Planning the barn for a homestead is a very important step, and the better you know exactly what you want to do on your homestead, the better you can design your barn to accomodate your needs before building it. Some important things to consider are how big, siting, flooring, electricity and water, livestock accommodations, feed storage, and handling manure. We could have done a better job of planning, so these are some things to think about and lessons learned.
Our barn is 28′ x 46′, and when it was built, I never imagined that we’d outgrow it. However, with 5 dairy goats and more on the way, [...]
Continue reading The Homestead Barn (Important Questions Before Building)
Now that the chickens and goats are here, we have one of the main ingredients for growing great produce. Composted animal bedding makes an incredible difference in garden productivity, especially since I prefer to fertilize naturally rather than chemically. I learned about natural vegetable production early – it was the way my grandfather, who’d grown up farming, raised vegetables to feed us.
Annually, grandpa grew a bountiful garden that provided the families produce all year long. He started by adding composted horse manure from the neighbor’s stable to the same sunny patch of land each year. Then he’d plant his favorite [...]
Continue reading Garden Gold
Right now, it’s very important to focus energy on cleaning up the vegetable garden. I wish that all my cleanup chores were done; but I’m still working on it because I know a few hours of work now will make a huge difference in next year’s garden.
It’s most important to remove and destroy (not compost) all the remains from this year’s vegetable plants because many vegetable pests survive from year to year on old plant debris. This will help prevent insect and disease problems from starting next spring and summer.
After getting all the plant debris removed from the garden, I like to get a good layer of leaves [...]
Continue reading Fall Garden Cleanup