I love the idea of homesteading. Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiently. You can find homesteaders raising small livestock, canning food, making their own clothes, and even growing their food. So this past year I’ve set out to make a garden we can really get some food from.
Benefits of gardening
As I’m getting started in the homesteading world, I’m hoping to get the kids involved so we can learn as a family. We’ve already started the garden together, and my girls LOVE watering the garden and checking everyday to see how much has grown. Gardening has started to teach my kids where our food comes from, how to take care of the planet and what benefits our environment. Growing your own food also means you have more control over what your eating. We try and garden as organically as possible but we are still learning the best organic pest control.
Planning the garden
The first thing I did was research which vegetables would be best in our San Antonio climate. The Farmer’s Almanac is a great resource where you can look up your region and find out what time of year you should start seeds indoors/outdoors and when harvest will be. Once you know what you want to plant and a timeline, you have to pick a place. I first picked right next to our deck but that was in the way of the kids playset so this season I moved it to the side of the house. I recommend making sure your garden is close to a hose and with equal sun and shade.
For my veggies this year I picked tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, strawberries, spinach, and peppers. We also planted a couple avocado plants, and bought a fully grown avocado tree and lemon tree. I really hope by next year we have a few more fruit trees.
Once you find the spot you want it and the plants you want to grow you will want to map out your garden. Better Homes and Gardens website has a great planning tool. After you have it all planned out, I highly recommend marking what you plant. I didnt do that last year it was pretty tricky to tell what was actually growing! There are some really fun ideas for markers on pinterest.
One thing that I started doing last season was starting composting. I found an easy way to store my compost is in a small plastic bin. I just through a bunch of soil and leaves and food scraps in it and just kept adding over time our food scraps through out the week. I keep a big tupperware bowl on my kitchen counter so I can easily collect scraps as I’m cooking and then I just through the scraps in my bin and turn over the soil.
After using our composting in our soil last season, my veggies grew so well! I had decent sized zucchini and cucumbers! This year I’m trying more variety. I really hope to really get a bigger harvest this year! I’ll be updating as we grow!