OK so, I know I've said it over and over again how excited we are about our garden this year but let me say it one more time. We are so excited! I'm not pregnant, I do not have a newborn, and I am extremely ready to get out of this house. I'm ready for a harvest of veggie goodness! Although there is a lot of work involved, I firmly believe that it will be totally worth it.
We started with a small plot on the side of our house and have used the same space for years. We've had success with tomatoes, squash, corn, and a few other things but we've mostly focused on the tomatoes. We all love them. I've froze tomatoes and corn but never anything else from our own garden.
One year, I tried to section out a corner for small crops and make a little path of pea gravel. It worked ok. It would have worked better if I actually went outside and cared for it.
Oh well, we tilled it up and started over (Yes we had rocky soil that next year). And still have rocky soil to tell you the truth!
I guess when you start planning, it helps to know exactly what you want your end result to be. We know that we want to become more self reliant. We have a blurry vision of the future for our property but I wanted to really sit down and plan a clear picture. I whipped out the old Backyard Homestead and got to work.
I love this book. We've borrowed it from the library at least five times. So this year I bought it and I'm super glad I did. I love it. It's a very helpful reference to have on hand.
After a few days of dreaming and trying to envision our property, I decided that I needed a good visual of our land. I used Google Earth and printed out a satellite picture of our house and land. This was the best idea ever! I was able to see where everything currently is and imagine where it should be and what should be in its place. In the picture below, you can clearly see our property line, trees, garden plot, barn, and even the fire pit and horse shoe pits! (I blacked out the address, we don't really have a big black line in the yard :)
Next, I drew all over my printed out picture. It was so easy to see what would fit where and how everything would work. I strongly recommend you do the same if you're planning a change on your property.
I made several drafts and worked out every idea on graph paper. The greatest help may have been finding out that some of my ideas wouldn't work. We ended up moving the garden all the way to the edge of our property but still in the same corner.
Once I had a pretty good idea what would be possible in the future with our one acre (fruit and nut trees, pigs, veggies, fruits, herbs, chickens), we were able to design the fence and purchase the supplies.
We also ordered the first round of seeds. I ordered from a new company this year, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
Next step: The hard part :)