About Farming My Backyard

Hi!  Thanks for visiting Farming My Backyard!  I’m Kathryn and I write about my family’s adventures creating an urban farm first in Portland, Oregon and then San Antonio, Texas.  We started with a small lot, just 5,000 square feet, but we utilized it as best as possible, even if that means overcoming my black thumb or having chickens taking a dust bath under the trampoline.

I never expected to find myself farming in the city, or farming at all, but it turns out I love it!  What’s better is love talking about it and sharing what I’ve learned with others.  When people talk about chickens being the gateway drug to farming, they aren’t kidding!  We brought home our first chicks in spring of 2010 and haven’t looked back since.

About Farming My Backyard

Here on Farming My Backyard you can expect helpful articles about creating your own urban farm and homesteading in a small space.  I want to help you be prepared to succeed with becoming a little more self reliant!

I love talking about raising backyard chickens for both meat and eggs.  Our little egg laying flock provides most of our eggs for our family, and the occasional batch of meat birds can really stretch throughout the year.

We’ve kept rabbits for meat, and I like to share tips on caring for and breeding rabbits.  We had American Chinchillas, but the principles are the same for other breeds as well.

I’m a bit of a bookworm, and I think everyone should have an idea of what to expect and how to deal with potential problems, so you’ll find plenty of book recommendations on various homesteading topics.  I usually get mine from the library or a neighborhood lending library, but sometimes it’s nice to have your own copy that you can refer back to repeatedly.

Goats 250x250 @ Farming My Backyard

We had goats as a part of our urban farm for four years.  I wrote quite a bit about how to care for goats during that time, and even though I ultimately decided that they required too much space for our small property to be sustainable, I love goats.  If you don’t mind dedicating the space, you should absolutely look into getting goats!

You’ll also find that I occasionally dive into topics such as other breeds of small scale animal husbandry such as bees or quail, homemaking, sustainability and even some cooking.  And even though gardening is not my forte, it’s getting to the point now where I’ve killed enough plants that a few of them have stuck around, and I like to share my mistakes so others don’t have to repeat them!

About Kathryn

About Kathryn from Farming My Backyard

Even from a small age I could be found out wandering the yard, occasionally sampling the dandelions or trying to make rope out of yucca fibers.  My first love has always been fantasy books though, and bonus points if there’s some real life survival tips in there.  Most often I spent my time outside with a book or a notebook, so writing about gardening and urban homesteading really is a blending of several of my interests!

I grew up in Southern California and am a California girl at heart.  The ocean.  Love, love, love the ocean  I moved away to get my Bachelor’s of Science from Brigham Young University, then spent 4 months working in orphanages in Romania before moving to Portland.

My family includes my husband and our four children.  In addition to the livestock, we also have a dog and an assortment of cats that like to hog the bed.

Keep in Touch

You can find Farming My Backyard on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.  If you need to contact me please leave a comment or email at kathryn @ farmingmybackyard.com (FYI, I am not accepting unsolicited guest posts at this time).  Also, please subscribe for email updates so you don’t miss any announcements or new articles!

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19 thoughts on “About Farming My Backyard”

  1. Hey, Kathryn! I was thinking you might like to participate in one or more of these things. First, I have a children’s garden/homesteading board on Pinterest that I’d love to have you join. Here’s the link: http://www.pinterest.com/homesteadlady/childrens-gardenshomesteading/. You’ll need to follow the board so that I can send you an invite.
    The other thing is, I’ve started an FB group for LDS whole foodie types (or those trying to figure it all out), called Health in the Navel. You actually don’t have to be LDS to join if you have friends who would like to, but we’ll be talking about the Word of Wisdom and LDS doctrine and churchy “stuff”. If you’d like to join the group, just send a request. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1400750780203555/. Cheers!

  2. we currently live in Portland, OR and have chickens, dogs, & cats. We are getting ready to get some goats, so we are really interested in your newsletter as goats are a new experience for us. We also use raised beds for gardening. We have around 5,000 sq. feet of space.

  3. Hi Kathryn,
    My husband and I went to Reed, so it is fun to hear you are in Portland. I am writing because I am a poet and one of my preferred topics has always been my backyard. We raise chickens, berries (3 kinds), tomatoes, and many fruit trees. I am looking for a place to send some of poems. Do you have any advice for me? Do you ever include poetry in your newsletter? Your family looks just wonderful by the way! I was an elementary teacher for 43 years and your girls are adorable!

    Regard and thanks,
    Beth Mills

    • Yup, Reed is not too far from us! That sounds fun. I’m not accepting guest contributions right now, but you may want to check with From Scratch Magazine (www.fromscratchmag.com). They are an online homesteading magazine that may be interested. If I think of anyone else I’ll let you know!

  4. My goodness, your children are adorable! You are blessed to have 3 daughters (remember that …blessed 😉 ) I too have 3 daughters and 2 sons. Liam will definately have an insiders advantage to girls when the time comes. Enjoy!
    I really like your site. We are military and lived in Sherwood, OR for 4 years. Great area for what you are doing.

    • Thank you so much! It can get rather shrill and pink over here, but we love it. Right now Liam walks around calling princess carriages “trucks.” 🙂

  5. I just live in Vancouver, WA and I wanted to see if you sell rabbits. We are looking to get our homestead started with a trio… Or do you know someone that is interested in selling rabbits? Thanks

    • All the babies I have right now are one litter from a brother sister pairing. Fine for eating, but not the best quality breeding stock. Have you checked Craigslist? That is how I found mine. Your local feed store may have some, or know of some breeders in the area.

  6. Hi Kathryn – I stumbled upon your site while looking up DIY composting toilets and decided to poke around some more! I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your relaxed, clear manner of presenting information and your creative, practical ideas. I’ve been looking more into self-sufficiency and preparedness recently, but am currently living in more-or-less the suburbs for the foreseeable future, so space is an issue. Plus, my backyard is shady unfortunately. Most importantly, although you mention how your tips can be useful to those prepping for survivalist scenarios, that is neither the tone nor the focus of your site. I greatly appreciate that, as it allows me to look at these ideas as simply a different way of living and do not generate anxiety about what gloom and doom I might be preparing for. Thank you again for your efforts to share this knowledge and the way in which you do.

  7. Thank You Kathryn for Sharing With Us a Brilliant Idea, l learn From You How to Raise Chickens For Meat & Eggs in Small Space. Another One is the Tips for Caring and Breeding Rabbit. Here in Tanzania Rural Area we Still Keeping Organic Chickens But the Challenge Chickens Disease. Major Problem is to identify the Disease which Chicken Suffering.Your Knowledge Propelled Me to Keep Moving on that Business,Thanks.

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