The Garden

The Garden is a huge part of our little homestead. The chickens provide us with delicious eggs and fertilize the ground. They help break down our green waste into compost. The garden provides us with a year-round supply of vegetables and fruits.

The basic goal for our garden is to provide us with everything we need to sustain ourselves for a full year. A variety of methods such as canning, drying and root cellaring our produce helps extend our harvest through the less productive months. I do my very best to use only heirloom seeds and practice seed-saving each year to ensure a never-ending supply of my favorite foods. Once you learn to save seeds, you’ll never be without food again.

One of the most useful tools I’ve found for starting seeds is one of those heat mats to put under the seed tray This is the 3rd year I’ve used them, with great success. I’ve heard of people using electric blankets as another soil-heating solution but haven’t tried it myself.
 
Here is a list of some of the veggie types we grow:
Various beans
Snap Peas
Tomatoes – various heirloom varieties
Cucumbers
Bell Peppers
Chili Peppers
Carrots
Broccoli
Pumpkins
Zucchini
Cantaloupe
Strawberries
Blueberries
Lettuce
Spinach

Our goal is to grow a wide range of vegetables that can either be eaten immediately or stored well through the winter and beyond for consumption later. We will be experimenting with different ways of storing veggies after the harvests. Usually we just can our veggies, but we’re going to give a lot of the tricks described in the Self-Sufficient Gardener book a try. It is one of my all time favorite gardening and Self Sufficiency books. I HIGHLY recommend it.