If you are spending more time at home, we hope you have considered starting a garden! Even in a small space you can do so much this time of year.
Here is what is happening on our farm right now and a few tips you might be able to incorporate into you own gardening efforts.
We have 3 generations working on the farm right now: our children, us and our parents. What a great way to stay in shape as well as the joy that comes from doing purposeful work.
There are so many things that even the smallest child can do to assist around the yard or farm.
Below, Kailyn found a clever way to hold on to the barrier paper so that the wind would not carry it away as she hauled more mulch. She is making the front of our house beautiful and free of constant weeding!
Our two moms (grandmas) working at weeding and preparing the garden and garden boxes for the coming planting season. We use compost from the piles you can see in the distance below. No need for fertilizer if you are able to make your own compost. We will be posting more information on composting on a large and small scale. You can do a small compost pile in even a small backyard.
Keith's dad faithfully trims trees and mows needed areas around the farm and house.
We are a tad late with the tree trimming but thankful we are getting it done now!
Weeding is a job that is always needed and is a great thing to train younger ones to do well. Dylan faithfully removes weeds from large sections of our main garden.
To keep the weeds away we use a barrier of either a natural packing paper or our old feed bags. We love New Country Organics grain for our goats and chickens, but a bonus is that their bags are natural and can be composted. They make perfect barriers to keep out weeds around our gardens.
If you want to plant cabbage, a great way to protect them from flying pests (which lay eggs and destroy your cabbage) is to use tulle cloth. Yes, tulle cloth! The type you find used for making wedding veils. Lightweight, inexpensive and keeps them protected. Since using this technique we have had beautiful cabbages with no pest damage with no chemicals!
Cabbage takes a long time to grow, but if you start it with good mulch and cover it you should have limited effort until harvest time. This also works well for potatoes, which also do not need pollination in order to produce.
We've also started working to clean up our strawberry patch. If you've never grown strawberries you should give it a try! They are the first fruit to harvest, usually in May for us here in Missouri. They are easy to grow but do take some maintaining as they will take over a garden if not kept under control. The whole patch we have now of about 6 rows, all started four years ago when I purchased ONE strawberry plant! The rest were pulled from that one plant and I've been working on getting the rows evened out ever since. The better they are controlled, the better the harvest and the bigger the berries.
The rows aren't great yet, but we are getting there.
And the animals are doing their jobs as well, trimming the pastures as they graze and add fertilizer at the same time.
Enjoy starting your gardens and if you haven't watched our video on the best way to start seeds, check it out on our Youtube channel!