So much has happened since my last post. I started a new job and I an learning to be a dialysis nurse. I have had a heart attack and triple bypass, and a few other health mishaps we shall call them. But I am still here, kicking and finally getting the farm, though only as a supervisor because of a health mishap, fully underway.
Our current projects include modifying the new barn to accommodate the chickens and goats. Getting fencing up around the new field. Which includes a pond for our silly ducks. And getting our garden beds prepared. We also have seed starts in the greenhouse.
For those of you that get our not so monthly, monthly newsletter, or on one of our customer emails may have seen that after last year’s abysmal garden we decided not to do a CSA program. We keep tossing it around, especially of late. What we will do is send out an email when we have a surplus of produce. The same with eggs. I will be setting up forms on our Contact page so that you can let us know which list you would like to be on.
I will attempt to post more often and get the newsletter out in a more timely fashion.
Part of becoming sustainable is getting back to basics and making much of our needed supplies ourselves. I have made laundry soap before and for a lot less than what the stores sell it. That is a really old post actually. It is complete with video, well video of sorts. I haven’t gotten into making those yet but hopefully I will as things settle into routine on the farmstead. This isn’t so much about chemicals, I am still addicted to bleach and its smell, it’s a nurse thing, but about saving money. The fewer chemicals in my home is an added bonus. I will share my recipes in future posts, as well making available some of the products for sale.
Battle Cat says that he is ready for spring too! He has cat business to attend to and you just can’t do that when it is cold and wet out. If I haven’t introduced him yet to you all he is 1/3 of the Salt & Pepper Gang. The other two members are Koda and Blizzard. I know such a mean looking gang aren’t they? The hole was the dogs’ contribution today to working around the house. They dug up freshly turned soil and layed down in it. But I digress, I did say 5 tips for garden planning didn’t I? Of course I did. Gardens are best planned out to offer the most success. Dream big when thinking about what you want to grow. You can narrow it down and then plan on expanding as time goes on.
Find the perfect spot. You want some where that gets 8 to 10 hours of sun per day. You will also it to have good natural drainage so that water doesn’t pool in any one area.
Test your soil! I cannot stress this one enough. You will need to take samples from the whole spot. It is a good idea to go through your local co-op extension office. They will test the sample for free and give you a good break down of what is needed in your soil. Often they have what you need to collect the samples. You can also purchases all kinds of soil testers in garden centers and on amazon.com.
Check your growing zone. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone will help you get a general idea of what your growing season looks like. There is even a function now that let’s you put in your zip code so you can get very specific.
Write a list of every vegetable you want to ever grow. Then narrow it down to what you think you can handle for the season. This may mean the basics such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash, etc. But don’t toss that list, you will get to it eventually.
Start amending your soil before you even think about doing anything. Based upon the
results of your soil testing of course. Some basic things to use that will help all gardens are compost, manure, lime, and potash (not grill left overs unless you are using wood, charcoal is a no go for the garden).