I’ve officially put both feet in the stirrups of the equine world. In the last year, I’ve purchased two mules. Both animals are very different and at different levels of training. The first is what is known as green broke, and the other is totally unstarted.
When we bought our homestead 11 years ago, we made a five-year plan that included fencing in half an acre, establishing a miniature orchard, digging a quarter-acre garden, and planting raspberries and blueberries. I finally got the berry patches planted about four years ago.
Walking along any country lane at different times of the year reveals a pleasing assortment of wildflowers, even in early spring. Many varieties of these flowering plants can contribute a delicate bouquet to many wines.
If the recent pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can never be too prepared for a disaster. However, while everyone else is stocking up on toilet paper and canned foods, true preppers know the value of high-quality homesteading skills that will serve them well long after the consumable products are used up and gone.
There seems to be a still commonly held belief that, in 1492, the first European explorers discovered two entire continents populated with nothing but primitive Stone Age “hunter/gatherers.” That, in turn, made it only logical that the settlers who followed would displace the Native Americans with their own version of “highest and best use” farms and towns.
Perhaps the reason we don’t see many bare spots in the wilderness is that Mother Nature knows the uncovered ground is bad for business. When we manipulate our environment by growing something (plants, trees, flowers, vegetables), we can improve the ecosystem by covering up the resulting bare spots with mulch.
Plants need water; that is a fact. However, to make the most of this, often limited, resource, it pays to use it economically by understanding plants’ needs and using techniques to help limit water loss from both plants and soil.
In the first article related to Permaculture and how to get started with your sustainable, nature-based, and balanced garden, we covered the aspects related to its ideology and methodology.
There’s nothing that will make a gardener teeter on the verge of madness more than marauding wildlife. In the spring, rabbits, groundhogs, and ground squirrels (depending on your part of the country) can destroy a newly planted garden seemingly overnight. And throughout the season, wildlife does its best to harvest before you do.
As a homesteader, you’ve probably learned that diversification is a great way to ensure success, but have you considered growing anything other than annual crops that must be replanted each year? Fruit and nut trees are perennials that can provide you with excellent sources of food with little effort past the initial planting.
Containers can be tricky. They’re invaluable for those who don’t have garden space or whose soil is extremely poor. Even if you have space, there are areas where the soil is so poor or laden with heavy metals from historic mining or industrial use that you wouldn’t want to eat anything grown in it. Containers are the way to go in either situation.
A lot that is half an acre up to five acres and beyond gives you room to do most anything you should want to do, using only a modicum of restraint. You may have room for a little pasture, or even a small woodlot or a large pond.
To a food plotter, buying a tractor is a decision that’s probably second only to buying or leasing the right hunting property, and for a good reason. Your tractor is the power center for your entire food plot operation