I was wondering if your family does any other farm related activities other than alfalfa. For instance, do you have a really huge garden, or any animals?
The older girls have been involved with 4-H for the past several years showing chickens. Right now we have about 14 full grown chickens (two roosters are included in that number) and 8 chicks. We have a variety of breeds: Buff Orpingtons, Americaunas, Blue Andalusians, Rhode Island Reds, and Cuckoo Marans.
We also have a dog, Molly, that was abandoned on the farm out by my SIL’s house. We’ve adopted her and she is a terrific dog! That’s the extent of our farm animals. We used to have a horse but sadly he had to be put down last year. My kids really wish we had more animals. To get their animal fix they have to visit my SIL who has cows, sheep, ducks, and guinea hens. Thankfully she just lives down the road so they can drive themselves, well, the three oldest can anyway.
We have an orchard in front of our house consisting of about a dozen fruit trees: pear, apple, and plums. Our garden plot is in front of that. It is roughly about 20 by 50 ft. We have two raised beds, 4 x 12 feet each, with plans to make at least one more (I’d like two) this year. The rest of the garden plot is furrowed where we plant the spreaders – melons, pumpkins, and squash. Corn was also planted there last year. This year corn will be planted in part of one of our pivots so we’ll be trying potatoes instead of corn. We also have another plot about 15 x 30 ft where we will also plant squash and melons to see which area grows the better produce. By the house we have two 4×4 raised beds for our cooler weather crops like peas and lettuce. Bon Bon LOVES herbs and has a little herb garden right outside our kitchen but wants to plant a bunch in pots on our deck.
We got a decent yield last year from our garden but I know we can do much, much better. I blame my pregnancy last summer on not being able to care for the garden as much as I would have liked. Every time I bent over to weed my stomach would start to hurt after only about 10 minutes. I’m excited to be able to do a whole lot more this summer!
Gardening is a family endeavor. Recently for a family home evening the girls told us everything they wanted to grow in the garden. We made a list, inventoried our seeds, and looked through seed catalogs for new things to try. Bon Bon took on the project of researching companion planting and then plotted out where we are going to plant everything.We ordered seeds from Baker Creek and Gurney’s.
There is a wonderful site that is a treasure trove of garden info. It has helped us organize our seed starting schedule. My Square Foot Garden has companion planting guides, tips for starting your own seeds, and my favorite, week-by-week charts for when to start seeds indoors or transplant outside or directly seed outside, all according to the zone you live in! How easy is that? This week we are going to plant peas, lettuce and spinach outside and start our tomato seeds indoors.