The following is an excerpt from our latest Kindle Vella series: How To Make Money On Your Homestead – Enjoy your homestead AND earn an income. We released the first three episodes (which are free!) in the beginning of March with further episodes releasing each Saturday.
Episode 5 – Gardening
There are many people, especially beginner gardeners, who choose to have a small kitchen garden. This supplements your meals through the growing season, but does not produce surplus (unless you grow zucchini – there is always surplus zucchini). Typically these gardens are located within easy reach of the kitchen so that one may pop out while cooking for a quick harvest to supplement a meal.
I have also heard these called salad gardens as they often include lettuce, tomato, and peppers, the staples of a salad, but not much else.
Some gardeners choose to include a few cut flowers and herbs, as well.
This is a garden that produces more than a small kitchen garden. The kitchen (or salad) garden supplements meals. The seasonal self-sufficiency garden intends to provide all vegetable and herb produce for the season. Now, one must consider that we are lucky to have easy access to grocery stores and can buy plenty of herbs and non-local produce that you may not be able to produce on your homestead.
Gardening is a great time to remember that it is better to start small and succeed before expanding. It is very easy to pore over seed catalogs and draw out the perfect garden plot only to be overwhelmed by weather, weeds, and a lack of time. It is ok to purchase some and be almost self-sufficient. I would far rather buy bananas through the year than not have them available for my family simply because they will not successfully grow in my climate.
If you plan well, and plans succeed, you can have a garden that produces greens early in the spring. Each week you will receive greater and greater bounty from your garden until you are buying almost no produce at the store, until the harvest begins to wan off and you begin to buy some at the store again. Fresh vegetables almost always taste more vibrant and amazing than store bought and are looked forward to through the entire year. It is absolutely an admirable goal to produce enough to meet your needs for the season, but you should never malnourish yourself, family, or animals from a stubborn desire to produce all your own food.
Once you have had a successful year of gardening I challenge you to try a new vegetable the following season. Trying new things can be great fun, and certainly lend some adventure to your meals.
Year long self-sufficiency
The goal of producing enough produce to be self-sufficient is laudable…and huge! I would strongly encourage you to break this into stages, and not try to accomplish it all the first year.
For the sake of this section, let’s assume that you have the knowledge and/or experience to preserve your bounty for after the growing season. I do highly encourage you to learn these skills! Take some classes, watch videos, find a mentor, and try some easy projects to begin with. But I would never suggest to someone that they attempt a huge garden and a years worth of preservation for the first year. …
Check out the full series on Kindle Vella here.
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