How I am getting started with Permaculture
The most major part of self-sufficiency is being able to grow as much of your own food as possible. I learned this at an early age growing up on a small farm. At the end of the summer and early fall, the only trips to the grocery store were for items that we didn’t grow. With canning, freezing, and drying we were eating this produce for most of the next six months.
But that was just very small scale gardening, and the rest of our livelihood came from conventional mono-crop agriculture. I always wondered why we had to plant everything in rows and spend so much time weeding. Thankfully we didn’t spray chemicals on our garden. Perfect it was not, but I learned a lot about planting, weeding, seasons, watering, staggering plantings, collecting sends, harvesting, protecting from early/late frosts, bugs, blights, and composting.
The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
I recently purchased the book The Backyard Homestead by Carlene Madigan (ISBN-10 1603421386 / ISBN-13 978-1603421386). I found it to be a great introduction on the various fruits, nuts, vegetables, animals, and other items that you can have yourself; even in your urban backyard. This is a great book to keep around for getting ideas for next year’s garden, figuring out how to preserve your harvest, and even giving me some ideas on how to incorporate animals into your food sovereignty plan.
Also, if any friends, family members, or spouses are reluctant to explore producing their own food, this is a great book to leave laying around for them the possibly pickup. Covering most topics that a backyard homesteader may want to research, this book does make things seem quite simple and accessible to most people.
A quick tour video of our summer garden
This is the type of garden I grew up with in southern Ontario, we could usually provide most of our vegetable requirements, and even put away a fair amount for the winter. So continuing that trend, this is our summer garden for 2013.
I must say, this was planted before I really started learning anything about permaculture, self sufficiency, preparedness, raised beds, etc. This is what came natural to us and, of course, we didn’t spray anything. The only fertilization is compost and some cow manure.
Our ground is good for growning nightshades: tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, etc. Zucchini, squash, beans, and root vegetables grow well for us too.
A surprise this year was the size of the horseradish plants – the leaves were waist high!
Hopefully you enjoy – the garden will improve next year, I guarantee…