Like many other properties in New Waterford, our homestead lot is 6000 square feet and includes a 100-year old company house. Once known as miners’ cottages, company houses were built by mining companies to house workers’ families.
Because mining was tough and pay was poor, most miners’ wives grew abundant gardens and raised backyard livestock to help feed and support their families. We proudly continue this tradition of company house food production.
Grow food, not grass!
We have replaced our entire lawn—both the back and front yards—with active food production. We raise chickens for eggs and meat, keep bees for honey, and grow hundreds of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables ever year. We grow many annual vegetables—our favourites are kale, garlic, and squash—but we have also planted several fruit and nut tree guilds and bushes with the intention to favour the growth of perennial plants instead of annuals. Almost all the food our family eats in one year is produced on our homestead lot, proving that you don’t need a lot of space to grow a lot of food.
View of the homestead from across the street.
We have a raised garden bed on our front yard. This is the bed in March, full of overwintered greens ready to eat! We grow food 365 days of the year.
Front yard, July 5, 2020.
Garden plots in the backyard. May, 2020.
Wider view of the backyard, including the chickens' yard. May, 2020.
Sweet cherry tree.
The backyard in October.
Side yard mullein. July 2, 2020.
Hearty kiwi in the side yard. October 18, 2020.
Garlic scapes. July 6, 2020.
Lupines are a nitrogen fixer and are planted throughout the yard to benefit the other plants.
A few tomatoes. October 29, 2020.
Tromboncino summer squash: an unusual and cool-looking zucchini.
The bees, the chickens, and some herbs. Typical backyard summer scene.
Our bees love our neighbours' pool water.
Winter chickens in the side yard in front of our cold frame.
"Do you have a gib?"
The overwintering kale provides fresh greens for the chickens throughout the winter.
Percy and Maddie walk carefully through the snow.
Maddie in the winter backyard.
Maddie is a borb.
Beautiful eggs from our beautiful hens.
We grow veggies, herbs, and flowers in containers on our deck.
Marigolds naturally keep unwanted bugs away.
Zinnias and peppers growing on our deck. No space goes unused!
Our naturalized yard attracts a plethora of beneficial friends.
We love foraging for food in our neighbourhood. These rose petals flavoured a homemade mead.
Tobacco self-seeds in our yard. We like to grow native species and sacred plants.
Weeds are welcome in our yard--they are beneficial for insects, wild life, and the soil--and you can make delicious beer from dandelions!
Spring garlic beside the previous season's garlic.
Egyptian walking onions, one of our favourite perennial plants.
Our cold frame helps to lengthen our short growing season.
The cold frame full of food.
Late fall harvest: daikon radishes, black radishes, and beets.
Spring seedlings getting ready for the garden. We build a warm area on the deck for plants using steel door cut outs.
The yard provides lots of safe areas for the chickens to hang out.