Coming up is our second garden season…ever.
We have high ambitions to cultivate our land in a way that inspires our neighbors to grow their own produce — in fact, we have plans to create a local project called “Squash Swap” to help transform our town into a self-sufficient trading community (we are doing this through our company Evolucidy, stay tuned!).
But while we work toward this dream, we need to figure out how to become self-sufficient on our own land, which is less than an acre.
I am learning to garden through reading and trial and error. My lack of experience isn’t stopping me from dreaming big and feeling like I can produce enough vegetables, eventually, in my own yard and through trade with neighbors, to cut out grocery stores by a large percentage, for my family. Ultimately, this is my goal. We will no longer put money into Big Pharma and Big Agro, which owns an alarming percentage of seeds in America, and a lot of “organic” produce companies. Nor will we need to develop a CSA relationship with local farms and take the time to learn their practices and place our trust in others. We can trust ourselves!
Sure, I need to get a root cellar going and a greenhouse — both are underway but will take time beyond this particular gardening year. I also need to set up some composting.
It’s been a busy year, as a first-year first-time homeowner!
So, when someone dreams big but is working with small skill and knowledge, a well-wrought plan is exactly what is needed!
Last year we planted a lot of different crops in order to learn which ones thrived naturally in our sandy Massachusetts Zone 5b soil. Pole beans and squash really thrived.
This year we plan on tackling 4-5 crops seriously, particularly ones that store well in a root cellar, by doing a container approach, bag-style. Then, we will grow 4-5 other plants in a raised-bed style following Mini-Farming by Brett Markham, which I have found to be very informative among all of the gardening books that I’ve read so far.
Since February is half-over, I thought to post our pre-game plan for 2019:
- Decide which crops to focus on primary and secondary, along with suitable crop pairings, soil conditions, and arrangements.
- When the earth defrosts, begin a compost location and process.
- Set up the basement for root cellaring and also for microgreen growing.
So, that’s it. Starting small to keep focused on the prize.