Creating a sustainable lifestyle in a suburban backyard


Living in a bustling city in New Zealand, BecsBackyard is an example of how you can build yourself a self-sustainable lifestyle in a suburban location, creating a flourishing maara kai (vegetable garden) working with natural systems and resources that you have around you.

Creating a self-sufficient lifestyle!

“Through harmony with nature, we’ve cultivated a self-sustaining urban oasis where gardens flourish and abundance abounds.”

” In the heart of the urban sprawl, amidst concrete and steel, we’ve cultivated an oasis where sustainability thrives. Our chickens and ducks aren’t just livestock; they’re integral members of our ecosystem, enriching our soil with their waste and keeping pests at bay. Through this harmonious partnership with nature, we’ve fashioned a self-sustaining system where gardens flourish and abundance abounds. Every harvest isn’t just a bounty for our family but a testament to the power of working in harmony with the Earth, providing nourishment for both body and soul.”

Find those things you’re comfortable doing at your current location, & start from there.

To help you along, have a read of some of Bec’s tips in the blog posts.

Building a garden doesn’t necessarily require construction or elaborate structures. With minimal effort and resources, you can create a garden space. All it takes is some basic tools like a shovel, rake, and gloves, along with seeds or small plants. Simply designate an area in your yard or balcony, prepare the soil, and start planting. You can read more HERE

Watering frequency varies by plant type, soil condition, and climate. Generally, most vegetables thrive with about 1 inch of water per week. It’s best to water early in the morning to reduce evaporation and allow the foliage to dry before evening, which can help prevent diseases.

Start with the basics: a sturdy trowel for planting, a spade or shovel for digging, gardening gloves for protection, pruning shears for trimming, and a watering can or hose. These tools will cover most tasks in a beginner’s garden.

For beginners, some good vegetables to grow include lettuce, radishes, and spinach because they have short growing seasons and require minimal maintenance. Tomatoes and peppers are also great options as they can be started indoors and transplanted outside once the weather warms up. Zucchini and cucumbers are relatively easy to grow and are high-yielding plants. Read more HERE

To keep backyard chickens healthy and happy, provide a secure, weatherproof coop with roosting bars and nesting boxes. Offer adequate space in both the coop and an outdoor run, along with a dust bathing area. Feed them a balanced diet of chicken feed and treats, and provide fresh water at all times. Ensure good ventilation in the coop and protection from predators with secure fencing. Regularly check chickens for signs of illness or injury and provide necessary healthcare. Chickens are social animals and thrive when kept in groups.

For beginners, consider breeds that are hardy and low maintenance. The Rhode Island Red is excellent for egg production and adapts well to different climates. Sussex chickens are friendly and also good layers. If you’re interested in a quieter breed, the Buff Orpington is known for its docile nature and is great for families. These breeds provide a good starting point for new chicken keepers due to their adaptability and manageable temperaments.

“Every time their bath water is changed, it’s as if they’ve won the duck lottery”

You haven’t truly witnessed joy until you’ve seen my four ducks in their bath.

It’s like a feathery festival of splashes and quacks! Every time their bath water is changed, it’s as if they’ve won the duck lottery. First to the scene is always Brad, the unofficial leader of the pack, who dives in with the enthusiasm of a pirate spotting treasure.

Behind Brad, the others waddle in a hurried line, quacking in what I assume is duck for “Move over, it’s my turn!” Shirley, the youngest and most spirited, performs what could only be described as acrobatic feats, spinning and splashing with a vigor that gets more water out of the bath than inside. Then there’s Apple and Angelina, who are more about the chill life, paddling around trying to find a gap in the chaos.

Together, they create a whirlpool of comedy, sending water flying and making sure not a single feather remains dry. Watching them, you’d think they’re in their own watery amusement park, and honestly, it’s the best show in the backyard.


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