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Martha Stewart's Garden and how much do you get out of it?

Posted by on Mar. 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM
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michiganmom116
by Garden Owner on Mar. 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I would strongly recommend that you check out John Jeavons' book "How to Grow More Vegetables" (about bio-intensive sustainable farming) and Eliot Coleman's "Four-Season Harvest."

I currently have several fruit trees, 2 grape vines, 2 large strawberry beds, and about 1800 sq. ft. of garden.  It can keep my family of 6 supplied with whatever I preserve, although we are going to get more bio-intensive this year and expand our gardening area by using 1/2 barrels, wooden boxes, and totes to grow Yellow Finn potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, and maybe even squash.


michiganmom116
by Garden Owner on Mar. 3, 2012 at 6:28 PM

How much of your own food do you want to grow?

MyVavies
by on Mar. 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Let just say if I didn't have to watch an animal die, I would even kill my own meat! I am hoping to have a diary cow ,and a large enough garden that I can grow as much as I can and only have to go to the store for things that Kansas focks cant grow, Papias , kiwi... etc.

Take a look at the link and tell me  if that's the size of a 8 person family can live off of for a year. I am sooooo clueless.Thanks

Janine

michiganmom116
by Garden Owner on Mar. 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM


Quoting MyVavies:

Let just say if I didn't have to watch an animal die, I would even kill my own meat! I am hoping to have a diary cow ,and a large enough garden that I can grow as much as I can and only have to go to the store for things that Kansas focks cant grow, Papias , kiwi... etc.

Take a look at the link and tell me  if that's the size of a 8 person family can live off of for a year. I am sooooo clueless.Thanks

Janine

It is, if you do it right.  I believe it's an acre in size.  I lent out my Jeavons book, but I'm pretty sure it describes in there how to lay out trees, vegetable beds, etc. to make the most use out of the land.

Are you going to have chickens for eggs? 

I grew up on a hobby farm where we did have our own dairy cow and hens and we raised all of our own veggies.  There were only 4 of us, though.  My dad owns 10.5 acres, and 8 of it is fenced for pasture and hay.  It easily supported 3 cows, 3 horses, and a pony with pasture and enough hay to see them through the winter. 

MyVavies
by on Mar. 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Is it too big? I am just thinking of how many hours it would take to keep mantianance on it  like pull weeds. I understand harvest and planting season will take a lot of time,. but what about just the daily maintenance.. How long does that last a day on a garden that size?Thanks you've been very helpful.

michiganmom116
by Garden Owner on Mar. 3, 2012 at 9:36 PM


Quoting MyVavies:

Is it too big? I am just thinking of how many hours it would take to keep mantianance on it  like pull weeds. I understand harvest and planting season will take a lot of time,. but what about just the daily maintenance.. How long does that last a day on a garden that size?Thanks you've been very helpful.

Well, I won't lie:  a garden of any significant size is work.  You'd spend at least a couple of hours a day just keeping the weeds down.  My dad would weed for 30 to 45 minutes before work and then I remember spending a couple of hours a day weeding, too.  You don't have to weed the whole garden every day.  I will work a couple of beds in my garden one day, then move on to another bed or two the next day, etc.  Watering should be done frequently if you don't get daily rains.  As your kids become old enough to understand gardening, they can be enlisted as helpers. 


Kelly913
by on Mar. 3, 2012 at 11:32 PM
1 mom liked this

I just finished watching the first hour of this movie and it will answer some of these questions for you.  http://backtoedenfilm.com/#movie  He shows how layering with mulch will drastically reduce time spent weeding and nearly eliminate the need for watering, all while increasing your yield!

I'm with ya on not seeing the animal die, but we butchered our first steer in January and our pig will be butchered soon.  DH does the "deed" and he's OK with it, so I don't have to be!  I thought I might have trouble eating an animal I raised, but it tastes so good and I know it had a good life on our farm, so I don't get upset about it.

Kelly913
by on Mar. 3, 2012 at 11:37 PM

Did you see this comment at the link you provided?  Wow. Growing up, my family's vegetable garden was about a third that size, and it fed all six of us. Maybe she donates what she can't use? I can't see anyone doing all that work and then letting the end result rot in the ground.

 

Personally, I don't care for Martha and would intentionally avoid anything related to her, but that's just preference.

michiganmom116
by Garden Owner on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:15 AM


Quoting Kelly913:

Did you see this comment at the link you provided?  Wow. Growing up, my family's vegetable garden was about a third that size, and it fed all six of us. Maybe she donates what she can't use? I can't see anyone doing all that work and then letting the end result rot in the ground.

I saw that.  My family when I was a child was a lot the same way.  Our garden was smaller than the one I have now, but we only ate the basic green beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, winter squash.  I want to try to grow everything my own family needs, so we've got a HUGE garden going this year with a very large variety:  green beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, melons, kale, sweet peppers, hot peppers, 3 varieties of tomatoes, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, spinach and other salad greens, pumpkins, green peas, parsnips, cucumbers, sweet corn, celery, brussels sprouts, beets, strawberries, herbs.

michiganmom116
by Garden Owner on Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:21 AM


Quoting Kelly913:

I'm with ya on not seeing the animal die, but we butchered our first steer in January and our pig will be butchered soon.  DH does the "deed" and he's OK with it, so I don't have to be!  I thought I might have trouble eating an animal I raised, but it tastes so good and I know it had a good life on our farm, so I don't get upset about it.

Same here.  We raise 100+ chickens every summer, and they end up in our freezer.  We do the slaughtering ourselves only because it would cost us $2 a bird.  It is not a pleasant job, but my DH does the actual slaughter and then I, my dad, and the kids work together on the processing and do everything by hand.   Now, a beef or hog I would send to the slaughterhouse, only because we don't have the equipment or room necessary to do that.

Then again, I grew up this way.  We raised our own beef, pork, and poultry.  We had our own dairy cow and laying hens.  Store bought meat, milk, and eggs are just not the same in color or flavor.  Not even close.

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