My husband’s grandmother had an acre garden. She fed her large extended family and a good bit of the neighborhood out of that garden.
When I told my husband I wanted to start growing food he immediately thought of Nanny and plowed me up an acre. Sometimes having a lot of land is not a good thing. An acre is way too much for a beginner! We didn’t get much out of that plot except weeds and frustration.
Nanny grew up knee-high to a grasshopper following her mother and father as they planted, tended, and harvested, just like their parents had before them. So by the time Nanny reached adulthood, she could easily manage a huge garden. But her kids and grandkids focused on t.v., cars, college, and the modern world. We are at least two generations away from the knowledge of how to live off the land.
Tip #1 – Start Small
A good size for a beginner in a backyard is a 4’x12.5’ bed that amounts to 50 square feet. Even a smaller 4’x4’ bed is good. If you live in an apartment, start with a few potted plants. Perhaps on a balcony or near a window with good light as we talked about in my first article ‘The Power of Herb”. Each season you can expand and add another bed as your experience and interest grows.
A really good resource for small gardens is Mel Bartholomew’s book on “Square Foot Gardening” available almost everywhere. I refer to this book frequently and Mel really shows you how to start small.
Growing you own food is the cornerstone of a sustainable lifestyle and offers you the possibility of real health, true freedom, and deep healing. Since it also can be a very difficult journey I’ll be providing you with continual encouragement and support in the upcoming articles.
Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of “homegrown food on every table.” Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her “Grow Your Own Groceries” video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.