on my way. I don't think we'll ever get to your level but we have started something here that we will expand on every year. Congratulations on the HOTD award, well deserved.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Congrats on HOTD! Very interesting and informative article. Your directions are clear and complete. You have made the urban garden quite a success.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Congrats on HOTD. Didn't I hear you say once you had never been awarded a HOTD?? Well done!

      I would like to see every lawn replaced by gardens! Lawns are such a waste. I love the idea of having chickens, too. I'm a big believer in compost; see you and I think a lot alike. I'm very frugal, too!

      Voted UP and shared all around.

    • Robin Marie profile image

      Robin 2 years ago from USA

      I don't think I could handle a garden the size of my lawn but we do keep a small vegetable garden every summer. Congrats on HotD.

    • My Bell profile image

      Marcelle Bell 2 years ago

      Congratulations on HOTD! I would like to one day soon start a vegetable garden and your directions on how to do this make it seem so doable. I eat only organic fruits and veggies and am a vegetarian so this would be a wonderful thing for my family. Great hub article!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Well, congrats to you billybuc on a well-deserved HOTD recognition. This is an excellent tutorial on urban gardening, full of facts and details. Your presentation is top-notch as usual and very informative. This is a different kind of hub for you. I'm sure you can write anything. Voted up, useful, and awesome.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Congrats on HOTD and creating an awesome article that many others will benefit from!! :)

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 2 years ago from North-East UK

      Well Done Bill on this HOTD; interesting read. I've tried a spot of 'frugal' gardening but am not brave enough yet for livestock or poultry (not sure how my neighbours would react, we are pretty close together in my street) but I admire what you are doing; good luck for the future with it :o)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Congratulatons Bill. This hub certainly deserved HOTD. This is the type of hub I like to see getting accolades. Well done with this great guide to urban farming.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Bill

      Well done on HOTD and even more so on following your dreams.

      You do realise that you and Bev are going to have to run a writing retreat, whilst also providing instruction how to achieve self sufficiency? Or maybe you should just do life coaching, as they good vibes are rolling off your writing as is the positivity. We can actually feel your passion and drive.

      Excellent writing as always.

      Anna :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hooray for you Billybuc! Well deserved Hub of the Day. It's good to see a solid performer getting recognition for ongoing achievement. This made my day. Your hub was quite inspirational.

      I'm going to start studying the sun patterns in my yard and plan for a raised garden bed. We already have grapes and blueberries. Now it's time to expand.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 2 years ago from USA

      Your record got broke! You got Hub of the Day. Congratulations!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great advice, great article, and congratulations on HOTD! Never say never, my friend!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day accolade!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro! HOTD?? OMG! Not one person has mentioned that your record has been broken. LOL.

      It's not as bad as you thought it would be, bill. In fact, quite the contrary. What you and Bev have done with your precious piece of the world is impressive and commendable. I must say you are a neat and orderly farmer, bill. The photos are great.

      Suggestion: If you haven't already done this, you might want to consider an article and photos sent to a few agricultural/gardening themed magazines would be well-received!

      The baby chicks are so cute!

      A huge CONGRATULATIONS on this HOTD. It was bound to happen, bill. You must now find a new record to strive for, although I think you've broken quite a few here! Peace, Paula

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you ecogranny! It only took me 825 hubs to win one. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Au fait. I think I was overdue. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I appreciate it, Glimmer. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. We start small and it builds very quickly my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzette. Ours looks like a jungle right now, but we love it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, this is a first after 825 articles. Thank you, and I am with you...ban all lawns!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Robin! It is a work load having a big garden, so I understand.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My Bell, I hope you are able to do it. We started very small, but it just seemed to take on a life of its own.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jan and you are right, this is different for me, but I believe in the urban garden movement, so thought it was worth writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Linda! I finally cracked the code and won one. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Julie and it's good to see you again. I hope you are well and happy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, John. I am shocked that I finally won a HOTD.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, you are so kind. That is my dream, a writer's retreat. One day maybe. We should all have dreams, right?

      You are very kind, Anna.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peg. I didn't think I would ever win one of these, and hooray to you for starting the planning stage for your garden.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Barbara...darn it! LOL Now I'll have to start a new record. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, I think HP gave me one to shut me up. LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora...very much appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Sis, I'm almost pissed I won this. I'm sure you'll understand that. Thank you, though....it's nice to finally win this damned thing.

      As for the magazines, you are right. I need to figure out a schedule that allows me to query magazines while doing twenty other things.

      Have a great day, Sis.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wow, I love to read an article where the author is truly passionate about his topic and this one certainly fills the bill! You've given us a lot to think about and act upon. Congratulations on the well-deserved HOTD honors!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Susan. There's a joke about the HOTD. I wrote a funny article a couple weeks ago about never having won the HOTD after 800 articles...and now, darn it, I won it. LOL

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL.......bro, was that a tiny bit tongue-in-cheek comment about finding time to fit something MORE into your C R A Z Y schedule?? Point well taken! LOL.....and btw, how about volunteering with Little league, marching on Washington & working at the local Soup Kitchen......? C'mon bill, move it! LOL

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 2 years ago

      Congrats on a well-deserved HOTD!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      I love your urban farm! For many years, we raised all of our own vegetables and even sold part of our crop at a local Farmer's Market. There is nothing more satisfying than providing healthy food for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, our current lifestyle prevents us from going at it full tilt like you do, but we still love our crop of tomatoes, squash, cukes and beans. Your article was so encouraging to people who want to live healthier...and more frugally!

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day! It's well deserved!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Paula, I really need to pull my head out of my *%^#...well, you know. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Scott, thank you! It was a long road to get here. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, thank you so much. I really appreciate you saying that at a sad time like this. My sympathies to you.

    • cheeluarv profile image

      cheeluarv 2 years ago from INDIA

      Very informative, excellent hub on urban farming. Very happy to see your article has been selected as a HOTD. Well deserving award. Congrats.:)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you cheeluarv...I was shocked to see it. LOL

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Absolutely. Without dreams, we have no hope. Without hope we have nothing.

      Keep dreaming Bill and one day, I believe for you it will come true. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so, Anna. Thank you for your support and belief in me.

      bill

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Good story, but I do not have a land or I would farm my favorite herbs, fruits and vegetables and raise some hens too.

      Have a good day hubbing!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Had to come back and say congrats on HOD! Its about time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Miebakagh...best wishes to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mary. Yes, I think it's about time, too. LOL

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 2 years ago from USA

      Congrats on Hub of the Day! My raised bed is 8 by 34, and then I tuck stuff by the back door like garlic, thyme, chives, parsley, etc so it is handy for cooking.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's great, Nancy. A good sized bed for sure, and I love that you always have herbs near the kitchen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the kind words.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Woo Hoo HOTD!!!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Congratulations, Bill! This hub is so very worthy of HOTD, and it's gratifying to see that fact noted by the HP team. Your article is like a concise manual of how to go about urban farming, and I've shared it as such.

      Voted Up++++

      Jaye

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 2 years ago from The Great Midwest

      Here's a riddle:What do you call one of Billybuc's chickens who swears a lot? Answer- FOWL MOUTHED! Seriously though, I appreciate the information. I actually purchased a live turkey from a shop in the inner city Chicago neighborhood of Ukrainian Village. This happened 20 + years ago, before the current urban farming resurgence. Apparently some among us have always kept up this tradition.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I'm back to say congratulations on HOTD!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Came back to say CONGRATULATIONS!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I came back to say Congratulations for a well deserved HOTD! Very happy for you!

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      I think as I get older, I realize the importance of having a small garden. I am learning a lot from my sister in law who is such a pro. This year, I have benefited from some pepper plants and a basil plant. I have also planted flowers in my flower beds to give some color. I did have a fabulous pumpkin plant but the evil squash bug prevailed! Right now, my 9 year old daughter is showing me up by growing 3 apples trees from seed. She's so clever!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      If you didn't already have one or two, then you certainly were overdue. Well deserved!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Audrey, I was in shock. This is the last thing I expected to find in my inbox this morning. Way too funny my friend, but thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Jaye! I appreciate your kind words my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you justthemessenger, and I love the chicken joke. LOL A live turkey in Chicago? Who would have thought it possible? I love that story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. That was kind of you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, you are sweet. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan...very much appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mari, if I were you, I'd sit down with that daughter of yours and take notes. :) I love our urban farm...I love walking through it, looking at it, smelling it....all of it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I had none, Au fait, and thank you.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      My goodness! You have been one busy beaver. We just built a pen and put in two beds this summer after just moving here. It's a lot of work! It looks like you are doing a fantastic job from the pictures. I'd really be interested to hear you thoughts on the best chicken coop designs for about a dozen to have a home. This is so beyond awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Rhonda, thanks. As far as the chicken coop is concerned, we have six in a simple coop we built out of pallets....it is barely big enough for them....one pallet for each of the walls, plywood on the floor and the top....three nesting boxes. You don't need a nesting box for each chicken because they always use each other's anyway. Oh, and plywood on the outside to keep the critters from breaking in. Then we cut a door in the plywood in the front and put it on hinges...very simple...pallets were free...two sheets of plywood and hinges, and that is it.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 2 years ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      That is true in most cases.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes it is Miebakagh57. Thank you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I absolutely love my little "farm". Going out to pick a fresh salad is so rewarding. By the way, congratulations on receiving Hub of the Day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Marlene. We ended up with so many veggies we had to give some away...not that we felt bad about that. :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      Congratulations on the HOTD! This is a very good, informative and inspiring hub that I have read about having a farm garden. I have only a little place of land in my front and back yard and I have planted some fruits and veggies there. The sad thing is, I have to leave the garden for a few months every year and leave it to the care of my family in the Philippines.

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      LOL. I will do that, Bill. Thanks!

    • Sarah Switalski profile image

      Sarah Switalski 2 years ago from Iowa

      Very helpful! We started our backyard garden last year with a small box. Expanded a bit this year and have plans to expand more next year! We can't have chickens but we do buy from a local farmer. I really love being able to grow our own food.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thelma, that would be hard. Once I plant a garden I don't trust it in anyone else's care. LOL Thanks for the kind words my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Mari!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So do I, Sarah, and thanks for sharing your experience. It just doesn't seem right that chickens aren't allowed anywhere in Iowa. :)

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 2 years ago from Arizona

      Great Hub Billybuc! you provided a lot of useful information. Thanks for sharing and congrats on HOTD! Voted up and tweeted out!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Oh WOW Billy - Hub of the Day - how nice is that!

      I am delighted for you and not before time too. Perhaps you will have another surprise in your mailbox when the votes are counted.

      Congratulations Billy no-one deserves it more than you do.

      Sally

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      No backyard chickens anywhere in Iowa, one of the premier farming states? I suppose that's to satisfy the factory chicken corporations I hope local-food-movement folks in Iowa are organizing to change that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you swilliams. I appreciate your visit and kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, that is so sweet of you. Thank you very much. I guess HP just felt sorry for me, having never won one. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ecogranny, I find that amazing. It's not the entire state of Iowa because I know a Hubber who raises them in her backyard there, but even one city is a bit silly in Iowa if you ask me.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Indeed

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, ecogranny. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Congratulations on HOTD, Bill ....awesome :D :D :D

      Once again Angels are headed your way...ps

    • Gods Provision profile image

      Jeremy n Michelle 2 years ago from Texas

      I didn't know that about the 400 sq ft garden. We have 1,000 sq ft, so it's good to know that it should feed my family of 9. We have a suburban mini farm. Our ducks hatched 7 duckings and we are expecting about 15 more in a couple of weeks. It will be interesting to know that our meat is coming from animals we actually hatched and raised. We love relying on God for our provisions. Mini-farming is quite a life style.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS. This one was a complete surprise.

      angels heading back atcha

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gods Provision, bravo to you. I love what you are doing with what you have to work with. What surprises me, a bit, is that more people aren't doing this. It just makes good sense to me.

      Thank you!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      That is my idea of heaven. That and a tiny home on wheels (working toward that). We currently live in a condo and have room for one gorgeous but stingy tomato plant. Having said that, my husband keeps bringing home lovely cucumbers and tomatoes from work. Not extras from co-worker's gardens. No, this place of business has a garden for its employees on premises. Twice a week someone comes and cares for the garden and picks the produce. The bounty is left in the break room for all employees to take of freely. How cool is that?! That's a company that gets it!

    • Ky Cardinal profile image

      Ky Cardinal 2 years ago from Louisville, Ky

      A great idea and terrific article. This year we put wildflowers in our raised bed due to a vacation. I love the beds, but don't know if I want my whole backyard that way. We have several gardeners in the family and we do get other fresh vegetables. I will have to think about this. Maybe I should put of the yard in succulents? We have a postage stamp backyard. Still catching rainwater, etc., will work for all of us.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 2 years ago from North Carolina

      With the never ending rollercoaster ride on this economy, I think we would all be better off to learn how to live off the land. Excellent hub and glad to see this as hub of the day. Congratulations!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, that is very cool indeed. I love hearing things like that. Gives me hope that more and more people are coming to understand the importance of urban farming and sustainable living. And tiny house on wheels...our dream. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ky, every little bit helps in my opinion. The fewer lawns we have in this country, the happier I'll be. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy!!!!!! So good to see you. I sure hope you are well my friend. Thank you so much for stopping by to say hi, and your congratulations mean a lot to me.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Dear Billybuc-- this is a lovely, succinct "go-to-it" hub on a topic that really turns my sod! I'm currently staying at my son's/daughter-in-law's where my d-i-l has a thriving little urban farm-- on a VERY small property. She is from a culture that encourages growing your own food, and a farmgal at that. I'm really amazed at her ventures (splitting up the chive bedding plant, for example, so that now she has enough organic chives to sell to the local health food stores if she chooses). My husband and I do some rather pathetic gardening on our large yard-- it is to be expanded and more closely nurtured, and articles like yours are a great influence in that regard. Thank you! Sharing and voting up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      techygran, thank you so much. Every little bit helps, and I do see a large change in the way people are thinking about this "grow your own food" idea. One little step at a time my friend.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 2 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      First of all, congrats on HOTD. You deserve it more than most do!

      What a great topic for an article. It I fascinating to hear how you did it, and to hear the tips you have supplied.

      When I was a kid I loved a picture book about a man who went out to the woods and ended up coming home with meat, fruit, and honey from his own land. I think he came upon some of it by accident, but it still struck me as cool that someone could provide their family a meal without going to the grocery store.

      Thanks for sharing this with us. I hope to be able to do some of this someday.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Look at you!!! Getting a HOTD ... of all things : ) I am so proud of you for just being you and always writing great hubs. This is long overdue and well-deserved, dear Bill.

      I am so glad I signed-off on my laptop tonight, as I usually do not sign off, and that is when I saw you now have a HOTD!

      Hallelujah

      Big (((HUGS))) coming your way

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Wow!HOTD is truly suited for you, Sir Bill! Congrats!

      Urban Farming is also a must here in the Philippines, since most cities still have spaces to be cultivated. It's not only for food sustainability but also for air clean-up and beautification.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kathryn! I love that you remember that story. I think I would as well. Now that I'm living a story like that, I love it. Such a peaceful place our backyard is. You should come and visit sometime. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thank you Faith. Now what do I have to try to attain, eh?

      You are a blessing. Thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      travel_man, it seems most of the world is way ahead of the United States in that respect. Hopefully we will catch up here soon. Thanks for stopping by.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is wise advice. I grew up with the same mentality, as my father was ahead of his time. He walked to the shore with burlap bags for seaweed, which was placed in the dirt after the growing season was over. That, couple with manure, created the most remarkable dirt that you will ever see. When I returned home for three years after my father died, I could literally watch plants grow in the garden, as the soil was so rich. The worms were huge, which proved the health of the dirt. A little prep is all it takes, turn it over in the spring after a year or two, then plant. If I can get Oklahoma dirt fertile, you can get yours to work for you, too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I never thought about seaweed. What a great idea. Now you have me thinking about this winter and seaweed. Just what i need is another project. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Congratulations on the HOTD!! Urban farming is a great idea and you are a true inspiration for people to start urban farming. It would be great to eat what we have grown right at home! Great hub, voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Shangrila is such a peaceful state of mind and body. I can't wait to do this in the near future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur! I love our urban farm and the feeling of independence it gives me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Dianna, I can't wait to hear about you doing it. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

    • wheelinallover profile image

      Dennis Thorgesen 2 years ago from Central United States

      I spent part of my younger years gardening. My wife loved to work in the garden. Every year spring and fall it was my job to take care of the garden area.

      Things grown were home canned and I helped with that also. She did most of the weeding and picking. My father was still gardening when he was 77 years old. I probably would if anything would grow on my property. As it stands I eat the eatable (weeds). One of the things I don't understand is why wild celery and eatable weeds will grow while nothing else will. I do know there is a lot of compacted area around the house. Trees won't take hold anywhere other than right next to the house.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      wheelinallover, I know soil is the number one problem for those who can't grow anything...with good soil about all you can hope for are potatoes, which seem to be able to grow anywhere. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      lambservant 2 years ago

      Congrats on hub of the day Bill. This is a great how to hub. I am not into gardening, I have a black thumb, and not much motivation. But I love being around others who do. This is a good read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Lori. I'm not into eating it but I love growing it. LOL Good news for our neighbors.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      Great hub, and belated congratulations on HOTD. I spent last weekend learning to split wood, planting fruit rees and putting in fences - depsite the effort involved it was apeaceful, almost meditative experience. There is nothing more satisfyong than watching the kids go outside to pick things for their school lunches. Voted up

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Anne, and you are so right...getting kids involved early, and seeing them eat what you grew...that is special indeed.

    • adevwriting profile image

      Arun Dev 22 months ago from United Countries of the World

      This is really helpful!

      Can urban farming also be implemented on rooftops?

      Thanks! Voted up

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Most definitely, adevwriting. I've seen pictures of it happening and I know there are articles that discuss it.

    Click to Rate This Article