The Sustainable Backyard Tour

 


There were 46 stops on the 2014 tour!


Will YOU be one next year?



Tell our retail sponsors how much you loved this year’s tour!


Greenscape Gardens: www.greenscapegardens.com


Verde Kids: www.verdestl.com


Local Harvest Grocery: www.localharvestgrocery.com


Kakao Chocolate: www.kakaochocolate.com


EFS Energy: www.EFSenergy.com


Isabee’s: www.Isabees.com




Alan in Manchester, 63021

Bees + Wildlife Habitat + Natural Backyard + Herb Garden

This plant-lover's space, or jungle, is a synthetic-free yard featuring

native plants, trees, and shrubs; grasses; perennials; flowering vines; over 40 different varieties of bamboo; wildlife habitat; personal oasis; so much to discover. Visit my blog: www.itsnotworkitsgardening.com

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The Petersons in Benton Park, 63104

Orchard  + Herb Garden + Urban Homestead

We have 20 fruit trees and a large vegetable garden where we have complex wire trellis system for tomatoes. We grow many things including several varieties of lettuce, chard, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, eggplant, onions, leek, kohlrabi, among others.We grow these fruits: raspberries, strawberries.

We actually have several gardens in the historic districts for the purpose of growing vegetables and flowers, but our home garden is the one on tour. We compost. We have cold frames. We also have a serious lily garden.

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CoLibri Community Garden in Fox Park, 63104

Aquaculture + Permaculture + Orchard and/or Edible

Landscaping + Natural Backyard + Permaculture

It's a large brick & sand path garden nestled between our 2 houses with a fish pond under development. It's a permaculturally leaning no-till scene, complete with compost area, table & chairs, and firepit with an outdoor oven in the works.

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Koesterer Glass & Mosaic Art in the CWE,  63108

Rainscape + Bees + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden

Urban Homestead

Certified: DriftWatch, for protection of beehives from pesticides

We have beehives, mushroom logs, veggie garden, flowers, compost bins, rain barrels, fruit trees, nut trees, and wood for heating our home. We lost a huge pear tree to the wind last November and have lost our shade garden so it will be planted with sun loving flowers this year. We like to reuse and repurpose materials.

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Higdons in Southampton, 63109

Chickens + Grass Alternative Front Yard + Synthetic-free (Natural) Yard

Like many in St. Louis, we have a sloped front yard that doesn't encourage grass. Instead, we have focused on creeping ground cover, natives, and strawberries mixed with more traditional annuals and perennials to keep the slope from eroding. We also have had chickens for the past 6 years.

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Sonja's Backyard Orchard in Shaw, 63110

Rainscape + Chickens +  Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Kitchen Garden + Potager + Urban Homestead

* The small 50 x 25 backyard has 6 espalier fruit trees (pear, plum, peach, apricot, fig, persimmon). It has several small square garden vegetable plots with accent decorative plants. A rain barrel, scavenged from a local deli and re-purposed. Household is one of 4 who manage a communal chicken coop of five hens. Households share expense and responsibility. One a month, each household feeds, water, cleans and gathers the eggs.

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City House Country Mouse in Shaw, 63110

Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Herb Garden + Urban Homestead

I have a little bit of everything that we built up from a pile of construction debris and clay soil. Some native plants, 5 raised beds for veggies, herb garden. A little bit of everything.

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Finding My Roots in Dutchtown, 63111

Chickens + Bees + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping

Every year I'm making improvements and modifications. This year, I'm focusing on vertical gardening and landscaping, and mixing edibles with ornamentals. Attracting a variety of pollinators (i.e. hummingbirds, hawk moths, bees and butterflies) is a priority. I am also playing with pallets.

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Meara Family Functional Yard in Skinker DeBaliviere, 63112

Chickens + Urban Homestead + Herb Garden

This small yard packs a big punch. Our attainable yard demonstrates what you can do with a small but highly active city lot. We have chickens, children and adults, so it's important for us to offer functionality for all. While we utilize our community garden a few blocks away, we grow the higher maintenance and more frequently used plants in our immediate yard. We also have some vertical gardening:  potato boxes, ginger and hops in pots, cucumbers on a trellis, and more. The yard allows our chickens to range freely in the afternoon while other techniques have been used to protect or maintain parts of the yard in various stages. The cloche allows us to both start early and continue growing post season. Our young children are involved in all elements of our yard, doing everything from tending to seedlings, to watering, to harvesting and prepping food for storage. They love on our pet chickens, collect eggs, remove chicken poop, dump kitchen compost, pull recycling bins from the deck to the alley with their wagons, and help us hang and fold clothes from the line.  Most of all, you can find them playing kickball, tower play, digging, and even going down the slide with a chicken on their lap!


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Dirty Girl Farm in Tower Grove South, 63116

Rainscape + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden + Permaculture Garden

Certified: Farm Services Agency, Monarch Waystation

Fig & citrus trees, multiple raised beds - both cedar & stone - berries, herbs

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Rabbitt Gardens in Dutchtown,  63116

Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead

Certified: Wildlife Federation

I want to show visitors what can be accomplished in a tiny Southside yard. I have a compost bin, 3 raised beds, and native plants, as well as a huge serviceberry bush that may have berries by the date of the tour. I grow enough produce to feed my husband and me, and was able to harvest 10 butternut squash last year! I have 2 bird feeders and a bird bath that the neighborhood birds enjoy. There's a rose-breasted grosbeak who visits each May on his migration. It's a small piece of land, but it's my little piece of heaven.

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Susie's Prairie Rehab in Tower Grove South, 63116

Naturescape, Wildlife Habitat + Natural Backyard + Xeriscape

Certified: Audubon Bring Conservation Home

My yard includes almost all native plants which are drought tolerant, mostly sun-loving, attractors of many pollinators (including hummingbirds), seed producers for birds, and some are also host plants for different lepidoptera. The turf-grass lawn was completely converted to native buffalo grass from seed last year. This native prairie grass only needs to be mowed <4 times per year, is drought tolerant and sun-loving. Yard also includes a mason bee box as well as a bird bath. The front yard includes a rain barrel and drain area that is rainscaped to reduce runoff. In drought, these water-loving plants are watered with supply from rain barrel. The only water used from the faucet is for soaking the small strip of vegetables in the back yard or if there are new plant additions to get them established.


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DJM Ecological Naturescape in Carondelet, 63116

Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Rainscape + Kitchen Garden

At this Holly Hills home, you’ll find gutters draining to a rain garden in front with all native plants. In the back, permeable pavers are installed to reduce stormwater runoff on the site and an organic container garden.

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Adventure Farm in Richmond Heights, 63117

RainScape + Bees + Naturescape + Permaculture + Homestead

Certified: Audubon Bring Conservation Home

Adventure Farm is a small suburban space that has been transformed into a small homestead that produces food for the people who call it home, visiting creatures and neighbors. We have been working for four years to integrate human food production using permaculture principles into the existing native plant gardens and a pond that helped support the native fauna for over 15 years. The yard is an ever evolving experiment where you can hear plenty of stories about successes and grand failures as well as see examples of design successes and, well, not so great ideas.

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Susan and Kei’s Bird Heaven in Richmond Heights

RainScape + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat

Certified: Audubon Bring Conservation Home Gold

1/2 acre home with “Zero” turf grass in the front yard; native perennials, shrubs, green house, birds considered heavily

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Art & Architecture in Clayton, 63117

Rainscape + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Renewable Energy Demonstration Site

Removal of Invasive Plants - a constant and on going process.

Slow & control water runoff, includes micro berms & rain barrels - more is planned. 100% Recycling of yard waste on site for mulch & making better soil.Removal of turf grass & planting native plants.

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Rebel's Retreat in Tower Grove East, 63118

Rainscape + Chickens + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Natural Backyard + Urban Homestead

We have an array of sustainable creations: rain barrel, raised beds, fruit bearing plants, wild flowers, DIY yard art, hugelkultur, and gutter gardens.

We will likely have chickens by the time of the tour as well.

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Kitchen House Farm in Tower Grove East, 63118

Chickens + Bees + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead

Urban farm in Tower Grove East includes large vegetable garden, 3-bin compost, chickens, bee hive, and renovated kitchen house. Following organic practices.

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The Hages in Tower Grove East, 63118

Bees + Naturescape + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping with fruit and nuts +  Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead

Our front and back yard are a good demonstration of how you can produce a lot of food on a small city plot AND design a wonderful oasis that is both aesthetic and functional. Features include: peach, plum, cherry, apple trees; strawberries, currents, honey berries, blueberries and arctic kiwi; vegetable and herb gardens; apiculture (bee hives); native plants. Can provide information about food preservation and brewing.

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The Zeidlers in Webster Groves, 63119

Certified: Deercreek Watershed Alliance Rainscape

My yard was done with the help of the Rainscape Rebate program of the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance and was installed in the Spring of 2013.

I have 4 features in my yard. In the front at the street is a small rain garden with Little Henry bushes. This area was always a mini swamp. Off the North side of my home I have two, sixty five gallon rain barrels. These are on raised platforms to increase the water pressure at their faucets. In my back yard I have one turf alternative area with Red Twig and Yellow Twig Dogwood. This slows and captures run off from my neighbor to the North. In the Southwest corner of my back yard I have a 400sq ft rain garden. This captures run off from the rest of my home via downspouts underground to pop-ups in the garden, and the back yard area. It is filled with many native Missouri plants recommended by MOBOT.

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The Canoe Compromise in Webster Groves, 63119

RainScape + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Renewable Energy Demonstration Site + Vegetable Garden

Certified:Audubon Bring Conservation Home

Stop by to see our solar panels, vegetable garden, three 130-gallon rain barrels, rain gardens with Missouri natives, other native gardens, and a kid-friendly lawn (cut using our push reel mower). We are glad to provide details on our four-year-old solar installation (including costs and benefits) or on our canning experiences. Also on hand will be a representative of the River des Peres Watershed Coalition to talk about RainScaping and the "Life in the Rivers" photography competition.

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Claiborne Farm in Webster Groves, 63119

Chickens + Wildlife Habitat + Permaculture + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Natural Backyard + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden

We have a one acre plot that is like being in the country! We have chickens, sometimes bees (not sure if we will have again this year we lost our hives) lots of gardening space all done organically. Never do I use chemicals. I use edible perennials as landscaping even in the front yard (figs, cherries, service berry,) I have a lot of fruits, vegetables, weeds :(. Heirloom varieties, and lots of known herbs and old unknown herbs, bamboo, native herbals like elderberry, and we have bermed different areas to catch rain water. I try to leave part of the yard wild for native bees and insects while even leaving some deadwood to attract woodpeckers. I try to keep in mind what is holistic for all the creatures and plants loving on my property. Also, we are next door to the community garden.

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The Sadicarios in Kirkwood  63122

RainScape + Chickens + Bees + Naturescape + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead

I'll just list the items: 2 apple trees, 5 espalier apple trees being trained on the side of the house, beehive in the back, five thirty-foot rows of raised beds (all kinds of vegetables are grown), greenhouse, chicken coop, open-air wood shed for wood that heats the home, rows of blackberries, seven or eight blueberry bushes, a huge butterfly bush, four compost bins (made of pallets), two 1st-year plum trees in the front, and rain barrels at all four corners of the home. And it's all organic (no synthetic fertilizers and or pesticides).Simply put, our goal has been to demonstrate that you can take a traditional suburban home and turn it into a small farm (a la the Dervaes family and their "urban homestead").

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The Browns' Green Garden in Kirkwood, 63122

Rainscape + Naturescape + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead +Very large edible garden/very small urban farm.
    I grow using minimal fertilizer, and use fertilizers like alfalfa or chicken manure (from my grandparents’ flock or local backyard birds). I use no herbicides, and no sprayed or dusted pesticides. I do make limited use of boron laced peanut butter ant traps, and I do practice manual control of broccoli worms. I use fences to keep rabbits, dogs, and voles out of the garden, and provide water and intermittent sunflower seeds to distract squirrels from my tomatoes. I use rain barrels for hand or hose watering, and drip irrigation with city water (to minimize water use), and compost (lazy, inefficient pile method) as much as I can. I provide habitat for beneficial insects, embrace moles eating grubs from my soil, and rotate my crops (informally, striving to make it slightly more systematic). I grow varieties that are resistant or unpalatable to pests and diseases, such as c moschata squash. I time my plantings and the sizes of my transplants to avoid peak insect pest problems (putting out eggplant late and large to fight flea beetles).

I start my own seedlings inside, growing mostly heirloom open pollinated seeds, and I’ve begun saving my own seed, expanding my repertoire of skills, and creating my own strains of crops that do best in my garden. We grow raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries, strawberries, plums, apricots, paw paws, and persimmons. Asparagus, garlic, onions and leeks, potatoes, summer and winter squash, celeriac and celery, lettuce, kale, collards, broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower (work in progress), cabbage, cilantro, parsley, dill, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, arugula, peas, green beans, tomatoes, husk cherries, eggplant, tomatillos, peppers sweet and hot, Swiss chard, basil, flowers, lemongrass artichokes, fennel, sunflowers, amaranth, quinoa, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, okra, melons and stevia, Brussels sprouts, corn, radishes, spinach, potatoes, and cover/compost crops. I grow about 50 kinds of tomatoes, and many varieties of other garden plants. I now have 18 kinds of garlic I’m maintaining.
        I’m trying hardy kiwi and potato onions, and have tried and kept or discarded a number of different plants and varietals. Quinoa is not strong enough or tall enough to support pole beans like corn does, but amaranth is.

My mom maintains large areas of native and flowering plants for aesthetics and biodiversity. The right hand tools minimize the need for mechanical cultivation and tilling. Mulch is chopped leaves, straw, and jute coffee sacks.    

        There’s always more to learn, and improving skills leads to delicious meals.

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Shapfield Farm in Affton, 63123

Rainscape + Chickens + Bees + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Kitchen Garden +  Urban Homestead

A recent creation combining Garden, chickens, bees, hydroponics, rain barrels, green house.

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Black Creek The Way It Should Be in Ladue, 63124

RainScape + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Natural Backyard

One-half acre on Black Creek in Ladue with a rain garden

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The Stroups in Harmony with Nature in South County

Rainscape + Naturescape + Bees + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Renewable Energy + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden

Urban Homestead, a little of this and a little of that

Raised beds veggies, Cold Frame gardening, fruit trees, blueberries, grape vines, kiwis, strawberries, bees, rain barrel, native trees and shrubs, geothermal hvac, solar panels, compost barrel and pile, year round wild bird water feature and who knows what else might show up by June?

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EFS Energy House in Crestwood, 63126

Rainscape + Chickens + Renewable Energy

There is a chicken coop and run with 2 chickens currently, a rain barrel near a small vegetable garden and I have a small solar array on my roof.

We are in the process of planting some native plants in the back yard and I have a dwarf peach tree in the front yard as well.

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Maurer Home in Crestwood, 63127

Rainscape + Naturescape + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping

Urban Homestead

We are very new to the sustainable movement. Everything we have done has been on our own. We have a couple hundred square feet of vegetable and herb gardens, the front yard features only Missouri native plants. We have a rain barrel and compost, clothes lines.

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Old Tesson Garden in South County, 63128

Rainscape + Bees + Aquaculture + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden + Permaculture Garden

Water conservation, pond, original cistern, honey bees and native bees, native plants, edibles. (Home of the creator of Bee Barns.)

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My Friends Bird Haven in South County, 63129

Rainscape + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard/Edible Landscaping

This nearly one-acre suburban yard features edibles in raised beds,  rain barrels for water conservation, landscaping with fruit trees, berry bushes, Missouri native plants and herbs. Energy Savings: Solar powered bird bath pumps, solar powered outdoor lighting, laundry line. A nationally certified wildlife habitat, this yard attracts birds, bees, rabbits, squirrels, at night possum. We've reduced the yard by more than half. Now its mulched area with feeders and flowers, 35+ trees and a multitude of bushes.


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EarthDance Organic Farm School 233 S Dade Ave in Ferguson, 63135

Bees + Permaculture + Edible Landscaping  + Herb Garden

Peri-Urban Farm, Certified: Farm Services Agency, In the process of applying for Organic Certification

EarthDance operates an Organic Farm School, offering classes, tours, workshops, youth programs, and a part-time apprenticeship program. EarthDance's programs take place at the historic Mueller Organic Farm, which has been in production since 1883. The farm produces over 150 varieties of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. We practice season extension with a hoop house, and we are exploring permaculture water management through a series of swales and berms. Visitors will see vegetable production on three acres of ground, a small fruit tree nursery, hoop house, walk-in cooler, bee hives, sheet mulching, and bioswales.

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Linh & Bob's Yard in Spanish Lake, 63138

Bees + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead

Certified: Wildlife Federation

Organic Gardening, orchard, beekeeping, patio

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Kraig's Garden in Spanish Lake, 63138

RainScape + Chickens +  Bees + Naturescape + Wildlife Habitat + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden

Certified: Wildlife Federation

For 15 years Kraig has been creating habitat for birds and butterflies and other creatures, providing food, plants and nectar sources for pollinators. He  has converted his front and back yards and a side lot into lush habitat using primarily native plants.  He utilizes raised beds for vegetables and keeps bees and chickens.

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Bellefontaine Cemetery 

4947 W. Florissant Avenue | St. Louis, MO 63115

At Bellefontaine Cemetery, we are actively promoting a sustainable, conservation-oriented landscape – one that enhances wildlife and provides habitat for our more ‘lively’ residents!  Bellefontaine received the Community Stewardship Grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation for a series of plantings meant to provide cover, forage, and nesting sites for birds.  We also created shoreline plantings in our lower lake to provide an environment for shorebirds & waterfowl, reptiles, and amphibians, and we already added new species to our bird counts as a direct result of these plantings!  In addition to these exciting projects, Bellefontaine Cemetery is actively planting close to 500 trees each year, with an emphasis on native species.  The staff at Bellefontaine Cemetery are working to utilize our 314 acre greenspace along the Mississippi River as a haven for visiting and resident wildlife.  We are open every day of the week from 8-4:30 at no charge, and we offer a free bus tour the second Saturday of each month (call for reservations at 314-381-0750). 


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Brockschmidt Farm  in Northampton, 63139

Permaculture Demonstration Site + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden

4-season Urban Farm

Two of my neighbors and I (and maybe a third by June), have organic vegetable gardens in our backyards that have been expanding each year. We're dubbing it "Brockschmidt Farms" and plan to continue to grow more. Last October, we hosted a backyard "popup" harvest dinner and fed 50 of our friends a 6-course vegan meal complete with after-dinner musical entertainment.  Additionally, I have been experimenting with unheated greenhouse design and plan to have a working prototype by next fall to implement four-season farming. There are also elements of edible landscape-design.

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A Dogtown Ecovillage Home 63139

Rainscape +Naturescape  + Wildlife Habitat + Permaculture + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden + Kitchen Garden

I just moved in last year, so I'm in the second year. I have three focuses for sustainability: edible, perennial, native. I employ permaculture design principles.I have the front yard in natives and edibles, with rain barrels. The back I grow most of my own vegetables and I'm establishing fruit trees and berries. I also have flowers for the bees and butterflies.

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Graham Street in Dogtown, 63139

Rainscape + Naturescape + Herb Garden

This small front yard used to be just a steep little weed-filled hill, but now it is terraced and full of perennial natives and herbs. It was planted with pollinators in mind, and has a variety of culinary and medicinal herbs. A rain barrel is also prominently displayed and used to water regularly.

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Doug & Nancy's Project in Maplewood, 63143

RainScape + Chickens + Naturescape

Certified: Deercreek Watershed Alliance Rainscape

Rain garden installed as part of Phase 2 Deer Creek Watershed project. The hardscape went in Oct. 2013; the plants should be going in week of May 5th. We have a 10'x 10' permeable payer patio; and drain spouts that drain to french drains and on to rain basin. We also have 3 hens and a small vegetable garden integrated with the design. We've had the hens 18 months

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The Cases in Dogtown, 63143

Kitchen Garden + Urban Homestead

Our yard is a backyard Kitchen Garden that includes vegetables, herbs, raspberries, and a fig tree. We enjoy eating healthy foods and cook or make salads from our garden. We also grow garlic each year, and make lots of tomato sauce & basil pesto, which we freeze for use over the winter months.

Each year it's a little different- Since we had a very cold winter the fig tree is just trying to revive itself. The garlic however, is alive and doing well.

We would like visitors to see that you can grow and eat from your garden. It can be as small as a flower pot or as large as a back yard.

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SeedGeeks in Brentwood 63144

Chickens + Bees + Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping + Herb Garden + Urban Homestead

This will be our 2nd year on the tour. We are passionate about living more sustainably, growing our own food, and helping inspire others to do the same. Our modern urban homestead is in its 6th year and includes large organic food gardens, a variety of fruit trees, some perennial vegetables, large herb garden, a flock of backyard chickens, a multitude of composters, and two honeybee hives. Being on the tour last year also greatly contributed to our inspiration to launch our heirloom seed company, SeedGeeks, earlier this year.

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Growing ‘em Right from the Start: Schools on this Year’s Tour


Wilkinson ECC Outdoor Classroom

1921 Prather in South City, 63139

We are Wilkinson Early Childhood Center. We have an outdoor classroom and are in our first year of planting in our raised beds. We have a large space with pavilions, rain barrel, compost, and micro orchard.


Mallinckrodt School Community Garden

6020 Pernod Avenue at Hampton in South City 63139

Kitchen Garden, Potager

When visiting Mallinckrodt garden visitors will see what happens to the lawn when a few parents come together to grow a garden instead. Garden has been good for students, teachers, parent volunteers and community members. Garden has several raised beds where kids from K-5 have planted edibles.There is one crop circle that is planted with winter wheat by students as they studied Little Red Hen in Spanish with our Spanish teacher. We also have a learning circle created by stumps donated by Forestry department where kids come out to learn with teachers and community youth educator. Mallinckrodt stop will show people that even in the face of adversities garden will grow steadily as long as you nurture it.


Shining Rivers: The Waldorf School of St. Louis

912 Bell Avenue in Webster Groves, 63119

Missouri Native Landscape, Wildlife Habitat (Birds, Bats, Pollinators), Permaculture Demonstration Site, Orchard and/or Edible Landscaping with fruit and nuts, Natural Backyard, Herb Garden, Kitchen Garden, Potager

Native Missouri plant species for hosting beneficial insects and butterflies and includes dye plants. Extensive vegetable gardens. Large meadow with natural playscapes. Shade and herb gardens. Showcases a multi-use space that a diverse community uses to grow food, play, relax, and hold community events in!


Lyon Academy at Blow Middle School

Our hosts come from across St. Louis city & county and all have their own approach to greening their outdoors...