Vegetables as far as the eye can see (or really as far as the yard) is what now occupies my backyard.  Instead of watering and cutting pesky grass, I water and maintain plants that turn into food.  As a result, each year I have a plentiful bounty of fresh food and a significantly lower grocery bill.  It's pretty awesome!

Greens in a Salad Bowl
Freshly Picked Lettuce, Orach, Arugula, and Spinach Mix

I've been wanting to have an urban farm since I was about 25 years old, this dream of mine finally became a reality in 2017 (30 years old) with my first official year of attempting to grow my own, beyond organic, food in the backyard of my house located in the lovely Longmont, Colorado.  Each year gets better and better, I usually make a lot of mistakes and every now and then I manage to learn something!  My whole goal is to grow as much of my own, beyond organic, food as I can.  I grow it the way I want food to be grown (as naturally as possible), while helping to heal the environment along the way.  What I can't grow (or what fails) I purchase directly from local farmers whenever possible who have growing practices that align with what I want to support.

Lake with Mountains
Meeker and Longs Peak from McIntosh Lake in Longmont, CO

Aside from this urban farm project / experiment of mine just being plain fun, it helps me out in a lot of other ways that aren't visible to the naked eye.  Like a lot of Americans (whether they want to admit it or not) I deal with quite a lot of depression and anxiety (among other things).  This urban farm has transformed my backyard into a relaxing oasis that brings me endless amounts of happiness and joy.  Few things in life bring a bigger smile to my face then waking up early on a brisk summers morning and walking around my backyard looking at all of the progress the various plants have made while drinking a cup of tea.  Whenever I'm feeling down about life, lonely, or feel a whole lot of anxiety coming on; I've created my own piece of paradise where I can go calm myself down, meditate, relax, read, practice qigong, or just start pulling the crap out of weeds if I need to channel some anger and frustration.  It gives me something to look forward to every day and each season has something different that I need to do.  The unexpected mental health benefits of this urban farm truly can't be understated.  It's also quite rewarding to harvest and cook your own beyond organic food that you grew yourself while thinking of all the money you're saving by doing so.

This project has also (unexpectedly) created quite the mini-ecosystem, which in itself is quite astonishing and full of a ton of birds, insects, squirrels, snakes, falcons, hawks, bats, the occasional eagle, etc. all of which seem to gravitate towards my house more and more each year as the urban farm gets better and better.  There have been quite a few mornings and evenings where there are so many birds and various animals back there that when you close your eyes you feel like you're in a far-off, mystical, jungle.  Not to mention the mysterious traces of much larger animals that seem to appear from time to time out of nowhere.  It's easy and fantastic to forget that you're in the middle of a city.

Goldfinch on Sunflowers
Goldfinch Enjoying the Sunflowers

When I'm not tending to the farm and I manage to set off for an adventure I can be found rock climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, camping, biking, swimming, traveling to various countries, or really just anything that gets me outside to enjoy the great outdoors that I live so close to and enjoy so very much!

Man with stream in mountains
Hiking just outside of Longmont, CO

I hope you enjoy reading about how and why I turned grass into vegetables.  Hopefully you'll learn a thing or two and maybe you'll even be inspired to start your very own urban farm in your backyard!  With a little bit of luck maybe enough people will start their own urban farms and perhaps one of these days my neighbors won't think I'm quite so crazy!   The first post is a great place to start reading.