Posts tagged ‘garden’

May 14th, 2012

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

by Gwen

Mini Farming

This is where I have been for two months.

Last year, I tried veggie gardening for the first time. Sure, I had done tomatoes before and always had fresh herbs, but I carved out a 10 X 12 space and tried pumpkins, watermelons, and cucumbers. It was a success, there are still a few pumpkins left from the harvest.

This year I thought, let’s go big, let’s take over the world with this gardening thing. So, among other books, I grabbed Mini Farming and learned that if I did it just right, I could produce just about everything we need for a year with only 1,400 square feet per person. (Commercial Agribusinesses use 30,000 square feet per person)

That’s AMAZING. I can feed my fam with only 2,800 square feet! (and 1,400 of that is just cover crops for compost) We were ready, I drove everyone (the dog and spouse) crazy with my planning, sketching, seed collecting, little plastic greenhouse creating. Calendars were created with frost dates and planting times and harvest times and who knows what times. There was a whole pad of graph paper involved and a lot of colored pencils.

I also started shopping for chickens and goats. The dog was really on board with that plan, he needs more buddies. The spouse let me go on and on and on with my grand plans, but he drew the line at getting a cow. That was too much, too soon.

You know what? I suck at guesstimating distance and things like just how much 2,800 square feet really is. It’s a lot of space. More than that, it is a lot of flipping digging. A. Lot.

Anywho, while many have been happily blogging away, I have been curbing my enthusiasm to a more manageable level. Mini Farming is an amazing book, it gets you excited, really excited. I was ready to go out there and do it. My suggestion would be just to not go overboard like I did. Going from one successful cucumber and pumpkin year to a full 1/4 acre garden/homestead is a shooting a wee bit high.

I am going to try to get back my reviewing mojo as soon as I can feel my knees and hands again.

Until then, here are some inspiring Gardening books that I have Chewed and Digested so far.

October 2nd, 2011

Sunday Salon- The Kindle is Winning and The Pumpkins Are Taking Over!

by Gwen


Having done a little quick math, I have to let you know that it is official. I have read more books on my Kindle this year than tree books. I never saw this coming when I got the Kindle a year ago. At last count, I have read 189 books this year and 120 of them have been on the Kindle.

On the review front, I am totally losing. Need to get that mojo back, don’t know where I lost it. I think it may have something to do with the pumpkins and other goodies that are growing in my yard.

You see, gardens take time and when they turn out right, it is very pleasant to sit out next to them, reading with the Kindle, enjoying the fruits and sights of your labor. That, and it is much easier to work on your tan sitting outside where, unfortunately, the laptop is hard to see in the sun. Hence, very few reviews, just lots of reading and tanning and weeding and watering.

One caveat I must mention before I show you a picture…we planted the pumpkins really late. Therefore, we are looking at a very late (or early, depending on how you look at it) harvest. Anyone for fresh pumpkin pie for say, Valentine’s Day? You can munch on pickles, tomatoes, and watermelon until then. (Yes, we planted the melons late too and are still harvesting them)


The apples are starting to be perfect for picking and the walnuts and persimmons are just about there as well.

The crazy thing about all of this is that I am a City Girl. Until a couple of years ago, I had no idea how Walnuts grew and until last night, I thought those persimmons were apples. I kid you not, my error was pointed out to me on a walk last night amid much giggling. Do men giggle? Maybe it was snickering and just sounded like giggling.

Who cares? What I know is this..

  • The books I have read this summer have all been wonderful, even if I haven’t shared them with you.
  • Pumpkins should be started much earlier than July and they like to roam, so give them lots of room.
  • Like my dog, I am easily amused by the wonders of nature and still have a lot to learn.
  • The Kindle isn’t evil or going to be the death of tree books. It just adds to pleasure of something that I already loved doing, reading.
  • Sometimes your cucumbers will be larger than your watermelons and that is okay.
  • Life is good, make it an adventure and it is even better.

And Book Riot Starts tomorrow. Have you joined up?