Self-sufficiency is growing in popularity. Supply chain problems and global conflicts have left many shoppers scratching their heads when they visit the supermarket. Either what you were expecting to find is not there, or the price per pound has skyrocketed.
Growing your own food is the key to saving money and keeping a stock of all your favourite fresh foods. It is easier than you may think too. Here is a quick deep dive into how to start your own home farm and begin enjoying the fruits and vegetables of your labour.
Creating A Blank Canvas
If you are going to turn the back garden of your home into a functional farm to help feed your family, you are going to have to make some alterations to the space. Every square foot of your garden needs to be used to get the most back from your hard work and keep your kitchen stocked with fresh food.
It is highly recommended you keep chickens to harvest their eggs. They will need space to move around, and this will require you to build some type of hutch to give them somewhere to roost.
You should assess the space you have and start to form a plan for your home farm. To create some space in your garden you may need to remove one or more trees. Unless they are providing usable fruits or berries, they are a drain on your resources.
Before you start cutting them down to make space you should complete a tree survey before you start to build. 24 Housing’s professional team can assess the trees in your garden and help you decide the best course of action. The trees in your garden may be an important component of the local ecosystem, and this should be taken into account before you take action.
Choosing Your Crops
Before you can seriously start planning what will go where you need to decide what you will be growing. Different plants require different types of planting. The amount of sunlight in different areas of your garden will impact a crop’s ability to grow too.
The most important factor when deciding what crops to grow is how useful they will be to you. There is not much point in growing something that you and your family do not enjoy eating. The object of this home farm is to stock your kitchen, not add to the landfill.
Common kitchen staples like potatoes, carrots, and green beans should be at the top of your list. Not only are these plants versatile and can be cooked in a variety of different ways, but they are also easier to grow than some other vegetables. There is an opportunity to save space growing these crops too.
Potatoes and carrots can be grown in deep planters with green beans growing on top using trellises. This allows you to grow two plants in the same amount of space one will take up, giving you more options to grow more vegetables. Onions are another common food that can be grown at home and incorporated into your garden.
Research, Research, Research
Growing food can be very easy, as long as you have investigated home farming and know a thing or two about planting and the seasons. Once you have a farm planted, you should only need to water them regularly and monitor their progress to enjoy fresh food grown directly outside your door.
If you plant fruits and vegetables in the incorrect containers or use unsuitable soil, nothing will grow no matter how carefully you maintain your plants. It is a good idea to do some research and follow the guidance of the home farmers that have already been through the process and know what works and what doesn’t.
Before you break any ground, you should do some research to help you form your garden farm plan. The time of year, or season, is incredibly important to plant growth. Some vegetables will not grow in the autumn or winter, for example.
You will need to plan your planting throughout the year, so you are always getting as much as you can from your home farm all year around. Food preservation should be researched too. Sometimes you will have more food than you can use, so you will need to find ways to preserve your crops for use later, such as pickling.
The Importance Of Soil
Not all soil is the same. You will probably not be able to simply dig up the ground of your garden and plant successful crops. The quality of the soil will affect the quality of your crops. The soil or earth you use contains nutrients that your plants will need to survive.
Watering the soil releases the nutrients within it, giving the roots of your crops access to the food they need. You must feed your crops before you can feed yourself. The soil in your garden may help you a little, but you will need to add some compost or manure to your soil before you can use it to grow crops on your home farm.
This does add to the cost of home farming, but it also adds to the success of your plants. You will get a good return on investment when all your crops are ready to harvest. Different crops may require a different nutrient makeup in the soil, so make sure you take a deep dive into soils and the different types of nutrients when you do your research.
The good news is that if you primarily use planters to grow your crops, you will be able to use the same soil again and again. It will need a nutrient top-up between harvests, but the soil will retain its quality. With a little home composting and mulching, you will have everything you need.
With some solid research and a landscaping plan ready, all you need to do is roll your sleeves up and pick up a spade and trowel. There is some hard work ahead of you, but once your home farm is set up you can sit back and relax while you enjoy fresh foods that come from your backyard.