A recycled bay window serves as a cold frame in Adam and Charity’s garden. So far, the weather has been their biggest problem, especially last winter’s cold and storms.
Angela’s garden at the end of a productive season. She now has four garden plots and many herbs and vegetables in containers.
Ivan and Amanda’s backyard, where they have an extensive garden. Their soil is poor and their yard does not get much sun, but they are overcoming these problems using permaculture techniques.
Angela’s hives are new, and now she is raising bees to pollinate her garden. Eventually, she will harvest the honey.
Bill’s woodpile. So far, he and Diane have grown and preserved some of their own food, hunted and chopped firewood.
1. Assess your situation: Figure out what your land is capable of, what equipment you have, how much knowledge you have and what you are physically capable of.
2. Count the cost: What will you have to invest to succeed as far as time, money, energy and labor goes?
3. Make a plan: When to buy, when to plant, when to build.
4. Determine a goal: It is easier to start small and succeed, and then broaden your goals.
5. Schedule: Schedule everything, when to till, when to plant, when to water and when to harvest. Whatever needs to be done needs to be scheduled so it won’t be forgotten.
6. Network: The internet is your friend. Use it. Network with your neighborhood. You may be surprised at what some people know and you may be able to help someone else.
7. Everything changes: Slow walks through the neighborhood are replaced by weeding in the garden, watching reruns on TV are replaced by studying animal husbandry and reading seed-saving books.
8. Expect success, prepare for failure: You plant a garden so it will provide food, but if it fails, you will need another source of sustenance.
9. Reassess on a regular basis: Determine what is working and what can be discarded, and adjust plans/goals/schedules as needed.
10. Never give up: Tomatoes got blight? Find out how to fix it. Deer eating the corn? Figure out a deterrent. Our ancestors who were pioneers had to contend with storms, hail and freezing weather without powered tillers and piped-in water, so don’t be discouraged. You can do it!
Compost makes your plants stronger, healthier and more prolific. It’s also free, easy to...
by Gil Lackey / Apr 3, 2015