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A few weeks later, the garden is flourishing and the family is harvesting lettuces and other greens.

Design: Urban Farm

Land is hard to come by in Los Angeles, so when an former gardening student asked us to transform their backyard into an urban farm, we were delighted to discover they had nearly 4,000 square feet to work with.

The yard was flat and barren with plenty of potential. They wanted raised beds, cane berries, and additional fruit trees for their mini orchard.

Flores Front Back Yard Before
Before: What we’re calling the front-back yard. Behind the picket fence is the back-back yard.

The yard was screaming for purpose, but the make-shift chicken coop allowed the family’s hens the run of the yard, leaving no plant unexplored. They hired a craftsman to build dual Super Coops in the back-back yard (shown background above).

The family already planted an assortment of citrus trees in the perimeter planter (shown to the left of the empty raised bed above), but needed to make the area opposite, with dead roses, more productive.

Flores path during
We created a pathway from the house to the back-back yard that separated the new garden from the soon-to-be play area.

Creating Purpose

A new pathway and 6 raised beds turned an unused space into a productive food garden for the family.

Flores raised beds during
6 4×8′ raised beds will be filled with home-grown veggies, herbs and flowers.

We installed blackberries, raspberries and blueberries in the planter against the fence and fixed the broken irrigation to help the plants thrive in the Valley’s scorching heat.

Flores after
The new front-back yard is for food and play.

New Yard–New Life

We planted the two middle vegetable beds with artichokes, herbs, flowers and strawberries to anchor the garden. The outer four beds will rotate annual crops. We planted peas, sweet peas, lettuces, brassicas, root veggies and more. The family bought a swing set that allows the kids to play while mom and dad play in the garden.

Flores back-back yard after
The new Super Coops are a destination in this huge back yard.

In the Back-Back Yard, we continued the path to the Super Coops and created a walkway in front of a new pre-fab shed. We added two new fruit trees: a standard persimmon and dwarf avocado on either side of the path. In time these will create much-needed shade.

The family still wanted open space, in case the chickens ran loose in the yard, so we mulched both yards and left room for later experimentation.

Flores after
A few weeks later, the garden is flourishing and the family is harvesting lettuces, herbs, and other greens.

The fall growing season was a success, with the exception of a few unwanted visitors. The family added stakes and netting to protect crops in their new urban farm. Soon we’ll plant summer-season veggies as these fall crops are harvested and enjoyed.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Stephanie Council

    Check out the cages at the veggie garden at Greystone. They are a fantastic way to deal with uninvited guests.

    1. Christy

      I’ll bet they’re really nice!

  2. Alys Milner

    Nice! What fun to have a blank slate and so much area to work with.

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