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Garden,  Our Homestead,  Pollinators & Wildlife

Homestead Update: Full Property & Garden Tour (Video)

Well friends, we’ve been in our new homestead for about 6 weeks now, so I figured it was about time to finally give you a full tour of the property! Come along in the video below as we explore the 2.67 acre property, including the existing garden, orchard, chicken coop, outbuildings, and pastures. I share my musings for future plans, farm animals and garden spaces to come, meet our adopted barn kitties Badger and Bear, and chat about wildlife, trees, and other frequently asked questions about our new homestead. 

If you missed the story of our move, including why we left our OG homestead and what we were looking for in a new place, get caught up here.

Homestead Projects & Progress

Before we go have a look around together, here is a quick recap of what we’ve tackled in our time here so far:

  • We moved and incorporated our prized potted plants from the old homestead amongst the new landscape, including many mature agaves, aloe vera, cacti, jade, and other succulents. We also littered the garden with our favorite solar tiki torch lights, wind chimes, metal flower sculptures, chairs, rustic stump side tables, decorative branches, and other adornments we brought from the old place. These special touches really made the new garden start to feel like “home”.

  • Added two hummingbird feeders, a bird bath, and a bee puddler bowl. The new property has abundant wildlife, but there wasn’t a dedicated source of water set up for them yet. Water is an essential and minimum requirement of being a Certified Wildlife Habitat, so I didn’t feel comfortable putting our wildlife habitat sign up until that was addressed. We’ll definitely be adding fountains, a bat box, owl box, and likely a small pond in the future too!

  • For now, we set up our compost tumbler and worm bin in the side yard. We haven’t yet decided if we’ll re-work or relocate the existing 3-bay compost bin in the garden yet. It’s a tad undersized, but great to have in the meantime!

  • Rehabbed and deep-cleaned the chicken coop. If you missed it, see a detailed account of that poop-tastic adventure here.

Most of the outdoor potted plants loaded up in a moving truck. Despite my cheery smile (it was still early, lol) this was a long, laborious and exhausting day! Thank goodness for hand trucks.
A blue glow agave showing off in the evening sun. I spy with my little eye a bird bath and hummingbird feeder too!
Aaron in one of his favorite spots, hanging out in the orchard with the barn cats and quail nearby. They all get along fabulously – thank goodness!
I haven’t gotten close enough for a nice clear photo yet, but these California Quail have quickly stolen our hearts. There is a covey (group) of about 14 quail that hang out in our orchard, picking at fruit and insects and dust bathing below the trees.
CA Quail photo courtesy of All About Birds. Now do you see why we’re obsessed?! They’re so stinkin’ cute!

  • A certified arborist came out to assess the health of our numerous large trees. Together we established a maintenance plan, talked about drought, disease, pests, and defensible space against wildfire. Then his team returned to do some much-needed pruning on our Coastal Live Oaks and Eucalyptus, and also removed a handful of dead pine trees. In the end, the property looked nicely rejuvenated and we were left with several large piles of wood chips to move and spread as mulch in the garden – which also desperately needed to be refreshed. A win-win… plus a great workout!

  • We planted the existing raised beds with calendula, green beans, and zucchini right when we moved in. With limited space and time left for a summer garden, these were our choice quick producers! We also planted some very late season cannabis plants. Without much in the way of frost here, they should finish up and be ready for harvest in November.

One of the mulch piles generated from the tree work that we spread throughout the garden and orchard.
Ah, nothing like a fresh mulch job.
We’ve been harvesting tons of squash already, and the bush beans shouldn’t be long behind. Aaron is standing in the future raised garden bed area. Check out the video below to see more!

  • So far we’ve planted two fig trees (Excel and Corky’s Honey Delight) and brought home (but haven’t yet planted) a dwarf weeping mulberry and Lamb Hass avocado tree – some of my absolute favorites! Learn all about growing figs here, and avocado trees in this guide. We’re looking forward to adding even more fruit trees with time, but for now we’ve been enjoying the established apricot, white peach, and grape vines. The day after filming this homestead tour video, we harvested over 16 pounds of grapes! Some went into the freezer, and then we made homemade raisins for the first time too. Those raisins will be a delicious addition to sourdough bread this weekend.

  • Since we don’t yet have a greenhouse at this property like we used to, the next project on the horizon is to turn one of the existing outbuildings into a new seed-starting “grow room”. After all, I always say that you don’t need a greenhouse to grow from seed! A few shelves in a room with grow lights will do just fine. Stay tuned for that reveal – it’s going to be a fun one! 

Our two new fig babies, with the largest existing fruit tree (apricot) behind Aaron
Harvest time!
I’m not a huge raisin fan, but these homemade raisins are an exception! They’re SO sweet, chewy and slightly tart (in the best way possible). Our small grapes only took about 24 hours to dry in our favorite Excalibur dehydrator.

Well, that’s it for “newsworthy” updates! Otherwise, we’ve just been busy busy busy trying to keep up with the business side of Homestead and Chill, create resources and goodies for you all, work on getting settled and unpacked inside (we’re almost there!), and continue to get a feel for the place to make plans for the future. 

Without further ado, I hope you enjoy wandering the new property with me!

Badger says “thanks for tuning in friends!”

Mirroring Badger’s sentiments, Aaron and I also want to sincerely thank you for tuning in and following along on our homestead adventures! Your support and camaraderie means the world to us. We feel so grateful to be embarking this new chapter in our lives, and are excited to continue to share (and hopefully teach and inspire!) as we go. Finally, here is a list of resources or articles that I mentioned in the video:


  • Michele

    I also will be relocating and would like to know the best, safe and comfortable way to transport my chickens to their new home. Thank you

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Michele, we transported our chickens at night and placed them in a larger cardboard box that snugly fit all four chickens since we were only moving about 10 minutes away. I would try and keep your birds in cages that can fit 2-3 birds per cage, keep it mostly covered with a towel or sheet to keep it dark, but still allow for a little breeze or air flow into their space. The further you are moving the more you obviously have to look into the actual transportation of your birds. Good luck on the move and hopefully all goes well.

  • Patricia

    Deanna and Aaron – you guys are freeking rockstars! I have learned so much from you especially regarding zone 9B which I recently moved to also. I’m just up the 101 from you guys located in Monterey County in the Corral de Tierra area so I also am about 10 miles inland from the ocean. The micro-climates on our 5 acres are a trip to work with! If you guys are in the Price Canyon, Carpenter Canyon, Orcutt Rd. area, it is BEAUTIFUL there! Thanks for the homestead movie – it was a great tour! What grape varietal (s) are you growing? Will you grow Passiflora again? I just planted a Possum Purple and a Frederick. Please continue to share your awesome knowledge and experiences with us. Thanks!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Patricia, thank you so much for the kind words and it sounds like you are in a beautiful part of the state! We are unsure of the grape variety, it is a seedless red “eating” grape but that is about all we can gather. We are unsure if we will grow passionfruit on this property or not as we have yet to visualize a space for it. We will keep you updated as it all unfolds and thanks for following along!

  • Bekah

    Wow! Stunning new home and landscape. Congratulations you two…. so happy to see your hard work, love and passion for all living things flourish. Would you by chance share the name of the company that did the landscaping for the previous owners?

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Bekah, Purlieu Landscaping is the company who did the work for the previous owners. Thanks for watching and we appreciate the kind words.

  • Marilee Cruz

    Hi Deanna,
    Your new Homestead is GORGEOUS!
    I know you will make many wonderful memories as you make this property yours.
    Thank you for all the knowledge and inspiration you share with us readers,I love your blog and really enjoyed the tour of your new place.
    Many Garden Blessings!

  • Nate

    Wow – this looks even more incredible than on insta! You should definitely get some alpacas – they’re so fun and you would be great with them! Looks like the barn cats are really warming up to you – just curious – what happened to the third guy? Best of luck on all the awesome plans!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Nate, the third cat went missing within our first two weeks at the property. We’re hoping he just found another home he liked more but we have no idea, thanks for watching!

  • Suzanne BarBee-Smith

    Just curious about your water supply around the property. I didn’t notice spouts or anything. Is it set up that you can add watering items like drip lines, etc. Or is that another project for you guys to do? Also, are you guys on city or well water. The property is GORGEOUS with loads of potential!! LOVE the sunset!! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together for you! And YES!!! Do add an AirBnB!!! 🙂 Many Blessings to you all!!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Suzanne, thanks for the kind words. There are water spigots and lines throughout the property although we intend to have more lines added for our raised garden bed area. We are on city water, our neighborhood was on well water up until about 10 years ago but our property still has a working well pump. We will keep you updated on our progress and thanks for tuning in.

  • Erin

    Deanna and Aaron, so neat to see the new homestead, and progress! Congratulations and wishing you so much joy as you settle in. Thank you for the reminder to take it slowly. We are in year 2 of our Vermont 12 acre site, most of it wooded, but quite a bit of space for growing things. And things grow very well, including the weeds! What I though I wanted for food gardens has changed just in two seasons, given variability and distance of water, as well as just the sheer labor when we have other jobs. So, we are also experimenting and I am pausing on things like more permanent garden fencing (SO many deer and other critters) until we understand more what we can take on. It is fun to see your lavendar, cat mint, sages, and thyme as all of that thrives here, and we have a really pretty new installation with a good bit of stone and those herbs. We will enjoy them for our vibrant but in comparison brief growing season. Thanks as always for sharing, inspiring, and reminding us of a beautiful part of the country we will again get to one of these days! all best, Erin

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Thank you so much Erin, it definitely takes time and I am glad to hear that you are thinking about how to go about setting up your property to work for you and your schedule. It takes more time and effort to have to redo something that doesn’t quite work, it will come in time. Enjoy those herbs while you can and don’t forget to preserve some by drying so you can enjoy them through the winter. Thanks for watching and good luck!

  • Nancy

    This was a fantastic tour and so interesting to see it now before you start with your new plans. With so much property it seems daunting but all sounds wonderful.
    I am wondering how you will plan the drip systems and watering and or electricity for the fountains and pond? Will you do it all in the intitial planning or add some later. Watering is always hard even in a small yard because of the dry conditions and drought. Thanks for all of your information. Nancy

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Nancy, we will keep you up to date on the irrigation situation but we intend on doing that first and foremost before we dive into creating the garden space. Thanks for watching!

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