A place where one woman has gathered resources and information to help her family survive in an uncertain future; together with occasional personal musings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Food Security, part two.

Since I can't draw a map and scan it in, I'm just going to assume that anyone reading this is familiar with my property. Maybe you live here.

The animal areas are currently composed of three pastures which together make up the back (or southernmost) three acres. There is one big pasture of about two and a half acres, a medium small one that is 130 x 100 or so, and a quite small one that is 130 x 50. I have room to add another long skinny one right next to the long skinny one I already have, and I want to do that by next spring. Four pastures will help me be able to rotate more effectively to keep down the parasite burden and reduce the stress on the land.

There are two other areas that are un-utilized right now. One is a long strip of land running from the orchard down to the road. I think that will be growth space for our orchard. Last post I said I want to plant at least a dozen more trees. The other space is the U shaped patch inside the driveway. I think it's about thirty or forty by seventy feet. When we moved here, it was manicured lawn. Now it's a tangle of tall grass and nasty weeds.

Either one of these places would work as the vegetable garden. I have been thinking that next year I am going to move to an all container garden and place the containers between the fruit trees. There is plenty of space between the fruit trees to let in abundant sunshine for several more years. They are about fifteen to twenty feet apart. This would have a few advantages. Most importantly, when I let the goats out to forage, I only have to keep them away from one area, not two separated areas, which is impossible. This year, I have spent too much time running back and forth between the orchard and the garden, waving my stick like a maniac and yelling. The garden got chowed hard because I cared more about saving the fruit trees. Also, four trees bit the dust, due to a combination of goats and disease. I think the goat damage made the tress more susceptible to disease.

Also, if I'm watering the garden every day, I would remember to water the trees, too. The compost and mulch would be good for them. And lastly, maybe I could keep down the tall grass and weeds around the trees. Marcus told me that tall grass touching the leaves can be a cause of disease and fungus. Oh, and, if I put the garden in amongst the trees, then I can use the other area, the driveway circle, for hay.

Wherever I put the garden, I need it to be in raised beds or containers. I just can't spend enough time weeding to make a decent garden in the ground. I lean toward containers because I can change my mind about where to put them if I need to. Also because I'm not going to build raised beds and I doubt Homero will either. So I've been trying to think of cheap containers, besides scouring Craigslist and scavenging along the highway.

I had a brainwave. Milk crates. All I have to do is cut cardboard to fit the inside walls and leave the bottom open. Then shovel in some compost and walla! They are cheaper than dirt, or free, and each one is big enough for one pumpkin or squash plant, or for two tomatoes, or two cucumbers, or two broccoli or a carpet of spinach or radishes. They are small enough to be easily dumped out if the dirt gets diseased or I want to move them or they need new compost or whatever.

I am a genius.

more later

No comments:

Post a Comment