My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Intensive Gardening

I remember a couple of years ago I read about a family in California (San Diego?) whose house sat on 1/5 of an acre, and intensively gardened/farmed 1/10 of that 1/5 of an acre. They not only fed their family (4 adults?) but also produced enough from the garden and livestock to earn money. I keep thinking about that. 1/10 of an acre. That's 4356 square feet. About the size of our dog run/backyard.

Hmmm.... From my previous posting, you know that energy and pain are issues for me. Is it possible to do almost everything I want in the dog run? Still keep the big crops (corn, amaranth, jack-b-little pumpkins, nut and fruit trees/bushes etc on the other 1 1/2 acres but raise the rest of our produce and keep our goats and chickens in the dog run/backyard?

I had planned our garden out last week on a little excel spreadsheet, but remembering the pictures from that California family .... they have only about a foot in between the raised beds. That was for walking. That brought up several questions:

-Does that mean they don't use a wheel barrow?
-Do they pick in baskets and carry to wherever they process?
-Do the chickens eat on some of the produce (if I remember, they are "free range")?
-How big is their chicken coop (if they have one)?
-How big is their goat pen and do they let the goats freely roam the area?
-Is 1 foot in-between raised beds enough for walking and picking?

Just curious. We have a weird dog run/backyard. The fenced in area includes a huge slope from the house, so until we can afford to terrace that, it's really no good for planting. Plus we're planning on 48x12 for the goat pen, and a total of 48x10 for 3 chicken coops/runs. AND that doesn't include the "lawn" area because we really want to be able to have people over and bbq and even when it's just us.... sit on a "porch" swing and visit with our garden and animals, or have dinner at a picnic table.

That leaves a calculated plantable area of:
-384 square feet (12 4x8 raised beds) for veggies (which will be rotated beds)
-112 square feet for potatoes
-6 columnar dwarf fruit trees
-6' diameter strawberry (and spinach) pyramid
-the perimeter of the fenced area for herbs, garlic, onion, asparagus and rhubarb
-2 compost bins

If we plant every inch of the above calculated area (and yes, I use square foot gardening to a certain extent), think we can be self-sufficient on that?

= = = =

Please plant a nut or fruit tree today.

2 comments:

Trashdigger said...

per chance are you thinking of the Dervaes family. There is a link to them on my blog

Vikki and the Kid said...

Yes, that's them. Thanks. I'll look into it again. Vikki