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This was our first full year in our digs in the country.  We had an OK productive year, no thanks to the wet and cool weather over the summer.  Our garden consisted of one large row garden, approx 20x40ft, and some pilot projects like SIP containers and upside down hanging planters.  We had some good trout fishing this summer and so far hunting has provided good source of wild meat.

The self watering containers worked excellent!  Unfortunately our issue was they worked too well.  We planted our less than stellar seedlings and they just took over and choked themselves.  We planted too many per container and didn't thin them out enough causing them to stunt some and not produce as many tomatoes.  We won't make that mistake next year.  We will also come up with another idea for staking the tomatoes in the buckets.  We used traditional tomato stakes and they didn't work well.

Our hanging planters didn't do so well, but I assume this was more due to their placement.  I don't think the tomatoes and snow peas got enough sun where they were placed unfortunately.  We planted tomatoes underneath and snow peas on top which worked out pretty good, just not the yield expected... so we have some changes to their location for next year.

Extending the garden into the fall didn't go as planned as we got caught up with putting in a new septic bed.  We were planning on putting together some cold frames and some row covers, but timing was never right.  This was unfortunate, but we'll do a bit more research... we're shaking up the garden next year to convert the current row garden to raised beds.

So now that year 1 is almost over, we're already planning for next year.  We have the following goals for next year:

  • Start beekeeping... our first hive this Spring and still reading all we can on this topic
  • Planting our mini fruit orchard: Apples, Cherries and possibly some Peaches/Pears
  • Raised garden beds which includes provisions for row covers & cold frame covers
  • Proper documenting and tracking of the garden: planting dates, harvests, etc...
  • Front and rear decks including fire pit & pergola. Planters for herb garden and grape vines

Our extended plans should finances and time permit:

  • Plant dual layer tree wind break to help manage the crazy winds we get
  • Plant our grape rows in the front yard, table and wine grapes
  • Put up fencing to separate the different areas: Family Fun, Gardening, Mini Orchard, Animals
  • Finally add chickens to our homestead.

I'm sure our plans will change and grow over the winter, but you have to have a plan with some goals so you feel like you're getting somewhere.  Year 1 rant/summary done ;o)

Back to Basics Homestead

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