We said goodbye to our original homestead in 2014 for another major homestead design project. This house is not much bigger – just around a thousand square feet – but it’s in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood of Portland, Oregon close to family and friends. We felt like we won the lottery on this mid-century bungalow that had different colored carpet and wallpaper in every room, along with yet another blank-slate grassy lawn to dig up.
This time around we did a combination of cutting sod with sheet mulching to slowly begin to rehab the nutrient-sapped, heavy clay soil. The first trees and large edible shrubs were planted well before our moving boxes were unpacked.
We added larger raised beds at an angle to offset the otherwise simple, geometric lines of the homestead. We rebuilt a dilapidated outbuilding into a combination chicken coop/garden shed. I opted for in-ground irrigation (i.e. sprinkled and drip irrigation system) and installed uniform crushed rock pathways.
It’s clear that the combination of homesteading skills and my masters degree in landscape architecture have resulted in an even stronger homestead design. Just a couple years later everything is growing in much faster than our previous homestead. The overall garden design seems more cohesive and striking than the homesteads of my past.
I’m excited to share occasional updates on how this house continues to evolve into a home for our growing family. Juniper and River love hunting for berries or exploring the nature-play area. Jay and I spend many early mornings sipping coffee on the patio and counting our blessings. It’s our little slice of heaven.