Episode 38: Honey from Urban Homestead Honey | Shares her Urban Gardening Journey | SW USA


Honey lives in the southwest. Has a website with over 2000 videos where readers can learn about homesteading.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Passion for urban homestead for over 10 years. Side yard is like a double plot, yard is as big as the house which was originally designed to be sold as a separate homestead. Saw the potential of what the land could be. After doing research decided to put together a website full over 2000 videos and articles on lifestyle of natural living and natural medicine.

In process, honey’s health went down hill. Lost vision in one eye …

Need to be careful about how she exerts energy,

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

Grandfather – grew up in Miami. He had a patch of tomatoes. We had orange and mangos.

What does organic gardening/earth friendly mean to you?

Means not poisoning the stuff that you’re growing to eat. Before big companies came in ag was all organic.

Who or what inspired you to start using organic techniques?

Necessity. I don’t want to put poison on my food

How did you learn how to garden organically?

Figured it out as she went. Nothing spectacular. Squash bugs, so I just don’t plant squash.

Jackie talks about her interview with Peter Jordan here and his Seed Havens he has created to help protect squash and other vegetables from bugs.

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Emphasis is to make everything as easy as possible. Anything that volunteers. Sunflowers. As a beekeeper they are excellent source for bees. Kale and swiss chard which reseed graciously. Lambs quarter that reseeds like crazy. Lambs quarter is a very nutritious weed that tastes like spinach. With chickens and ducks, they love it.

10 chickens, 5 ducks – city limits. Used to have a rooster. Tried raising rabbits and quail. Needed to focus and keep it simple.

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

Starting a CSA. But looking to find people to partner with who are just as excited as Honey is.

Have an orchard with 12 different fruit trees.

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.

Squash. The first year was really great and was stunning, once the bugs found the plants. Wanted to put energy into things that were more productive.

Orchard which is self-sustaining. Many different apple, pear, asian pear, cherry, grapevines, black berries.

Something that you find is easy to grow and is generally successful every-time.

Sunflowers, kale, swiss chard. Love the volunteers. Ease and convenience. When you plant the kale or swiss chard, even onions and garlic, through the help of the birds or the wind. Called volunteers

Something you would steer new gardeners away from that you find is typically challenging to grow in your climate.

Squash, notorious all throughout.

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden.

The same least and favorite – Watering.

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden.

Back to Eden Gardening with the wood chips. Gentleman is on the west side. Having this moment, this is so hard, looking at forested area nearby and said why is this so hard? (very Christian) Realized that nature’s system.

Ground is always covered. We grow in bare soils, and everything dries out, and weeds move in and then had an ahah moment about wood chips. They help maintain the moisture in the soil. They act like a sponge, if you need more water they go ahead and release it, and if you have too much water they soak it up. Act as a buffer and insulation, gives you leeway. Act as a natural watering system.

These orange flowers were growing that the bees love.

Tell us about the best crop you ever grew.

Last year, one peach tree had so many peaches was literally dehydrating 80lbs a day. Read about how to use your oven as a dehydrator on Honey’s blog.

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

Just try it.

Have you ever entered a fair? How’d that go?

Have friends who have been judges at fairs. Watched episodes about British gardening shows but wanted to just get food to eat. Does it taste good? if it does then that’s a win!

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

Internet! Look up when it is to plant, different varieties, companion planting, permaculture.

Enamored with the permaculture technique, to plant peas under grape vines, as peas are growing up grape leaves are growing out, so they automatically shade the peas, so I can harvest peas months after everyone else, because under that shelter they can do so much better.

Eating or harvesting vegetables or fruit on time? 

Cherry trees. One tree took literally 5 hours to harvest. Then what do I do with all the cherries? Proponent of lacto fermentation, for my own health, probiotics for my system, and this is also a form of preservation. Ginger root, and add to water with equal amounts of sugar, do for 3 days. Then it should start bubbling. This is called a ginger bug. Then you can make my favorite thing, it turns fruit juice into soda!

If you think about yogurt or kifer people are interested in the health benefits. The little bacteria or flora go into your digestive system and help repopulate it and do the house cleaning, clean up the debris and bad stuff in there and make a thriving colony which helps your digestion improve. A healthy natural affordable way to improve health.

KimChi is also a form of preservation.

Do you have any special techniques for cooking weird or unusual foods?

Even though I can’t grow squash myself, when I buy it at the store I throw squash with onions and eggs for breakfast. Add vegetables wherever you can. Love putting mint in lemonade and everywhere I can. Rosemary in place of basil for pesto. Not daunted by unusual combinations, and creative.

A favorite internet resource?

Google Searches and You Tube

Someone in vacinity who is teaching classes who is teaching and I think I learned how to do that for free on youtube.

Always good to ask or just try it.

Potato barrel video on YouTube and tried it two years in a row, then saw someone else had a video about the difference between determinient and indeterinent.

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can 

All the internet.

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

Really started with me learning how to homestead and then just wanted to share what I learned.

Jackie mentions Patt Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Website and podcast for Honey to help her monetize her website.

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

Just start

Thank friends who helped me or just did it themselves.

Connect with Honey @Homestead4Honey at the Urban Homestead Honey Website


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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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