micro-homesteading

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by tara, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. tara

    tara Amity's Focus Member

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    I'm starting small(ish) this year in the new place. There is a raised bed, L-shaped, in full sun. The plants that are currently in there (euonymus vines, a few small rhodies and azaleas, and overgrown arbovitae) are coming out - I'm going to use it for veggies.

    Dimensions are roughly 3' x 20' along one leg of the L, and 4.5' x 21' along the other side of the L.

    Any advice for free garden planners? I have about 10 years of very basic vegetable gardening experience - small scale, smaller than this (my last place had two raised beds that were about 4x8). In the past I have not put a ton of thought and planning into the veg garden beyond, "I will enjoy eating this, and hey, I have a place to plant it in full sun." My attempts have been fairly successful. But I just feel like putting more thought into it this year.

    Tara
  2. Katie

    Katie Amity's Focus Member

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    I'm not a very good gardener and even more, a frustrated yard placement gardener.

    The other Katie suggested permaculture. ta da! A name for what I've been miserably trying and failing to do here. direction! Anyway, there's a lot under the google without buying too many books.

    Square foot gardening and lasagna gardening are other good gardening "styles" that pay attn to space. Anything by Elliot coleman is the bomb for lengthening your season.

    Good luck!! Nice to see you here in this fora...forum? whatevs. Excited to see you here. :)
  3. mamabear

    mamabear ~*~smile~*~

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    I love this planner: Free Printable: 2009 Spring Garden Guide

    it's for last year but i think it works?

    and yay! :cuc: I'm doing micro on my macro homestead. LOL. I hope to be putting an addition on and not having time for much veggie growing and canning this year. ;)
  4. cathleenc

    cathleenc dirty. good dirt.

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    you are going to have fun, no matter how you do it - and do post and let us know what you are doing!

    I've got a pretty hefty garden and used wide rows. I started planning backwards, if that makes sense, by standing out in the garden and measuring/marking rows to see how many I could get in.

    A friend gardens all raised beds maybe 5' wide - she puts down a couple of 2x4s in the center for a footpath. Something to think about as you plan - how to get to the middle.
  5. 3Gs4Me

    3Gs4Me Blessed Beyond Belief!

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    Square Foot Gardening has been a great resource for me.
  6. lakshmi_mama

    lakshmi_mama cleaning house

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    I am thrilled to hear, Katie, that you are finding Permaculture a good direction! It is to me, the summation of all the many bits of this and that which we have gleaned from various approaches and focuses over the years. It truly is a wholistic approach to planning. I've been loving all that I am finding on the web about it. Youtube is chock-a-block with fabulous videos. You will find lots of Australian sources because that is where it all began. (well, in part - it also has roots in Japan with Mansanubo Fukuoka. Bill Mollison is the Australlian father of Permaculture) This google video (not youtube) has been keeping my wheels turning this week. Backyard Permaculture


    For other practical planning and approach I like the grow biointensive approach from John Jeavons Ecology Action Home and the Lasagna Gardening. They are basically the same idea but with the biointensive working to improve ground soil and lasagna building up new soil on top of the existing soil. I prefer the working on existing ground soil, but that is not always possible in home settings. I realize that it is very popular around here, but I am not a big fan of the squarefoot gardening. Even the "deep" method of squarefoot gardening, does not in my opinion or experience, provide an adequate depth of soil for growing the best you can. Yes, it is possible to get a satisfactory crop out of the method, but it does not give the ability for root depth that is needed to get the best possible and it requires far more continuous maintenance and improvement than working with more depth. It stands to reason that if you are just maintaining a shallow surface bed on top of ground soil, that you will need to a) stick to a strict program of enhancement as called for in the method and b) need to continuously replenish what is lost to natural forces. It is fine for the casual backyard gardener who does not want a long term solid foundation for their beds. But if you are planning a project that you want to be well established and require less maintenance over the years, then the other two, biointensive in particular is the way to go.
  7. jensjar

    jensjar New Member

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    Yay for you and your micro-homestead! We are doing a similar thing with our yard.

    We have kept chickens for a year now and I have to say they have really done a lot toward improving the soil in our yard. We will be moving the coop soon and making a veggie garden right on top of where the old coop & run currently stand. Our garden will be a pseudo-raised bed since it will be terraced into a hill on our property. Eventually, the rest of the hill will be planted in fruit trees, berries, grapes, and a few mini-raised beds for pumpkins & squash.

    I'd love to hear everyone's ideas for planning as well. We have only done small veggie gardens in the past and now we want to make our yard into a mini-homestead. It will take time but in a few years it should produce nicely.
  8. Katie

    Katie Amity's Focus Member

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    yes! thank you. I've been picking up homesteading books for I don't know how long and put them back feeling....meh. I was looking for something with more depth, breadth? Permaculture certainly "fits" for me.
  9. Saltwater

    Saltwater Amity's Focus Member

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    This is my favorite guide. GrowGuide - Weekend Gardener You enter your first and last frost dates and it tells you what to plant indoors, what to harden off, what to transplant into the garden and what to direct sow week by week. I love it!

    If you want some fluff, watch the Garden Girl clips. It's amazing what she's done with raised beds and pots!
    blip.tv (since 2005)
    Be sure to look right back to the beginning. I liked her videos before she started hawking stuff a bit better.
  10. Saltwater

    Saltwater Amity's Focus Member

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    Oh! And if you youtube Pathway to Freedom you can see all that they've done with their raised beds. Amazing how much they produce on such small space. I changed my way of planting greens after watching their videos.

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