How do you grow food in the city?
It’s not as hard as you might think.
As a teacher of edible landscaping, here is my 3 steps:
- 1) Know yourself! Do you want max food? Less work? Pick priorities & make your goals clear.
- 2) Put in the support systems for success. Composting, water harvesting, easier use (ex. raised beds.)
- 3) Plant! Value diversity & maximize space. Use vertical space! Especially fruit trees and shrubs.
Want to see an example?
Here is a photo-journey how a client of mine turned her yard into 100% food.
It all began when Bernadette took a Permaculture course I ran in Edmonton.
(Here she is at the workshop! We just built a rain-harvesting system).
She then made a landscape design for her dream… an Urban Homestead.
(Basically, a Willy Wonka factory of fruit and veg.)
Next Bernadette hired her Permaculture teacher to be her install coach.
(I love my job.. help people DIY their dream yard?? Heck yeah!).
First, I brought a special machine…
Together, we removed ALL THE GRASS. (Goodbye mowing!)
We put woodchips down to start building the soil and also to suppress any weeds.
Next, I found her over 1000 used bricks… for dirt cheap.
Together, we made a HUGE raised bed beside her driveway.
While we were at it, we built another raised bed (+ trellis system) to set up an edible fence of raspberries!
(And get this… it borders the sidewalk, because Bernadette wanted to feed the neighborhood).
Third, we drove to the tree nursery and I helped her pick out her fruit trees and shrubs.
Together, we planted a food forest in her front yard in a single day!
Saskatoon, plum, pear, seabuckthorn, haskap, currents, Josta. YUM!
And to finish up, we put in a raised bed for hundreds of strawberries.
The only thing missing? Somewhere to sit and eat all this goodness.
So she put in an itty bitty table, 2 chairs, and a trellis for grapes to grow over.
Here it all is, early in the spring.
All the trees, shrubs, raspberries, and strawberries starting to put on their leaves:
And we haven’t even talked about the backyard yet!
It includes: mini-market garden, an “alley” of potato bags, 2 fruit trees, more raspberries, and compost bays.
(Note: I’m super proud of her for making 2 huge compost bays! She also took my healthy soil workshop).
I can’t wait to share pictures of her edible property fully established. Next summer it’s going to look EPIC.
Want to see how it turns out? Sign up for the newsletter and follow me on Instagram to see updates.
Would you like an edible property?
I help homeowners by:
- Doing Consults. Analyze your property, clarify your goals, and give you tons of ideas.
- Providing coaching services. I join you on your property and show you how to install.
- Full design services. A comprehensive design that you or an install team can follow.
You can learn more and ask to book me below.
Let’s get you growing food and make your property all it can be.
(Kenton is a passionate educator for sustainable living who lives in an off-grid tiny house in northern Alberta. Kenton runs a wide array of workshops on tiny homes, sustainable living, and edible landscaping. He also does consulting and design for homeowners, communities, and businesses)