Half-Baked Homesteading


Santa Rosa | Front & Back Gardens

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Kirsten tells the story of their garden

Upon purchasing our home 12 years ago, ripping out the extensive lawn was a top priority. Since then we’ve experimented with growing food, creating more shade, and decreasing the maintenance and water needs, while increasing the beauty. Along the way we’ve been distracted by parenthood, stymied by how to work with a large concrete pad, and redwood trees that increase the soil acidity.

My aim is to create an oasis, a garden space that is an extension of our home. Our climate is mild enough, right? But it doesn’t look like that yet. After 5 different trials, I finally know the best place to grow our veggies. Let’s just say the list of learning opportunities is long.

What we have now are five fruit trees, a decent year-round veggie garden, numerous succulents, a large run for our 6 hens, a laundry-to-landscape graywater system, and a comfortable outdoor dining area. The front yard is close to just requiring maintenance, but is a garden ever done? This summer the backyard needs more shade, another seating area, a cut flower garden, and hopefully a small pond.

This is the first home I’ve owned and it shows in the development of our outdoor space. I now know to plant trees and survey light, wind, rain exposure first. My understanding of my place and connection with the earth has grown with this property. I know exactly where the sun sets at summer solstice and I know that my irises are late to bloom this year. So if you’re interested in a still-in-progress experiment, please come visit my boys and I.

Kirsten’s garden was featured in an article in the Press Democrat on April 22. Read the article here.

Plant List

A printable plant list is available to download for this garden.


Graywater Systems

L2LIcon-400In California graywater includes water from bathtubs, showers, bathroom sinks, and clothes washing machines, but does not include water from kitchen sinks or dishwashers. Though all of these sources represent great opportunities to transform waste to resource, the Laundry-to-Landscape system is the simplest, most cost-effective, and does not require a permit, making it an excellent place to start!

Laundry-to-landscape installation workshops are frequently available from folks such as Daily Acts and the City of Santa Rosa. These workshops are a great way to learn more before installing your system.

Daily Acts have some great information on their website about graywater systems HERE.