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Urban Gardening with the Bells

Blog post by SLCgreen’s Laura Schmidt.

Thinking of starting an urban garden? Dig right in!

Recently, the “Live More with Less” conference highlighted urban gardening as a practical and meaningful way to be more connected to your food and to improve your quality of life.

Kevin and Celia Bell, urban homesteaders for over ten years, have turned their yard entirely into a garden.

DSCN1224

Wanting to know more about the Bell’s urban homestead, they took me on a tour. Upon wandering onto their property, I was instantly captivated by the colors and the accessibility of food. The front yard has a diversity of life growing: apples, grapes, roses, currants, hazelnuts, cherry, horseradish, and service berries.

map

After admiring the front yard, we entered the backyard through a gate. Every inch of the backyard was covered with life! I toured their half acre plot of land in Autumn and not in the full growing season. Among the 40 beds, each 4 x 25 feet, I saw plenty of greens, reds, oranges and yellows.

Garden Color

“I just harvested about 600 lbs of winter squash from 450 sq ft!” said Kevin Bell.

Winter Squash

These urban homesteaders also raise chickens and bees.

Chicken and Bees
Surrounded by several urban gardens, Celia and Kevin have a community of farmers right next to them. Their farm is adjacent to B.U.G. Farms, a community garden, Wasatch Commons, a cohousing neighborhood, and two beautiful llamas.

Llamas
It might be unrealistic to transform your entire yard into a garden, but we all have to start somewhere. Perhaps a good start is to grow plants in your house or apartment. Tomatoes seem to be a easy first plant. If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, a small plot is easy to manage. Using the Arable Land Map, you can assess how much of your yard is available for gardening. With a little time and care, you can be eating the food you grew with your own hands!

Heirloom Tomato
If you need more inspiration before joining the Urban Gardening revolution, join us at Brewvies Cinema Pub, tonight for a viewing of Growing Cities, a film about urban farming in America, examines the role of urban farming in our culture and its power to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. Learn more. Doors open at 6 p.m. Seating is limited. Movie starts at 7 p.m.

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