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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

Wrap-Up: The 5th Annual Urban Homestead Tour

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The 5th Annual Urban Homestead Tour (organized by Denver Botanic Gardens and Heirloom Gardens) was a big success. Around 150 participants had the opportunity to visit 10 urban homesteading sites in the metro Denver area.

Our home was one of the tour sites, so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to check out the other homesteads. But I heard fantastic things from the guests, and everyone I spoke with emphatically stated that the tour was a terrific way to get ideas, learn tips & tricks, ask questions, and get inspired.

Our community is vast, and sometimes (weeding in my garden or typing away on my computer) the work of writing about and maintaining an urban homestead feels like a solitary endeavor. But tours give the gift of bringing me face-to-face with the people who have been connected to this work and the endeavors of Heirloom Gardens over the years.

I talked with people who had taken a goat class with me and were thrilled to meet Peaberry and Dasha in person, instead of just seeing them in photos and videos. I met people who were joyfully taking advantage of the laws that allow them to keep chickens and dwarf goats in Denver (since 2011) and dwarf goats in Wheat Ridge (since about a month ago). Some of the people tasting tomato samples mentioned the heirloom seedlings they had purchased from us in the spring, and gave me updates on their status. There was the couple that had been intimidated into non-action by the prospect of building more raised garden space, but after taking my gardening class (with an emphasis on in-ground beds and doing things as cheaply/easily as possible) they were motivated to dig in their dirt and create a new, flourishing tomato bed. Many people asked me about making cheese from my goat’s milk, and when I talked about my recent batch of cream cheese one of the guests told me she had seen the recipe posted on Facebook¬†and was looking forward to trying it herself.

Classes, farmers’ markets, and writing are all ways that I enjoy reaching out into the community. The Urban Homestead Tour was a day during which I got to enjoy our wonderful community coming to my home. Thank you to everyone who attended, everyone who hosted, and Denver Botanic Gardens (particularly Kacie) for the wonderful organizing!

(All of the photos below were taken in our back yard. Click here to see photos of our front yard garden.)

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The morning started off slowly with just a few guests…

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…but soon we had lots of people coming to visit.

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We loved having all of the families come, and were glad that they took advantage of the kids’ toys laying around!

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My daughter with one of her friends from school.

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Part of what we offered was the chance to sample a few of the 62 varieties of heirloom tomatoes that we have growing in the front yard.

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Even though she gets to eat them all the time, my daughter never misses a chance to snack on tomatoes!

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A display table with a slideshow of photos depicting the transition of our front yard from sod to garden; a copy of my book; goat milking supplies; fresh chicken eggs; supplies for soap making, cheese making, and water bath canning; plus some of my canned goods and my favorite canning books.


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One Comment

  1. Looks like a terrific event

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