Suburban Homesteading Edible Victory Garden Edible Estate on 1/10th of an Acre


Alright! this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com,
and today we’re in suburbia. Its summer time here in California, as you can see. Here in
the suburb a lot of people have lawns, and, you know, even if you’re out watering your
lawn in the hot summer heat it turns brown and doesn’t look so nice, and, you know, lawns
are pretty much a waste of resources here. You can see a lot of other houses here in
suburbia. Lawns are a waste of resources. So, why don’t you come on and I’ll show you
what I’ve done here. Lawns are pretty much a waste of resources, you know. They waste
a lot of water, especially water that waters lawn, like overhead sprinklers. Sometimes
people will put out their sprinklers, they’ll water, and by the time they come back and
that waters running down the street which is definitely wasting water, and, you know,
we want to conserve the earths resources these days. So, you know, let’s show you what I
got. I’m using drip irrigation so it’s only watering at the roots of each plant, and,
you know, I want to show you some of the other houses in my neighborhood here, and I want
to show you what you can do with your front yard and your front lawn. So come on, and
I’ll talk more about it. Why did I choose to have a suburban home and grow my own food?
There’s a couple reasons. Number 1, I want to save money. So, it’s going to save money
by growing my own food. The other thing is that it’s going to save resources. Now only
am I saving water resources, you know, not having to put chemicals or pesticides or herbicides
or anything on my lawn, to keep, you know, the weeds at bay. The other reason is for
environmental reasons. So, I could eat local. I mean, there’s nothing more local than opening
your front door, stepping out 5 feet, grabbing some kale, and eating it. My kale does not
have to travel thousands of miles. If you’re in New York or somewhere in the Midwest, a
lot of the food is grown here in California. So, it’s picked, it’s hydrocooled, it’s shipped,
and in that shipping process, you’re losing nutrition. You’re also losing life force,
or the quality of the food, you’re losing some of the taste, definitely, because guess
what? When I taste old kale, it tastes really, really bitter to me, and I think my kale,
some of it is so sweet, it’s as sweet as lettuce. So, you can see we’re coming up on my house
here, and you can see in the front of my house is all raised beds, and in the front here,
I’m growing peppers, melba spinach, and then we have (unclear) and tomatoes in the back,
and I have a nice armor here that todays project was we’re hanging some planters form the top
and we ran irrigation up there so we’re maybe going to hang strawberries or we’re maybe
going to try cucumbers or some kind of (unclear) to vine off and hang down so that you can
hang it and fill in. I’m really about maximizing the use of the space to grow more food, you
know. I mean, in the time of the world wars, there were victory gardens, and I think we
should get back that fact that we should have victory gardens and we should have our own
foods. I mean, not in the time of war, well, I think we are in war, aren’t we, I don’t
know, but in any case we should all be growing our own food anytime. I mean, even to save
carbon emissions. The food has to travel, it takes resources to grow that food in California,
you know, petroleum products, fuel, they need to get picked, and then they acierated or
trucked across the country. You’re losing nutrition, and you’re also wasting a lot of,
you know, environmental- there’s a big environmental impact on food that is not local. So, you
can see in this front bed here I’m growing a lot of what’s called square-foot gardening
methods. So, in square-foot gardening you take, basically, a whole big area and then
you just divide it off into 1 foot sections, and then that 1 foot section you could grow
a certain number of plants. So, for example, in a 1-foot section I’m growing 1 tomato plant,
or here’s some arugula, and this wild arugula actually took one whole square. When I planted
it, it wasn’t that big, but they definitely fill out. I have basil in one square. I mean,
back here we have 4 Bok chois in 1 square. So, you can see some things you can plant
more tightly than others. Why don’t we come back here a little bit and show you. So, if
you want to get a look down the side of the property you could see a whole bunch of the
raised beds. I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and then the 8th one going in the underhand of
my house, and I’m on approximately 1/10th of and acre. So, this is what you could do
in 1/10th of acre. I mean, I don’t even have a whole acre; I have 1/10th of an acre. So,
you could grow a lot of food in 1/10th of an acre. I mean, this is more than enough
to feed a family of 4. Probably even more than that. So, why don’t you come on back
and we’ll show you what I got here. So, in this bed we have, you know, it’s basically
a 4-foot bed, about 15 feet, and this is just a melon patch. So, we have melons vining and
in this bed I think we have ’em, probably, there’s about 70 melon plants. Every 1 square
foot is a melon plant, and normally melons like to vine out and be really long and take
a lot of land space, but when you trellis them up, you know, you could really save space
and grow more tightly. So, you can see here that’s a crane melon, you know, that’s going
to be ripening up hopefully pretty soon. Here’s another kind of melon over here. They’re all
just hanging in there. It’s really cool, and this bed here, it’s about 40 feet long by
about 4 feet wide. I have a lot of dino kale, and a lot of kale, and actually we’re about
to replant this. Actually, every 6 feet I have some fruit trees. When we come up back
here, this next bed is the green bed and we have things like apola Navaho cabbage, and
some lettuce, and we have some hoops on here so we can put some cover over it so it won’t
get too hot. The next bed over here we basically have some pepper plants and then some squash
plants. The squash plant actually takes a 3×3 area, so you can’t plant them as densely
but they put on a lot of squash, plenty of food, and here’s a really cool one. Check
this one out. This one’s a banana squash and, I mean, this one, this thing is so huge. I
don’t even know how much it weighs right now. This thing’s got to be- oh, man, like 30 pounds
worth of banana squash there. So, we have them on trellises, you know. Normally they
would be viney type plant and they would like to vine out and have a lot of space, but when
you don’t have a lot of space, like in this situation I have 1/10th of an acre, you know,
you have to grow on a trellis and grow vertical to use the space wisely. This next bit here
has been very successful. We have lots of cucumber plants and the cucumber plats are
planted every 6 inches, and you can see some. They’re all in here, and you know, once again
we’ve trained them to go up and that’s actually working really well, and the last bed here
we have is just our green bed. So, this is just a mixed green bed. One of the things
I really like to talk about right now is the tree collards. I’m sorry, tree kale. So, the
tree kale, basically I’ve had these for 3 years now and they’ve never gone to seed.
So, they just keep putting off leaves indefinitely. Some of the leaves get actually nice and big,
and this is a sweeter variety of kale that actually makes excellent eating. So, I have
those planted along the edges to keep some of the things in the middle of the bed cooler
and shaded off, but, yea, really, I really, really, really want you to know that you can
grow, you know, your own food in even as little as 1/10th of an acre, or even less. Just start
out by some raised beds. I happen to have filled my lawn, and, you know, it’s saving
me water, it’s saving me money, it’s having my- I’m getting a higher quality of food than
I could buy anywhere, it’s less transportation, less global impact, and, you know, everybody
should do this. Most people’s lawns just sit there. Most people don’t use their lawns;
it’s just for like a show. Lawns were, from, you know, like in the olden days when there’s
royalty, and royalty in England had big lawns to show their estate, that they were rich,
and nowadays, like in the ’50s that kind of got transferred into houses and making lawns,
and then your neighbor has a awn and you want to have a lawn, too, but with all the resources
they take these days, lawns are just plain dumb. So, this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.
Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to start growing your own food, and you could definitely grow
your own food. It’s really easy.

100 thoughts on “Suburban Homesteading Edible Victory Garden Edible Estate on 1/10th of an Acre

  1. Thank you for your videos, very informative and fun too. Pity we don't get as much sun in England. Thanks to global warming we have plenty of rain though 🙁

  2. See the video we posted "From Bare Dirt To Abundance" and please watch other Love For Life videos like :"interview With Ben Lowrey", "OPPT……..", "Under The Spell Of Intellectual Property", "Water Is The Life Of MANS Consciousness (Breath), and articles like "The Spell Is Broken", "The Steps Of Kindom"., etc…….. you can find them all here: w w w ,love for life . com . au / node/8369

    All the best to you and your extended family
    Arthur & Fiona Cristian
    Love For Life

  3. yea hes right. here in florida the HOAs want you to have USELESS green front lawns-bunch of bullshlt. Heaven forbid the front of my house isnt green. But with lanscape co. that landlord sends every two weeks, I do NOT allow them to use any chemicals or fertilizer, so I have awesome weeds to eat growing in my lawn! "JOKES ON THEM:…..But I loaded up the back with veggies and tobacco lol..

  4. O_O That squash.. I would be in that 1/10th garden for hours just picking for a days meal. ^_^ and playing around.

  5. Get an attorney and challege an ordinance on front yard garden…….it's a offense to your liberty. Challenge it and get it changed. I'd challenge it before you actually did it though.

  6. Well done John hope a lot of people. take your advice and start doing the same as you.Cheers and all the best.Harry….From Australia.

  7. hello how are you i am having a problem with black ant around my green house i only seen 3 of them in my greenhouse john how can i get rid of them without harming my vegetables keep up the great work all your videos are very helpful thank you for you your time have a great day

  8. I'm curious how you typically prepare and eat your Kale? I understand its a superfood and would like to perhaps enjoy some of the benefits

  9. "It's too bad that the cities in my area have ordinances that they use to make it a legal offense to grow food in one's own front yard"

    So get together with your community and get the laws changed! Nothing worth having comes easily.

  10. look up your city's website, find out when your next city council meeting is. they usually have time set aside for residents to speak, probably between 2-5 minutes per person.
    at the same time be reasonable- wheat in the front yard would just look like overgrown grass. it still has to be nice-looking if its in the front yard.
    i am planning a dwarf fruit tree orchard/ forest, with berry brambles and edible undergrowth. To The City Council Building! Huzzah!

  11. Nice tour! I like the fact that you give your honest opinion on all the things you talk about. You also are given me some great ideas to use in my own garden.

  12. Ive been watchin mostly all your videos! So inspiring! Hopefully I can do what your doin soon. Im settin up my first 2 boxes today! YAY!

  13. One of the better guerilla home gardening videos. You seem to have pre-organized your basic concepts and perhaps practiced a bit and done it well. Planning is the key to success and your video is as well planned as your garden. Well done.

  14. You are basically correct and, of course, it is only possible to create or destroy elements in a nuclear reaction. However in effect the amound of USEABLE water is rapidly decreasing. Salination, pollution and the use of highly toxic chemicals is a threat to water sources more than ever before. Where is the world before dioxin, PCBs, plutonium (Fukushima, Chernobyl & Three Mile Island)? I admire your sense of humor but not your science.

  15. and thus you fight it….that makes no sense that we can't grow food. TRypically backyards are shaded and make a bad place for gardens. Front yards are perfect for it

  16. Awesome! Thanks for showing the world. Here in Canada, I have done exactly the same as you, but I have probably 1/10th of your 1/10th of an acre :). I am now building an aquaponics system in the backyard, that will grow telipia and vegetables year round. It will be heated by vegetable waste oil from restaurants. Cheers!

  17. I am fairly sure of it. none has ever fell off the planet. it just keeps being recycled through evaporation and condensation.

  18. Wow, where do you get all your dirt, was it cheap? You have a small fortune invested in all of those raised beds just in dirt alone not to mention all that wood! How long does it take to make a return on that investment?

  19. S funny, reading some of the comments, it seems people are more concerned about saving money than growing better than store quality food. For people like john, he cares about the food quality. Most of you eat conventional fruits and veges, sprayed with pesticides, given high NPK fertilizer derived from petroleum and sulfuric acid. The ground is drove on and dug and tilled, the soil is sprayed with herbicides to control weeds and even worse the foods are probably genetically modified. For us its the oposite. Fresh organic veges for much much cheaper than organic produce at grocery stores and better off its your food not made by someone else. I dont care how much it costs because those who put a price tag on their health, will have to pay a price for the medical help they will need in their elderly years. John wakes up and doesnt have to worry about cancer, stroke, heartattack, diabetes, high blood pressure or any other medical condition caise by a poor diet. Can you say the same ?

  20. Good for you John! I have my garden beds and hens in the backyard, but have just built a raised bed in the (GASP!) frontyard beside the driveway. I plan to grow 'prettier food' there (like sunflowers and amaranth for the hens) so as not to upset the neighbors. Its a shame I even have to worry about that, as my front  yard has the most sun and is (mostly) unused space.
    Sandra Whinnem

  21. Wow, what an amazing garden and inspiration and I agree, lawns are a complete waste of resources.  I'm curious if you filled your beds with drainage material when you built them and if so, how deep is that material?   

  22. Great Job John, I am a farmer just like you, I take advantage of my 10'x10' ( yes feet not yards) and when I need tomatoes, peppers, beets, radishes, green beens, onions, lettuces, melons, strawberries…. I just walk to my front driveway, my neighbors are in wonder on how I do it, I try to teach them but they are not ready to take the responsibility of growing your own food…. "the system" got them …. it is hard work but the taste of your vegetables is second to none, that and the savings is my reward…. keep up the good work ..

  23. I used to have a very nice little garden plot for a few years, but then had to move. I didn't know about growing food in the house. It wasn't till I moved here till I started watching your and Ray's videos. I started small, one tomato and one pepper, out in the balcony in the sun in a kitchen garbage can! The next year, I started plants inside with great success! Now, I'm hooked. Thank you, John!

  24. John, I have been watching your videos for quite awhile, but had never seen THIS one where you show your front yard from the sidewalk back. Because of you, I've started small raised bed plots in the back yard, but I can NOT picture how you started all this…  when it says to "remove your lawn", do you mean having the sod removed or just building over the existing grass lawn?  Your place is the most amazing garden and on a 1/10th of an acre?  It looks like acres and acres of wandering garden.  You're a garden artist, so you may not realize how many of us scratch our heads as to where to start. Thanks for all your videos and all the priceless information on growing.  I wonder if the heat of Texas would allow such an expanse of healthy green.

  25. excess watering of yr lawn is  actually only wasting your own resources (money) for earths resources it doesnt go wasted as it reyrns in the soil

  26. Hi this is Terry. Thank you so much for your garden video. I learn a lot from your experience.  Can I ask you one quest for you. What can I grow in North Florida in the month of September? Can I grow sugar snap peas? If you can please give me some idea of  Asian vegetable that can start in September. I'm waiting for your answer. Thank you so much and have a good day. 

  27. I love the way you are growing the mellons and squash on a trellis…that realy makes use of the space well.
    Damn fine garden.

  28. hi john— will the city give you hard time if you grow vegetable at the front yard? or we can do whatever we want in our
    front yard?

  29. Living in North Mesa, Arizona and having a hard time growing Bitter Melon, Luffa, Saw-teeth spice and herb, and many other plant and vegetable. Need help

  30. won't dispute that suburban lawns are a PIA but how is watering them wasteful? even the water that runs down the street just evaporates and reenters the environment as rain.

  31. Dude, what are you doing living in 1/10th of an acre? Looks like vegetable farming is your passion. You just need to start a real farm and enjoy your life working on what you love!

  32. Gorgeous garden!  But, what cant grow in California?….Also he fails to mention all the beady eyed suckers, fat green caterpillars w/horns, leaf walkers that crawl in & out of pomegranites, microscopic spiders, so on & so forth. it is a monumental task requires vigilance. I know, I tried & had the most success with California Early Girl tomatoes,(delicious) but the cherry tomatoes I bought @ Lowe's brought the caterpillars to them…….and extreme temps in June killed all the flowers , so no more tomatoes thru the summer & fall like I wanted. And organic pesticides are expensive.  He has a green thumb/wonder how his beautiful garden is now

  33. are the sides of the bed 4 single wide planks, or individual planks? .. how do you keep the wood from rotting?

  34. We have 1/3 acre and have done much the same thing as this guy. I just have one question. How does he keep the neighborhood out? they are the biggest pests in our garden and orchard!

  35. At 8:58, where it says "(unclear)" he says "nasturtiums" which is a plant with edible flowers, leaves and seed pods. The seed pods are sometimes called "poor man's capers".

  36. Your yard looks attractive from the street, which I think is a good thing so you won't have neighbors complaining.

  37. I hate taking care of my lawn, but I love gardening. The more space my garden ends up taking, the less mowing I end up having to do. That is one of the many benefits of having a garden for me. I get to replace a chore I hate, with a hobby I enjoy.

  38. Please excuse my pet peeve, but water is something that is never wasted. If you water until it runs in the street, you have raised your water bill and wasted your money…but the water itself soaks in somewhere else, or evaporates into the atmosphere and is rained down somewhere else. If your toilet runs constantly, you do not waste water. You waste money, but the water treatment center uses that water and it goes back eventually into the earth cycle. GAH! Unless you are indulging in breaking the oxygen/hydrogen bonds and destroying water molecules, you are not "wasting the earths resources". Thank you for indulging me.

  39. John-–WE DON'T KNOW—-Please–STOP using "U KNOW" I like your videos, If u cannot drop the UKNOW"S==try subtitles.

  40. Up until about 100 years ago, the rolling lawns of British estates were maintained by carefully grazing sheep. It was only with the recent invention of lawn tractors that the sheep were replaced. British estates also typically grew crops needed for the household and staff, and many still do. Attempts to re-create the English style garden, characterized by lush green grass, is often not appropriate for other, dryer, climates. England is known for wet, balmy weather, so if you live in a different climate, trying to copy an English garden is not the best idea.

  41. The amount of 'you know' is ridiculous – you're grown up now, can't you string a couple of sentences together without all those 'you knows' – !! – and how much water have you had to save and how many vegetables have you had to eat before you cover the costs of setting up ? i.e. cost of raised beds, or wood to build them, hoops, compost etc. etc., ?

  42. Ok..for those who cannot grow year round and have more than 1 or 2 ppl to think about..
    Gardening and feeding our family is a pretty big task.I see why "Family Gardens" were common.No one wants to work and let another get 100% benefits!
    *🌽Corn~
    It Takes.. 6-7 ears to make a1qt jar. A dozen ears will make 1-1/2 qt..
    A bushel weights about 35#-thats 60 ears..processes to 14-17 pints or 7-8qts..
    *🌱Greenbeans ~
    It takes about 4# to fill 1 qt jar.
    You can harvest nesrly30-50# of GB per 10ft row,in a season.(?)
    38-30# per bushel will yield 30-40 pints..
    **We harvested about 9 bushel from 9-24ft rows.
    🌿Carrots ~..30 plants could yield 7-10#
    It takes 17.5:# for 7qts .
    50# a bushel=30-40 pints
    🍀Beets~ 52#a bushel=
    30 plants yield about 7-10#
    It takes 2-3.5 # for 1 qt..
    🌿Lima -shell beans~
    40# a bushel…3-5# per 1 qt..
    *In pod…you could expect 30-50 pounds in a complete season for a 24 ft row…
    🌳Cabbages–
    3# head =1qt canned
    🍃Collards~
    5-7 plants is about 4#=1 qt canned.
    🌵Cucumbers~
    48-50#-is a bushel..=24 qt processed..
    Each plant can produce 10–+6oz fruit.. or 2-3# per plant…
    🌴Okra~
    26-30# per tall bushel.. 17 qt or 34 pt frozen..
    5-10# per 10 ft row
    🌲Field peas~
    25# in pod..a bushel..==13 # shelled
    It takes about 3.5-4# per qt
    🍠Potatoes ~
    60# per bushel= 20 qt jars ..
    Each plant can produce 3-6# of produce..
    🍆Summer squash
    Is 40-44# a bushel. 40 pts frozen..2-4# needed to can 1 qt jar.
    🍋Winter squash
    3#-= 2 pt frozen..2.5-3# for 1 qt
    🍅Tomatoes
    Bushel is 53#..it tKes 2.5-3.5 for 1 qt…. each plant can produce 3-7# of fruit or more..

  43. Fabulous! Dream garden. Only sunny spot available to me is my front yard. So last year I put in a no dig organic cottage garden. Awful last year but much better this year. Just heaping on my home made compost, topsoil and composted organic manure. So far so good this year.

  44. I just love this video. I watched it first years ago and I still look at it from time to time when I want to be inspired or when I start questioning why I garden. Thanks.

  45. I love your front yard! I wish everyone did that instead of a lawn. Its beautiful! I am fortunate enough to live on several acres but if I had a 10th of an acre it would look like your yard! Keep spreading that important message! GET RID OF WASTEFUL LAWNS!!!

  46. Wow! Those people who are in foodstamp needs to have a garden like yours. They just have to work there ass so that they don’t defend anymore on taxpayers

  47. Does anyone know if JK still lives at this house? He hasn't shown any videos from this one for a long time.

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