Reading and Revisiting Our Homestead Plans

Hello Everyone,

Well, today I had an “oh shit” moment (pardon), and thought to myself “We’ll have to get a place with more land, there’s NO WAY we can do all we want to on just an acre!”.

Once again, I have underestimated how big 43,560sqft really is. It’s roughly 209ft square. If that doesn’t picture it for you, it’s roughly 2/3’s a football field wide and tall.

I revisited some of my homesteading books I’ve been collecting and realized that most of them only show plans for up to a half acre. If you can be completely self-sufficient on a quarter acre, I really have no qualms with having a whole acre. A city lot with a house on it would be able to have our garden, so an acre should be able to accommodate our garden, a small orchard, bees, a soft fruit patch, and chickens with no problems. I might even be able to expand beyond that. As much as I would love to have 10 acres, it’s really not right for us just yet. I think if I had that amount of land,  I would get in way over my head very quickly.

So, with that short burst of second-guessing aside, I’ll return my efforts to planning the garden. I’ve been struggling to do it because of all this new found knowledge about gardening. I want to plant so we can eat, but I also want to plant to harvest seeds for next year. With those thoughts in mind, coupled with crop rotations, I’m struggling to keep it all straight. What’s got me worried most is cross pollination and the possible loss of those plants and time. I don’t want to plant a bunch of cross pollinated seeds and end up with a bad crop the next year. That’s wasted time, effort, and space.

If any of you here know about open-pollinated plants, am I really going to have a huge problem with cross pollination? Or is a little crossing a good thing? 

Other than that, we’ve just been playing it cool. Trying to survive the cold weather here in Michigan. Yesterday was a windchill of -25F. I don’t know about you, but that’s flippin cold. Froze my butt off on my way to class. This may seem weird, but I almost don’t enjoy winter if there isn’t a little survival thrown in. I loved last winter because of the crazy cold temps, it was like a real adventure when you went outside. Yep, I’m probably strange.

Oh! My seed starting trays came today. I got two 72 cell trays with dome lids. It was actually cheaper than buying paper cups. I also found out that most paper cups have a plastic lining that doesn’t compost. I really didn’t want to drop $25 on 100 eco-friendly cups…I just don’t have the money for it.

Well, that’s all for now!

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. You can get more bang for your square foot with square foot gardening techniques and vertical Gardening. Some things like lettuce grow better in window boxes. Just have to re-imagine the landscaping. Broccoli make great bushes.

    1. I’ve been looking into biointensive, square foot, and other forms of gardening. I’m probably going to do something along the lines of square foot gardening. I just need to get all the info together and plan it out again. I might even be splitting up my garden beds more than I had originally planned.

      1. most veggies require 6-7 hours of sunlight. I plant varieties like Veronica for their beauty and ability to look like an ornamental.

  2. rivenfae says:

    Watch carrots if you have Queens Anne’s lace near by as they can cross if you let carrots go to seed in their second year. Also corn can pollinate over -miles-, so if there is commercial corn near you; there will be crossing of that. Also if you grow sweet corn don’t do popcorn too or you’ll have it cross.

  3. butchcountry67 says:

    have you checked out using wood pallets (skids) for vertical gardening? they also have a million other uses, just Google wood pallet projects and start from there, we use them for everything, even built a deck and deck furniture from them, you can often get as many as you want/need for free if you have a local website like Kijiji or Used(insert town/city here) even craigs list may have them, up here in Saskatchewan Canada, businesses like Lowes Home Depot Home Hardware and many trucking companies give away used pallets for free, by recycling them you save trees and keep them out of landfills.

    1. Thanks! I plan on trying to get a hold of some pallets to make things with. It will probably be the base for our chicken coop in the future! Maybe even more!

  4. jennyhud says:

    I’m all about companion planting. Add “Carrots Love Tomatoes” to your book list! And make sure you get zoning laws before you buy. Wish we did because now I can’t have chickens.

    1. I will check it out. I plan on calling the local court house about zoning before we do offers.

  5. Crystal L says:

    I watched a video on YouTube a while back about an urban homesteader who intentionally planned for crossing. He planted basil beside tomatoes and did other companion planting. He said the basil made his tomatoes taste great!

    And I agree with vertical planting and using pallets. Planning on stocking up on those myself!

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