Thursday, November 8, 2012

Homesteading for Reals

With our move to Kentucky, we have found that our regular supply of LOCAL food is non-existent.  No one grows through the winters here which makes me wonder why not?  Are folks really good at preserving their summer harvest, or are they so disconnected from their food that grocery store produce is "good enough"?  How can they not miss fresh broccoli, kale, beets, and carrots?  I long for Swiss Chard, in it's beautiful range of rainbow colors.  I can find it at my grocery, but it is wilted and from a far off place- Yuck! 
We have been considering how to plant our own garden this spring.  The only flat place to put our garden is in front of the house.  Where the trees are!  Most of them are in bad shape, from an ice storm several years ago that decimated many of the trees in the area.  So how do we get them out?

We could use a chainsaw and take them down to the stumps and garden around the stumps for now. This is the cheaper route and may work for a time.


Picture Courtesy of Country Life Experiment

We could use a tractor and push them down. Probably the quickest way to go about it- but probably not cheap when you don't own a tractor (YET). 

I am thinking that we may have to cut trees down to a level to where, when we get a tractor, we can then push them over and get the roots out.
Or Maybe, I can use digging stumps out as a discipline for my kiddos when they get out of line.  Child Abuse??

There is a lot of work to be done before we can put in a garden.

*  Get the trees out- biggest step and the one I worry about most
*  Amend the soil with lots of compost, cow manure, chicken litter, and whatever else I can get my hands on to "bring on" the good soil.
*  Till in all the amendments
*  Plant cover crops to set and add more nutrients to the soil
*  Plan, Plan, Plan
*  Order Seeds
*  Make our rows
*  Plant
*  Water
*  Be Patient
*  Build a Root Cellar-  That is a whole other issue I have no idea how to do
I have already started thinking/planning out what we need to plant.  Thinking about how many vegetables we use in a year.  What are we going to can, freeze or store for use. 
We are faced with supplying our family with food for a whole year- there are no other options here in Kentucky for us. 
I will post our list tomorrow of what I think we will need to get through a full year of producing our own food. 
If we can produce that remains to be seen, but we are going to try.

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