Grow Your Blog 2014

backyard chickens

backyard chickens

This post is for the Grow Your Blog 2014.  It is an international event!  This post is to welcome new visitors  and share a little about me and our urban homestead.  Please check out our archives and if you like what you see,  please sign up to follow the blog.  You can also follow us on Facebook.

Welcome to Urban Overalls!  I grew up a farm girl in rural Iowa where we raised livestock, grain crops, and tended  HUGE gardens where my family raised all of our produce. We ate fresh foods and what wasn’t eaten fresh, was canned to enjoy during the winter.  Breads and rolls were made weekly, hand-crafted pies could be in the oven just 30 minutes after picking fruit, eggs came from our chickens, milk and cream came from our cow, and meals were enjoyed the most when shared with family and friends.

Now I live in an urban setting with my husband, affectionately known as Mr. Overalls, on a 1/3 of an acre.  We are just blocks from the local hospital, yet wake to the sounds of our chickens clucking and bees buzzing. The skills I learned growing up, serve me well on our urban homestead.  We gather eggs from our backyard chickens, honey from our bees, and fresh vegetables and fruit from our gardens.  We compost dirty straw from the chickens as well as our vegetative scraps from the gardens and kitchen.  That in turn makes a wonder, organic soil amendment.  Meals are made from scratch, using whole ingredients instead of processed foods.  During the peak of harvest, we set aside time to preserve extra for the long winter months.

cabécou disc

cabécou disc

To add to our self-sufficiency, we have added some new skills by making: cheese and other dairy delights, bar and laundry soap, household cleaning supplies,  as well as mead and wines.  We share seeds with friends, barter for things we don’t make or grow, and completely support the local food movement by shopping at farmers’ markets and area CSAs.

There are so many terms.  Some call it backyard farming, urban homesteading, or just self-sufficiency, but whatever you call it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

fresh ingredients

fresh ingredients

So pull up a laptop or tablet and get ready to read more of our adventures and how-tos.  Our chickens are entertaining, our food is fresh, and we will help you gain the skills and confidence to engage in your own homestead adventure or simply try out a new recipe.

I am a horticulturist as well as trained master composter.  When it comes to preserving the harvest, I have over 40 years of canning experience.  We support urban agriculture and are available to teach classes and workshops.


40 responses »

  1. Wow I love my visit. Forgive me for coming to the party at the last minute, But 600 blog reading was a little tasking. I wanted to read and get to know the girls so I did read everyone’s bio. Your my 510 blog and 24 hours left to go. If you like come visit My site contact info is I believe inspiration comes from all facets of life even knowing the great people out there with wisdom and knowledge the do’s and don’ts and even the wonders of life from a personal point of view. I liked you following you on goggle connect and Bloglovin you. hope to see you in the cyber neighborhood I am new to blogging so I don’t have a lot posted because I got side tract with GYB party. Kind of felt it was important to have some one read my silly chatter. I can’t remember a time I didn’t dabble in something creative. I tried a little of everything. But, my new love these days is Card making I just love it.

  2. That sounds awesome! My mum grows fruit and veg in her garden, it’s only small but enough. I’d love to grow food and have chickens but I live in a flat with no outdoor space. It’s great that you can use skills that were passed down to you and be practical. I think we rely on the supermarket to much today.

    • It is fun to have our little urban homestead. Nothing is better than eggs fresh from the chickens. Before I lived in this home with a garden, I lived in an apartment and grew fresh herbs and veggies in containers. Welcome to our blog!

    • Our neighbors all know us as the ‘ones who have chickens’. And we are fortunate that our community supports urban agriculture so we are no longer the only ones in our area with bees, chickens, and garden. Glad my parents taught me as much as they did.

  3. Hi! I admire your self-sufficiency. Living in a flat the only thing I grow is some parsley in a pot on the balcony. Your blog is packed with information on how to grow things and make things like the French onion soup that looks so delicious. Have a great day, Ana

    • Why thank you. Each year, we just continue to expand what we do. And patios are wonderful. My previous home (pre-husband) had many containers for herbs. Thank you for stopping by. I am still visiting blogs myself.

  4. Hey Connie
    Found you while strolling through the GYB party and have jumped aboard to follow your homesteading adventures.

    Looking forward to snooping around.

    • Hi Pam,

      Welcome to my blog! I am still strolling through the links in the GYP party and will definitely stop by your blog. Please poke around the archives. My posts are just about life on our urban homestead.

  5. This is my dream. Though right now we live on nearly three acres, we are moving closer to my husbands work some time in October this year or so and it may be a much, much smaller yard. I love to garden, but must admit, I have so much to learn. You are an inspiration and I can’t wait to wander through your blog some more. I’m here visiting from the GYB party. Blessings, Bird

  6. Very interesting! How I would love to grow my own food! We do only tomatoes and zucchini and yellow squash. Flowers are what I love to maintain.

  7. Wow! I don’t think they would even let us have chickens where we live! We are going to start our first real garden this spring. Soil is going to have to be brought in with my son’s pick-up because we seem to have sand and clay. Not to useful for a garden.

    • More and more cities are allowing chickens within city limits. I am encouraged by that step. We had to amend our soil for gardening as well. We have a lot of clay. Good luck with your garden!

  8. I am having fun finding new bloggers to follow…love sewing and quilting. Greetings from Oklahoma, USA. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

    • I have been having fun as well finding new bloggers and I am quite fond of needle work. At the moment, I don’t have a sewing machine, but would love to get one. Thank you for stopping by.

  9. First of all, your chickens are beauties! 🙂 If I lived on the countryside, I might adopt a few chickens, too.

    I also love to cook from scratch whenever possible. It simply tastes better — and you know for sure what’s in the meal!

    Greetings from Germany,

    • Thank you Birgit. The chickens in the photo are our Marans, they lay the most beautiful dark brown eggs. I agree with you, meals made from scratch do taste better. They are fresh and you certainly know what went into them.

      Welcome from Colorado, USA,


  10. Great blog header! I didn ‘t know there was such a thing as a master composter – but I suppose it is an art.

    Visiting from GYBH – come on by for a visit.

    • Thank you for stopping by. Cooperative extension offers several master programs, including master composter. It is fun and has certainly helped expand my knowledge. I will swing by your blog.

  11. I didn’t know about those terms but I admire you so much for your self sufficiency. Now I have a resource for learning more about it and look forward to returning for more!

    • Thank you Patty. For us, this is our ‘normal’. We enjoy being as self-sufficient as we can by growing fruits and vegetables, raising chickens, and learning how to make soaps and cleaning supplies (it is easier than you think). We hope you follow us and our continued adventures!

  12. Hi, I’m Beth one of Vicki’s GYB party volunteers. Your urban farming is quite interesting – actually, I am quite jealous!:D I look forward to future posts and hope to learn some things I can do myself on my little patch here in New England! I hope you have lots of fun at the blog party and wish you much success at “Growing Your Blog”!
    Hugs and have a great weekend,
    Beth P

  13. Gosh I envy you the lifestyle and wonderful that you have managed to live this life in an urban area too. I wish you every continued success and love the Mr Overalls name tag LOL Sounds like he’s a ‘keeper’!

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