May 212012
 
Edible landscaping at its finest
Edible landscaping at its finest

Take out the lawn and put in fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, bees and rabbits and you may just have the garden of eden.

By Avis Licht – What do you imagine when you hear the term “urban farm” ?  To me it sounds big with rows of vegetables and possibly a barn with animals. But that’s not the reality of urban farms that I visited in Berkeley, California last week.  Over the next few weeks I’ll be high lighting a variety of gardens/farms in the city.  Some are backyards, some are vacant properties on loan to non profit organizations and some are community gardens.

Today I want to show you how one woman, Ruby Blume turned her backyard into a fully functioning mini farm, providing her with most of her food needs, including meat, honey, fruits and vegetables, mushrooms and plenty of beauty.

She co wrote the book Urban Homesteading with Rachel Kaplan and runs the Institute of Urban Homesteading in Oakland, California. They offer many classes in gardening, animal husbandry, kitchen skills, food preparation, handcrafts, permaculture and much more.

On Saturday, June 9th, 2012, they will be hosting an Urban Farm Tour from 11am – 5 pm in Oakland and  Berkeley. Details and descriptions at iuhoakland.com

vegetables in the backyard

A small backyard can produce a lot of food. Grow what you love to eat.

rabbits

When you raise your own animals, you know how they've been treated

Rabbits - 8 weeks old
Rabbits are ready to eat after 8 weeks
Honey Bees

A few hives can be safely put in a backyard for honey and pollination

 

Quails for eggs

Quails -They don't take up much room, are beautiful to look at and apparently lay good eggs for eating. Lovely quail house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak logs for growing mushrooms

You can grow mushrooms at home by buying spores and inserting them into the logs

 

Oak logs for mushroom growing

Ruby had her logs at the side of the house where nothing else would grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers for beauty and food

Edible flowers add to the diversity and beauty of the garden

 

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