One of the things I love about our farm is the layout of our gardens and livestock. It is similar to the old small family farm, which really was a goal of mine. These farms didn’t specialize in large scale livestock, instead they focused on raising a varied diet that could feed a family year around, as well as, hay to support their livestock in Wintertime, and to raise enough extra here and there to trade for things that were needed that weren’t raised on the farm. Our layout of the gardens, the pig area, the cattle paddock, the chicken coops, and the mushrooms is based around the home site. While we do have a small orchard area, we put in, that isn’t by the home site and of course many forage foods all over the farm, the rest is focused close by with the exception of the cattle grazing the hillsides on the farm.
Our “big” garden, it is not huge but is very productive. It currently has cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, swiss chard, lots of tomatoes, and peppers, plus onions and, what will be, a good supply of cucumbers.
This garden near the house has Elderberry at each end, Currants, a Goji, Lemon Balm, Sage, Spearmint, and some Rhubarb that is just outside the edge of the photo.
These are our grapes. There are a variety, including champagne, table, seedless, and a few others. Next year training the grapes properly will bump up on the triage list.
My first Aronia bushes. Starting small scale. Aronia’s are said to pack a higher antioxidant punch than blueberries and even the acai berry. Someone let me harvest theirs last year and I made Aronia syrup. Hopefully we will get berries this year on these new bushes.
This garden already had a nice violet patch so I left that and added lavender, 3 small rose bushes and in the front 3 chamomile plants (in cages so the chickens won’t dig them up).
Our Raspberry garden. Yes it needs clearing out, there are old canes to pull. It’s on the agenda this weekend. Also on the agenda is picking some of the young raspberry leaves for tea this Winter.
This is our blueberry bed. It’s a bit of an experiment, we have been amended the soil to be the appropriate ph for them, but blueberries in our zone are new for me, I like to start small and learn about things before I try a larger amount of plants.
This is our mini high tunnel. In the Wintertime it has plastic on it and grows Spinach year round, although slowly during the coldest months. It sits on top of a hay bale wall all the way around. This makes the tunnel tall enough for me to walk in for planting and harvesting. In the Spring the plastic comes off and here it has lettuce, some overgrown Spinach that got pulled shortly after this photo and some beets that just went in, as well as some lettuce that is providing us more salad than we can keep up with so far.
Our neighbor shared some of his rhubarb plants with us, and so this is a newly planted area.
This year we moved our garlic to a new bed up the hill behind the grapes, and near to the compost pile, squash garden and melon garden.
Potato growing in buckets. The buckets are food grade, and it helps to prevent potato beetles, as they can not climb up the smooth sides of the buckets.
Seems funny to weed a compost pile but since we have so much growing on them, I thought why not? The front left of the photo shows a nice potato plant. All volunteers and all appreciated.
Mushroom area. These logs are pre-inoculated for next year. I am hoping to sell these logs next year to backyarders who might want logs that quickly produce after purchasing, rather than plugging their own and waiting a year. Hoping these will sell well on a pre-order basis next year, it will also be a good way to get people out here to see what else we are selling.
We are excited now for a big move for the cattle! Hubby has now expanded the grazing areas to the front of the farm where we have a stream and great valley land, it was a vision of his for a long time, and now the fence lines are ready!
It will be a very special moment seeing them wander down to the valley together for the first time.
Here is a well deserved, homemade Kombucha, toast to our 2017 gardens, may they be productive and successful!