This is my very first post about our new to us 1/8 acre homestead. Hope many will follow. May I just stop here for a moment and Thank You for having interest in our Northern Homestead, we appreciate you so, so much! With Northern Homestead we hope to be an inspiration, if we can homestead here, it is doable anywhere! As you know, we are in Alberta, Canada at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains – plant hardiness zone 3A, elevation 1,037 m (3,402 ft). It is cold here, but I like the fundamental principal of Permaculture: “The problem is the solution.” Let’s do a site survey to see what is there on our 1/8 acre urban lot, so we can make the best out of it.
There is a 50 x 120 feet lot (facing north), with a 22 x 42 feet house (a small house) and a 22 x 30 feet garage (a big garage). Also both neighboring houses basically line up with the property line (making more shade). Honestly, this is not the best situation for a homestead, but we are looking for solutions, not problems.
The garden, driveway, and front yard already has lots of trees, shrubs, and perennials growing. The previous owner left us a whole file of information on what is growing. Neighbors have already assured us that it is beautiful! Looking through the file we can only imagine the beauty that is here. I feel a bit like we are entering holy ground. Perennials everywhere. So exiting! If only the snow would melt a bit faster.
The front yard, facing north, is not big, but cute with the white fence and arch. There are two lilac trees on each corner of the house and a few other shrubs and perennials growing in the front yard, otherwise it is grass. There is a lot of shade.
The driveway is narrow with lots of perennials on the east side of the house. I can only imagine the colours and beauty of them. There are about 5 hours of sunshine in the morning right now. It will be more in the summer. The west side of the drive way seems to be empty.
The west side of the house is very narrow, with only about 2 hours of sunshine. Not much growing there.
The garage takes a good portion of the back yard. It is an over sized garage, very much to my husbands liking. But we are both sure that it can do more then just being a garage. We have big plans for this huge old building.
The back yard and garden are south facing and have lots of sunshine. The layout is beautiful and still has room for more garden space. The fruit trees and berry shrubs look promising. There is a garden box that was used more as a play/sand box. An outdoor wood stove seems to be great for some outdoor meals and gatherings on cool nights. There is no deck, just grass.
Since our back yard is still covered in snow, we have not yet seen what is actually growing here. So the planning has to wait, but what we can and should do is a shade survey. Now is a good time to do so. More about it next time.
I made the plan picture using the Grow Veg garden planner.
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Mary O'Brien says
Visiting you from the Farm Blog Hop. Love your attitude about finding solutions not problems. Once we rented a home deep in snow in Kansas. It finally melted the night before Easter. I have pictures of my kids hunting eggs in the trashiest yard you have ever seen! There were papers, cans, and all forms of trash all over the place. I’ll be checking back to see what you find when the snow melts. Hopefully flowers and not cereal boxes!
Sorry for your experience, I am expecting some toys among all the flowers, but our snow might not melt before Easter ;).
I would love to be able to grow lilac trees – yep, that is what stood out to me, the two lilac trees. 🙂
I loved looking at your plan picture, too!
I did not know you cant grow lilac trees, from our northern perspective southerlies can grow everything – not true, I know. Very much looking forward to see them in bloom!
Charles & Christie Richardson says
Christie and I enjoy your website very much, we wish God to bless your family in your new adventure.
Thank you so much Charles and Christie!
How fun! The wonders that will unfold. Wow, 1/8 acre, I can’t wait to get ‘how to’ ideas from you. We have acreage but aren’t able to move yet. Of course we planted fruit & nut trees only to return to our property and find that the gophers took a few of them. Larger gopher baskets and more trees after this learning experience…maybe we will learn as you go, making our road a little bit easier (at least our “taking dominion” road. ☺️ God Bless you for your efforts and the time you take to share with us ‘newbies’.
There is lots of planing that needs to be done before wonders will unfold though. Thank you for your kind words, we all learn as we go and grow.
Valorie Grace Hallinan says
What an adorable house. I’m looking forward to hearing about your urban gardening. I’m just a beginner myself, so it’s great to watch someone more experienced. Thank you for sharing with us!
Thank you, I can’t wait to start!
Shirley Wood says
I really like that plan picture, really cool. I may go check out that website. I am also making a book with all of the plants for the future owners of our home, whoever they may be. It is cool that you shared that, I see it will be appreciated. Good luck with your first full growing season, hope warmer weather is on the way soon!
I really do appreciate the book with all the plants from the previous owner. It is a great idea if you want to make one too. Sure, not every owner will appreciate it, but you never know.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
Oh, I like this, Anna! I’m gonna make a plan of my house so I can better lay out my garden! And now I can picture this when you talk about things in your yard!
Great, will you share it with us?!
Well, I do not have much space to plan gardening…..I live in a duplex type town home and you know how much less space they come with. I have a lot of family who lives in Alberta, and they have mentioned how cold it is out there.
You do not need much to start growing. I started growing on a balcony. Yes it is cold here.