Urban Homestead

Urban Homestead

Depending on what garden resource I read or who I listen to, what I do around our property is referred to by a variety of names…urban homesteading, Permaculture, backyard orchard culture, edible landscaping, victory gardening, etc.  I really don’t care what it is called, except when my husband calls it an addiction.    

This is a small sample of what’s growing around here, and more pictures can be found throughout my blog.

Jupiter grapes on entry arbor to backyardthree stone fruits in one planting holeBig Jim Loquatsanother garden grape arbor flanked by a bearss Lime and Improved Meyer Lemon

We live on a 1/12th of an acre, smack dab in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, but we own about as many edible trees, berries, grape vines, etc. as some folks keep on an acre.  I try to squeeze it all in by choosing dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit tree varieties whenever possible, espaliering some, closely grouping others, confining a few in pots on the driveway, and a lot of it gets regular pruning throughout the year, especially a bit in the summer when needed.  Most of the high density growing methods I have picked up  over the years through workshops and books.

Although it looks like I should be done adding trees by now, I continue to collect a few more each year, and I try to keep improving my gardening skills and knowledge.  My mom even reserved us each a spot to attend a workshop, titled “All About Fruit Trees,” later this morning over at H& H nursery.  It will feature a guest speaker from Dave Wilson nursery, Tom Spellman, who will be talking about backyard orchard culture, pruning, and care of fruit trees.  I am hoping to learn something new or some other orchard management practice I am lacking (which I am sure is a long list.)

Every year, I add a few more things (and rip out a few.) When it comes to my backyard fruit,  I have been trying to have some kind of fruit to pick, throughout the entire year.  In the summer months, there is more than enough to choose from in our yard.  During the rest of the year, the choices get limited, but it is slowly getting better.

As of Jan. 2012, I count over 30 fruit varieties in our yard, but I have gown about a dozen others over the last 15 years, that have come and gone.  My edible yard is still considered modest in comparison to other backyard fruit enthusiasts like me.  Here are two Southern California backyard fruit collections I think are really cool and book marked awhile back: This one is in Fountain Valley , and this one is in Rancho Cucamunga.  This second garden link is to a Dave Wilson “Fruit Tube” video, hosted by the same guy that is doing the H & H workshop.

This is a list of what fruit I am growing at Hanbury House currently:

  • 2 Apple Trees-Anna and Dorset
  • 3 Blackberry Patches- Hanbury, Boysen, and Triple Crown
  •  blueberries both Southern Highbush “Sunshine”
  • 4 Citrus Trees-Bears Lime, Improved Meyer Lemon, Owari x Satsuma Mandarin, Cara Cara Navel Orange (this one is only 3 years old so we aren’t picking anything yet)
  • 2 Figs-Black Mission and Violette de Bordeaux
  • 2 Goji Patches
  • 6 Grape vines-2 Jupiter, Canadice, Fantasy, Concord (Eastern,) Interlacken
  • 1 Guava- Strawberry
  • 2 Kiwi – Vincent and a Male for a pollinator
  • 1 Loquat- Big Jim
  • 2 Nectarines-Snow Queen and Panamint+ 1 tiny volunteer seedling in a pot
  • 3 Peaches- May Pride, Red Baron, Desert Gold
  • 2 Persimmons- Fuyu (Piro) and Giant Fuyu (Gosho)
  • 1 Plum- Multi- grafted with 4 varieties: Beauty, Burgundy, Methley, and Santa Rosa
  • 1 Pomegrante- Sweet (only 3 years old, so we have yet to pick any fruit)
  • 2 Raspberries Patches-Anne and Baba
  • a couple dozen Strawberry plants scattered throughout the front and backyard.

Here are some helpful links to more info on Backyard Orchard Culture:

One thought on “Urban Homestead

  1. I love your blog. I just bought my first house in Del Cerro (SDSU area) and being from the Northwest originally (and growing up with a decent garden), I’m now going through the process of figuring out how and what to plant in my limited space. Thanks so much for sharing, it is truly a pleasure to get inspiration so close to home!

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