Homestead Collage: An Overview of My Garden

I have had several readers say they need an overview to get themselves kinda settled in to where everything is in my yard.

I went up on the roof and took some photos, but that didn’t quite explain how all the various components work.

So I turned to the lazy garden planner’s best friend, Google Maps. I pulled up a creepy aerial satellite photo of my  property, and used that to make a quick photo collage (yes, just like 5th grade summer camp) to show how the various components of my mini homestead fit together.

If you click, you’ll embiggen the collage and it will be easier to read.

Homestead Photo Collage

Let me know if you have any questions. In this case, I figured a photo was worth more than a thousand word blog post.


  1. Robin says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I didn’t ask but I wanted something like this for a long time. A great collage and finally gives me a picture of what I’ve been reading about and watching develop from the beginning.

    It is also something of a relief. We live on a seventh of an acre (and part of that is taken up by house) and when the duck pond happened I had this “there is no way we could do that here” moment. And seeing the picture confirms it. I feel freed to get what I can from it and leave what I can’t without any feelings of inadequacy. :) Though I can still enjoy homesteading porn. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Guilt free zone! Guilt free zone! :) We’re on 1/3rd an acre, with about half of that house, driveway, paths, etc, or is just too shady to grow in. So about 1/6th of an acre to really “play” with. So I’d guess we have maybe twice the effective growing space you do. Enough to dig a duck puddle but not enough to go full on farm-girl with goats and stuff.

        • says

          Yeah. You have a rooftop garden? What? When? (How?)
          Also what is the little house in your back yard between the main garden and the duck puddle?

        • says

          Yeah. You have a rooftop garden? What? When? (How?)
          Also what is the little house in your back yard between the main garden and the duck puddle?
          Can you tell me (or, well, your readership in general ) more about your forest garden please? :-)

  2. Janet says

    Hi Erica:

    Several acres here and getting too old to keep it all going, so your use of space is great to see. We used to live on 1/8 acre with only 1/16th gardens and were known for “efficient use of space” back then. Say, we have a lot of those cinder blocks laying around and several greenhouses. Can you explain how you’re using them in that photo? It looks like you have a soaker hose along the top?


    • says

      Sure. I plant in-ground in my greenhouse, but I still wanted a “raised bed” effect so I lined the main path of the greenhouse with those cinderblocks as an edge for the in-ground beds. That let me raise soil depth up. I filled the holes in the cinder blocks themselves with soil, and then to keep them watered I ran a soaker hose over the top of the cinder blocks. The hose wouldn’t stay put, so I got a bunch of jumbo binder clips and clipped them to the center concrete divider on the block every two or three blocks. I stood the wire handle end bits straight up and ran the soaker hose through the wire handle parts. This kept the soaker hose nice and taught over (and just above) the soaker hose. Hope this helps!

      • Janet says

        Thank you. Yes, that helps. I also have my tomatoes in ground and have been building up the soil the last 10 years, but no edges holding it it place. This sounds like a good little project for the fall (maybe…).

  3. says

    Rooftop garden?!?!? How have I missed this? Do you have a main post about it? I seriously want to dig a hole in my yard right now after listening to the duck podcast. Too bad my kids use every inch of the lawn I’ve left them!

    • says

      I haven’t done a post about it, I don’t think. Right now I’m growing my peppers up there. I experiment with it because it’s a pain in the ass, but it gets a TON of sun, so it’s good for heat lovers.

  4. says

    That’s incredible. Thank you for sharing this! I just sent this link to my husband and his response was “WOW.” I think we’ll be poring over your layout after dinner tonight :)

  5. Tita says

    What can I say? Just plain awesome! Thanks for taking the time to post the photos. I am newly inspired to get more organized. I have slightly more land than you do, but not nearly all the features and benefits. Great job!

  6. Mitty says

    Great visual–such fun to see the whole picture. But I guess I’m showing my age–we made lanyards in fifth grade summer camp! ;)

  7. Rhonda says

    Thanks for this diagram—so neat to be able to visualize it. And I’m interested in hearing more about that rooftop garden. And I have a question—do you have a neighborhood HOA that you have to work with to do all of this?

    • says

      No on the HOA, by design. We opted not to live in an HOA neighborhood. I’m just not an HOA kind of girl. I’ve always said I want to right to paint any house I own bright purple if the mood strikes. :)

  8. Val Rogers says

    Awesome. Love it. Look forward to the day when I can replace my day job with urban homesteading.

    • Cathy says

      Val Rogers in OR?
      Kev’s pushing for solar panels on our roof here in Happy Valley. Hope to visit your homestead next year.

  9. Sheri says

    Wow! You have a lot going on! Sorry if this is a repeat question but what is the sq. ft. size of your lot? Also, how many feet deep and wide? This really helps me with perspective. Thank you!

  10. Heart says

    Thank you Erica for taking the time to compose that collage & share. Agree with others it’s nice to be able to put in perspective how it all fits together. Reminds me of my Great grandfathers double acre lot when I was a child. Magical & Edible ;)

    One question: how long did this take?

  11. Sande says

    Erica, I love the way you try so many good things out and then offer them to us so we don’t have to make a lot of the same mistakes. I want to make a pond like yours. Could you please give me detailed information on it. I’m moving out to a little cottage in the country with extra land and your pond would be perfect. Thanks for all the good help.

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