Updates on our Mini Farm: Yard and Garden

I really intended to write more about the farm. The timely posts that have expired and been tossed to my mental junk folder are numerous indeed. Despite the best of intentions, this barnyard life has us hopping and there has been no time! So here is a long overdue catch up….

Yard

Our half acre is overwhelming but fun.  Despite multiple applications of weed and feed, I think we actually fed the weeds! The lawn is hopelessly infested with gophers and no amount of gassing, poisoning, or trapping has seemed to deter the buggers.  So our yard is a shambles and a shame on a street full of perfectly manicured landscapes.  But we are trying!

I built beds in the front yard and am working on a brick border. It looks promising.  I tried not to be discouraged with my budget landscaping as Zaida and I hauled the dirt I got free and reclaimed bricks (fancy word for scrounged) by ourselves all morning.  Meanwhile, I watched teams of professional landscapers driving by to work on other houses in the ‘hood.  I’d like to think I am green with grass stains rather than jealousy, but I will admit it: I have yard envy.   Just when I was about to think I would never finish the job before I had to return a borrowed trailer, a neighbor with bigger muscles than me pitched in and we had it all hauled before Shea got home.  Have I mentioned I have the nicest neighbors ever? Unless Shea reads my blog, he may never know I didn’t do it all myself.  It is good for him to think I work harder than I do, right? :) The beds are looking good.   I may not have the finances for a professional touch, but hey…my way burns more calories!  We plan on “edible landscaping.” What else? I have already planted comfrey for the animals and lavender.  Elderberries are in the corner (which I only know from Monte Python fame “your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of Elderberries!) I have flats of annuals I can’t wait to plant after I get the border done and plan to put tall sunflowers along the fence.

Do child labor laws apply to your own children? Move it, Zaida! ha ha

Now I only need to figure out how to build a little brick wall. How hard can it be?

For earth day we planted 8 new crabapple trees on the parking strip.  My saving grace is my container garden which is starting to look awesome.  We lined the front walk way with assorted ceramic pots.  I am hoping it draws the eye away from our spacious tribute to dandelion virility.  Sigh. As an extra bonus, the pots hide a lot of the spray paint the previous owners left all over the cement. (Anyone know how to get that off? Pressure washing didn’t do it.)

Garden

I am so excited to announce our garden is nearly ready to go! We built 2 boxes last year and are just finishing 2 more this spring. Sad to say I missed the cold crop planting, but we have big plans for our now EIGHT HUNDRED SQUARE FEET of raised beds!  They are theoretically gopher proof and the dirt was delivered an hour ago.  (That’s in addition to the huge load of composted horse manure I hauled in my van–I need a truck!!)  We have half the trellises built and the rest will be done this week.  We are optimistically looking forward to a huge harvest.  I have been playing with new ways (new to me) to preserve mass quantities of produce and we are loving the thought that we might not have to buy veggies anymore. Hopefully tonight we get to plant! I have been hardening off my plants (started indoors) and after weeding, building, hauling and generally working our tails off, I can’t wait for the “fun part.” Second only to “picking,” planting is big fun for our family.

Chicken wire to deter gophers, recycling at its best to block weeds, and then lots and lots of dirty fun!

Shea and his helpers fashioned removable trellises which we will also use to construct “hot houses” next spring. Yay!

Outside the box (ha ha) we have other experiments starting to take off.  My raspberry patch is thriving and spreading so that my mouth is already watering.  I have gojii berries planted that are starting to sport bright green chutes.  The cheapest I’ve ever found the super berries are ten bucks a pound so I thought why not grow them? Plans are in the works to grow sunflowers, jerusalem artichokes, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.  And heaven knows we are not-so-patiently waiting for the 14 fruit trees we planted a year and a half ago to take off.  Can’t believe we have lived here that long already! Considering there was not so much as a strawberry planted when we got here, this is exciting stuff!  Well, back to hauling dirt. I will update you on the animal fun tomorrow!

We spent Earth Day sprucing up our piece of the planet. I know, you want my hat.

5 comments on “Updates on our Mini Farm: Yard and Garden

  1. That Catherine Girl on said:

    Yeah Kristin! I am so excited for you and your garden.

    • Kristin on said:

      It is not as pretty as your garden, but we have always been more the quantity than the quality type of people. ha ha

  2. Erika on said:

    I do want your hat. And your energy! You guys are awesome.

  3. Pingback: Updates on our mini farm: Animals! | whereverthere

  4. Jillaire on said:

    I’m pretty amazed by all that you do. It makes me wish I had more yard. We’ve got a pretty good garden growing, with amazing raspberries and even our own blueberry bushes, but those things take up nearly half of our available garden space. We have a lot of trees, too, so our sunshine is limited in other parts of the yard. I don’t think we could ever be self-sufficient, but I haven’t bought jam in about 4 years!! (Not just my berries–we pick at local farms and wild blackberries.)

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