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The Urban [Ghetto] Homestead

In between getting my liberal studies degree, determining we are going to live in this condo forever and just wanting to enjoy the present as opposed to always thinking about the future - i.e. our long term plan to sail around the world, which is on indefinite hold - I decided to redo our patio. My main goals were to make our household more resilient in terms of providing more opportunities to feed ourselves, beautifying our home and, of course, creating a better party space. We had decided last year that we wanted laying hens and a space to garden so those were the main obstacles to overcome since our small patio was covered by a thrashed deck.

Over the last few months I tore out the deck, graded the soil and hauled in and shoveled by hand, literally, tons of rock, sand and stone to accomplish our goals. After grading and bringing in some drain rock and sand I covered the area with landscaping material which I graded again with crushed rock and sand. Then I skirted the whole area with 4x6s, built a big old raised bed and a containment area for the chicken coop. All of the lumber was recycled from the deck. I ran irrigation lines to the raised bed (set to water automatically on a timer) and we planted a bunch of kitchen garden vegetables that are doing well. I had 9,000 lbs of pavers delivered and installed them myself (oh my back!) Back in March Shan and I got three female chicks and have been brooding them in our garage. Shan bought a coop online that I set up in the yard (they LOVE it!) We're not *completely finished yet. I'm still going to build a picnic table and some shelving along the fence for our decorative plants, also from the deck scrap. Shan has been working on decorating the coop and patio. Since we're "urban homesteading" and we decided on going with Broadway musical heroines for our hen names (Audrey, Aldonza and Maria) Shan wanted to do a Dutch farm theme and named the coop "Breedeweg", the old Dutch name for Broadway (Even old New York was once New Amsterdam!) I'm going to install an automatic waterer for the hens and we're also going to hang some Dutch hex signs on the fence. I'm super happy with how it turned out and we've spent lots of time out there already, just hanging out watching the chickens, gardening and enjoying the awesome CA weather (with some homebrew, natch).

There MAY be a few gratuitous shots in the Flickr set. :)

Old deck cleared off

Patio cleared of deck.


Our first garden!

Breedeweg! (Dutch for Broadway.)

Well, almost finished, more to come!


Complete Flickr set here.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
The pavers actually still have a bunch of sand and junk on them too. I still need to tamp them down and fill the joints all the way, it will look better once that is done.
May. 9th, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)
Looks fabulous and homey!
May. 9th, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
How do you know how to do things like that? I'm very impressed.
May. 9th, 2011 11:54 am (UTC)
Nice patio! Those hens are adorable. Yay for growing things!
May. 9th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
May. 9th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Wow, everything looks terrific, so impressed!
May. 9th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
I love it! I love your chickens. I can't believe they've changed so much in such a small amount of time (it seems).
May. 11th, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)
Looks great! I love the chicks hanging with Daddy!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )