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In My Garden: Clintonville Urban Homestead

Anne Evans Anne Evans In My Garden: Clintonville Urban Homestead
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Jared Boyd with his daughter Rayli and one of their Golden Comet chickens.

Jared Boyd is another person who did not grow up having a garden. His interest in food began later on in life while working at Northstar Café. Then he read Wendell Berry’s ideas and was hooked. Boyd and his wife Jaime moved to their home in Clintonville eight years ago and have been gardening for five of those years. They have a family of four daughters and the garden has become a wonderful educational tool for them. (They also homeschool their children).

“I love having [my] kids come out here and pick kale and eat it,” says Boyd. “They understand what goes into growing food.”

In addition to their large gardens in their front and back yards, there are strawberry patches along the side of the house, a chicken coop in the backyard, and a compost system.

Boyd designed and built the chicken coop. They have been raising Golden Comet chickens about two years. The coop is next to their garage and the chickens have an enclosed run that goes behind the garage. A great way to use space that would otherwise go unused. The coop is a 4 foot by 8 foot base and three sides are insulated. He has plans to fence in the backyard to allow the chickens more room to roam. The chickens usually provide them with two to three eggs each day. When he can, Boyd sources a layer feed for his chickens from a couple of farmers in Ohio.

In July, the family was eating eggs and kale for breakfast pretty much every day. They also had an abundance of  strawberries. This season, they harvested about 28 quarts of sweet and juicy bright red strawberries from their patch. They ate most of them, but also have frozen some to use later in smoothies.

Raised beds in the front have cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, carrots, purslane, lettuces, and kale. The yard next to the road has some potatoes and pie pumpkins. The side garden to the left of the house has strawberries and raspberries. The Boyds heat their home with wood and were able to stockpile their supply during the summer storms.

Another view of the garden beds in the front yard.

Their first strawberry harvest from mid May produced five quarts. (Photo provided). Several heads of cabbage ready to eat.

In the back yard, heirloom tomatoes grow on stakes, while raspberries climb the fencing.

Curing their harvest of nearly 50 heads of garlic.

The chicken coop that Boyd built.

Golden Comet chickens.

Each season the family cans a lot of tomatoes. They grow about five to six varieties of heirlooms. They also enjoy going apple picking in the fall at Charlie’s Apples, eating many and also canning applesauce and apple butter.

Boyd has a woodworking shop and has been reusing the sawdust with carrot seeds to help them scatter better. Johnny’s Selected Seeds is one of his favorite sources.

For his garden growth plans, Boyd would like to take out the raised beds in the front and put in rows. He is also planning to add bees to his homestead next year.

For reference, Boyd likes to consult The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener (A Gardener’s Supply Book) by Eliot Coleman and How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons.

Check out this video by Rachel Baransi about the Boyd family planting seeds:

Do you have a garden you’d like to share? Please send an email to me at [email protected].


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