As we increasingly live in cities away from nature, more and more people are experimenting with gardening and farming on their own property. Using your space for more than just grass is fun, sustainable, and fruitful (literally!).
Whether you want to go big and invest in poultry equipment supplies or just plant some tomatoes, your garden is ready to expand.
Let's dive into 5 ways you can elevate your yard!
1) Make Your Space Work For You
Whether you have several acres or just an apartment with very limited outside space, you can get planting today! On a small lot, try growing vegetables that thrive on trellises to make use of vertical space.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peas, beans, and even melons grow well in cages. You can have quite the bounty by simply growing up instead of out.
Think about landscape design and all the ways you use your yard. If your children play ball in the yard, keep your plants along the edges, so they will not get trampled. But make sure they also get plenty of direct sunlight for most of the day.
It might take a few attempts to find the perfect spot in your yard to build a substantial sprouting garden.
2) Add Some Chickens
If you have room for it, a small flock of chickens can change your diet completely. You have never tasted an egg until you try a fresh one coming straight from your coop. Your enhanced breakfasts will make you want to adopt more and more birds!
Chickens only require about 3 square feet per bird inside the coop, and up to 9 square feet in their outside run. Proper feeding, waste management, and egg collection are all it takes to run your very own mini chicken farm.
Plus, chicken droppings can be a key ingredient in fertilizer to organically feed your crops.
3) Go For Diversity Over Quantity
A monoculture is never a good way of farming. On a large scale, when a single crop fails, disaster strikes. The same principle applies to your backyard farm.
Be safe and try out all sorts of fruits and vegetables that all ripen at different times. Then you aren't stuck with basketful after basketful of a single crop like peppers at the same time.
Plus, you may even find some vegetables you did not like from the store actually taste delicious when pulled directly from your yard.
4) Avoid Vermin and Thieves
When you start growing food, all the raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and even bears will think you've prepared them a free lunch.
With proper care, you can keep your food just for you and your family. Keeping healthy plants is actually one of the best ways to keep pests out of your garden. They are attracted to rotting plants, so make sure to compost or dispose of any produce that has gone past its prime.
Build fences, cages, and mesh nets as well to keep out bigger animals. Always dig your fences about a foot in the ground to prevent any burrowers from digging under your walls.
5) Enjoy Your Bounty
Start cooking with the freshest, preservative-free, non-GMO ingredients you have ever had!
Once you start to have a surplus, consider setting up a stand at your local farmer's market to start making a profit and sharing your hard work.
A backyard farm is what you make of it. For some, a simple garden is all the happiness they need, but by adding some chickens and expanding your crop variety, you'll have the makings of your own farm.
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