Garden Planning

From buying to growing our own

From buying to growing our own 1

We want to first thank you for taking the time to learn about us and what we are trying to accomplish here in our little urban homestead.  It has been a lot of work to get to where we are and there is plenty more to accomplish.  This is the story of our inspiration and journey into self-sufficiency.

We are a small family who grew up in a smaller town where everyone knew each other and everything that was going on.  I met my wife while I was still in high school and then later on we reconnected through work.  We dated, got married and had a daughter.  When our daughter was born we wanted to provide her with food that did not have any of the additives that food from the supermarket has.  We as a family set out on an adventure to make all of her own baby food using only the produce that was available fresh locally which left us with the purest food that daughter could have.  We made our own baby foods such as applesauce, green beans and peaches.  It was an adventure and we learn a lot through the whole process.  We were convinced that was enough at the time and continued on.

Several years later after coming to the realization that store bought fruits and vegetables were not as good as they are made out to be and that there were some questions as to the credibility of so called “organic” produce. We set out on a mission from buying to growing our own.  With the idea of knowing exactly what was in our food we started planning our very own garden.

Our first garden consisted of about a 12’x20′ plot in our backyard which we turned over the soil about fifteen inches. We purchased transplants from local big box stores, small hardware stores and planted out our inaugural vegetable patch.  The first year was good to us; we harvested peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon and bushels of zucchini.  The second year came around and with the first year being a success we decided to add to our garden.  We decided to add a number of containers for tomatoes and peppers hoping to only increase our yields.  Even though our garden increased in size; our harvest did not but yet we still pressed on.  We were convinced that we could go from buying to growing our own food.

In year three we moved from our fertile ground into a new town; a suburb as I like to call it of Dallas.  The area around our new town is not exactly known for farming due to the hard, compact soil with little to know appeal for gardening but there are people who manage.  We moved from an acre to about a quarter of an acre lot.  It proved to be difficult to plan everything that needed to happen in order to prepare the ground for planting.  This time around we opted for a series of raised beds in order to improve our chances of success.  We chose to go big for our first year at our new place and built nine raised beds ranging in size from 2’x8′ and 3’x8′.

raised bed

This bed is a 3’x8′ and six inches deep.  We made the beds at the largest being three feet so that no matter what you planted in there you can still reach all the way to the back of the bed.  You want it to be easy for you to harvest your fresh produce.

Year three was very good to us for certain vegetables such as cucumbers, sunflowers, okra and a variety of peppers to which we enjoyed all summer long and on into the fall.  That year we planted our very first fall vegetable garden which was a great success providing us with tons of fresh broccoli, salads, kale and a variety of herbs.

sunflowers

Going into year four we decided to up our game even more with try #2 of a container garden, two additional raised beds and an in-ground veggie patch beside our house.  We were not altogether sure what we were going to plant there but we added that additional 240 sq. feet to our available garden area.  We had another bumper year with our biggest harvests to date of fresh tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, beans, cucumbers, okra, kale, Swiss chard and many other goodies.  We planted our most ambitious fall garden to date with more than 20 broccoli plants, 24 Brussel sprout plants, numerous varieties of kale and other greens.  The fall garden is growing great and we anticipate harvesting record amount of fall garden veggies this year.

This brings us up to date.  We are pressing on with the adventure that we started several years ago with our dream of becoming more self-sufficient and being able to provide ourselves with enough fresh produce from our garden to eat for the entire year.  Each new day brings a new challenge and a new beauty to our lives, won’t you join us for this journey.

What are you growing right now?

 

 

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