Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The beginning of an suburban homestead

I have a cold... and so I have thrown myself nosedeep into garden planning books. I went to the library and picked up all of the ones that interested me and then put more on hold. Right this second, I am in love with a couple:

This book talks all about the tricks that people use to get the most out of their harvest. I have actually learned quite a bit from this one (like how to lay down tomatoes at the end of the season to have them all ripen at the same time. That was something I hadn't heard before.)

If I ever needed inspiration to get Heirloom seeds, I would pick this book. The pictures and drawings are stunning and at the end of each description is a recipe!

And of course, the stand-bys, that seem to have made permanent residence next to my bed are these:



(preparing for chickens again... but garden comes first.)

Even with all the inspiration it has been hard to see what I wanted done. Hard for me, next to impossible for my husband and son who are helping me build this dream. So I decided that I was going to draw what I wanted them to look like. Really visualise them for my family, so while we are working on them, we will be able to see the work in progress.

What it looks like this morning:

This is the far right of the yard, up to the left of this picture are the three apple trees. This is what I want it to look like:

Can you see it?

This is the other side of the garden. To the right of the picture above but currently across a fence (we are taking it out). I am going to relocate the railroad ties to a place where they will not be in touch with our food. The roses at the back are where I was going to put 2 more beds... but that will have to wait until this fall.

Each of the main garden beds are 6X4 ft. The one along the house (corn and/or asparagus) is 8X1ft. It is the warmest spot in the garden. There is a climbing rose just to the right of this picture. I am keeping that there. It is so beautiful! But I will have to build a trellis for it to keep it off the house so it doesn't cause damage to the paint and such.

To the left of this picture, there is a huge space where a very large, very rotten stump is. I am planning on the chicken coop going there. It is the farthest from anyone else's yard, and yet close to the house. We are only planning on getting a couple birds this year. Perhaps 4? But I am excited that they will be so close to the garden so when I need them to, they can roam around and eat slugs for me. Healthy eggs, happy chickens, and no garden slugs? How awesome is that!

I am getting ready to order soil, starts, and seeds. We only have a couple more weeks before everything will be ready. We are still busy hauling away the ivy that I had my son pull out last fall. It was a HUGE job and so we are now all helping get rid of it. But as the weather gets warmer, I feel this pull in my heart to be out there. I am completely excited about this project!

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16 comments:

bewellconsultations said...

OMG! I'm so excited! It's going to be beautiful! Love love love your drawings. I'm not artistic, so I keep to excel, but your drawings are beautiful!

Shirley said...

It's going to be amazing when you're done! Thanks for letting us follow along! Hope that you feel better soon!

Have you thought about a bee hive? My friends back in GA have a chicken coop (they have multi-colored eggs from the different hens), the bee hive (lots of honey and make lip balm, candles, etc.) and also an earthworm farm for composting.

helisa {mamabean} said...

Sounds like a great way to help get over a cold..your sketches are amazing and inspiring! How big of an area do you have to work with? Your yard looks pretty large.

Kelly said...

I can totally see it, how exciting! I just planted flower seeds over the weekend, hopefully we will see sprouts soon!

Ivy said...

Those sketches are beautiful. I cannot wait to see how this project progresses.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Mamabean: We have a large corner lot. It is almost a 1/4 acre. This side of it was covered with ivy when we moved in. My son spent weeks removing it, and not we are trying to get it out of the garden space. We have a LOT of work to do, but I am really excited about the project! We have to wait a bit to be able to afford the soil, and that is what we are waiting on now... but I am planning like mad. Making plant lists, and what should go where. :) Getting my shopping carts together so I can just press a button and have all of my plans come together once we have the soil.

Sigh... if my nose wasn't running I would say that it has been a beautiful planning day. :)

Blessings,

Val

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Shirley: I HAVE thought of a bee hive. I think I have to take this one step at a time. We have had huge gardens, and chickens, and rabbits before, but we moved and had to get rid of them all, and now we are working to build that back up. Bees may be next year... although I am planning on building some mason bee blocks soon. :)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I hope you'll post pictures as it progresses!

Catalina said...

I can see it! It looks beautiful!
Very nice potager. I just started a bunch of my seeds this last week and I have spring planting fever!

ColorSlut said...

I can see it and it will be perfect! Great work!

Gabrielle @ Bee Wise Bags said...

It looks like it will be heavenly! My gardens are my sanctuary I love them!

Shirley said...

I can't wait to see it in progress!! I had raised beds back in GA and have a yard that I can spit across here so all of my veges/herbs are in pots. *sigh* And I think that you get more sun than we do. LOL!

Jenny said...

So jealous you have been able to get out into your garden (mine are still covered in snow). Enjoy the warmer weather & best of luck with your planning. Have you checked out the seed savers exchange for heirlooms?

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the inspiration Val! My garden is like yours. It has great potential but needs lots of work. I cannot figure out how I want it set up. James is out mowing and cleaning it up today. I put some of the books you recommended on hold. I need to get over my gardening-block and just do something. Thanks again for sharing and helping jump-start my own planning process.

Much love!

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Jody said...

Val,
This is awesome. I am hoping to get more up on my blog about what we're doing here, but we've been lagging a bit. I can't wait to see more!
Jody