Monday, April 9, 2012

Edible Landscape: La Maison de Merde

Last week, I gave you a tour of our personal residence and all of the fruits we have growing as well as the plants we will be planting this season.  This week, I will show you La Maison de Merde.  Translation: The Crap House.


We bought the house next door to our home when it went up for sale as a foreclosure. Actually, when we put in our offer, the realtor laughed in my ear over the phone telling me I’ve lost my mind.  I told him that when he can get down to the specific price we were looking to pay for the house, to call me.  A month and a half later, he called me and told me he couldn’t believe that the house had been discounted so deeply.  In the end, we paid $7,900 for this house, but it wasn’t the house we wanted: it was the property.

The truth of the matter is that this house is in fact a piece of crap.  It is uninhabitable and has been falling apart since we purchased it in late 2009.  There are foundation issues along with holes in the roof and many wild animals living in the attic.  I have yet to be able to go into this house by myself alone – it is that creepy inside.  We have plans of tearing it down and putting up a small workshop for Todd one of these years. Until then, we will patiently wait and save up the cash for the demolition and new structure (a steel building) in the next 3-5 years.

This is the back yard of La Maison de Merde.  Even though the fence has seen better days, the fenced in back yard has really come in handy over the last 2 ½ years!  It has kept a pot bellied pig, a puppy, and chickens from roaming around our neighborhood.  Between the house and the shed is where I hang my clothesline to dry our clothes when the weather is nice.

The round circle is where our “old” garden has been over the past two years.  With trees surrounding the back yard, the amount of sunshine the garden gets is dissipating with each passing year, so we decided to move the garden to a different area.  I planted spinach and onions in this area for this season. There are asparagus starters that I planted last fall that will remain in this garden.  Otherwise, the garden will remain dormant this growing season.  I am considering planting “cold weather crops” in this garden in future years.

Picture of side yard
Picture taken summer 2011
This is where we planted the Bing & Rainier cherry trees (below)

Side yard from the street
Picture taken summer 2011

The side yard of “The Crap House” is full of beautiful trees.  I have a book out from the library on how to determine what each tree is.  Hopefully, I will be able to find a couple of trees to be able to tap in the spring of next year for syrup!

Rainier Cherry Tree
(planted just this week)

I purchased 2 Rainier cherry trees and one Bing cherry tree to plant in the front yard of the house next door.  I decided to plant in this area because it is far away from our house!  I know how bad it is when birds get to the cherries and defecate all over, which is why the trees will be planted in this area.

In our straw bale garden this year, we will be planting jalapenos, pie pumpkins, tomatoes, green peppers, zukes, cukes, green beans, brussels and peas in this area.  There are 20 bales of straw in total, and everything except the pie pumpkins, zukes and onions will be grown in the straw bales.  This is an experiment for us, so we will see how well it works!

So there you have it.

This is our garden over an acre of land.  We have a lot of room to expand, especially once La Maison de Merde is torn down, but for now, this is more than enough (work) for us.

Related Posts:

Edible Landscape: Primary Residence

Feel free to link up telling us about your garden!


  1. People tend to buy a certain property not because of the home, but because of the land. You know, when I look at the photos of your property, I can affirm that you can do something a lot on it. So I would say that you really put your money in a good investment! :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Carter! It is a work in progress, as I'm sure it will be for the next many years, but we really look forward into becoming as self-sustainable as possible. Thank you for your comment and visiting the blog!