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How big a backyard do you need to live off of...

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posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 01:59 PM

Originally posted by hqokc
This is my 3rd year with my little backyard garden. I practice square foot gardening, which seems to work well. I compost my kitchen scraps so my soil is free and the best kind of soil. I use no chemicals, so they're organic (and GM free). I have 2 4x8 raised beds plus corn and potatoes.
What I have found, is that it takes A LOT more plants than you think and made space for.
For example, I have 16 green bean plants. I got enough for about 4 meals for 3 people in about 2 weeks, then we got a heat wave and the plants stopped producing. I hope they start again soon. Also, I have 20 potato plants, and 10 plants gave me about 10 lbs of potatoes.
I planted blueberry & rasberry bushes, which will take 3 years to produce. I have about 20 strawberry plants, and have gotten 2 berries, both eaten by bugs,
I have a water barrel, but I empty it in a day watering my small plot of plants.
Now don't get me wrong, I love working in my garden and it's such a wonderful thing to harvest anything but you all should get going now. Start learning, let the plants mature, build up the soil, and learn some more. It's not so easy to just throw out some seeds and eat abundantly later.

Youll do better if you buy your berry bushes with already 3-4 yrs growth on them if you need fast results. I got at least a few quarts of berries my first planting of 2- 4 yr growth bushes... and I planted them late. Go to a decent nursery.
ALso, look to see of you need to plant 2 of them to make them produce. I dont have to have a pollinator for my raspberries, but I do for both the blueberries and apples. I also throw in a lot of organic material.. and have been known to plant a dead fish with my berry plants. Ive never had one NOT produce heavily in all of these yrs Ive been gardening. You didnt mention what sort of berries.. there are all types of berries with different pollinator requirements and production times... this is the largest mistake many make.. they have no idea what their bushes requirements or productions are. Like there are blackberries that produce every 2nd yrs and you have to cut the canes. Others require no cuttings and are everbearing.

Most of the time true gardening isnt throwing a few plants in the ground and reaping the benefits.. you are very correct!

You mentioned your rain barrel issue... well first you have to know how many square feet of roof you have to drain into the barrels. A lot of folks think a single rainbarrel will do it for irrigation.. and thats pretty far from the truth. Dabbling with no research will cost you a hell of a lot more in the long run. Here is a quick formula to calculate your rainbarrel needs. DO this and then cross your fingers for rain

Square footage of your roof x 0.623 = gallons of roof runoff

Gallons of roof runoff / 55 = Number of rain barrels needed


Square footage of roof = 250 square feet

250 square feet x 0.623 = 155.75 gallons

155.75 gallons / 55 = 2.83 barrels

3 rain barrels, connected in series, would be needed to capture a 1' rainfall event from 250 square feet of roof.

We're looking into grey water from bathtubs and etc to use as far as irrigation.. but thats a whole other fiasco to discuss. LOL! It requires tanks, refitted drainage systems, and use of only natural cleaning products. **shrug** its something to think about anyway. Its not a huge deal where I am now, we have plenty of rain usually.. but I lived in New Mexico before this.. and water is nice. You never know when drought comes and to lose a crop to no water or low yeild to less access to water would drive me nuts.
Here are some of the concepts anyway:

posted on Jun, 22 2011 @ 07:36 PM
You are correct on all points.
I knew I would have a "lead" time to the blueberries (I have 2 for pollination) and rasberries, but I didn't want to pay the extra for the older, more mature plants. Plus, that's all they had at the store.
I will have more rainbarrels, I have 3 more barrels that havent been converted and installed yet.

My main point was that this is hard work. There's a reason farming was full time work back in the day of our grandfathers. Watering, weeding, pest control, harvest and preservation take time.

I truly believe that soon, the US petro-dollar will collapse. When that happens, we will need to feed ourselves. There may not be food stamps available, the stores may be empty, I may have no money. How will I feed my family? These are real questions I'm working out the answers to today.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 11:03 PM
Very cool aquaponics farm. They are using prawn/shrimp too along with talapia. The talapia I have eaten from the store I did not like they had sort of a dirt taste to them, I don't know if that is characteristic or the way they were raised. So Shrimp excites me I iove shrimp. Also they use Styrofoam floating trays instead of gravel I like this also. The Japanese use a floating tray also. This makes more sense to me...

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 10:27 AM

Originally posted by hawkiye
Very cool aquaponics farm. They are using prawn/shrimp too along with talapia. The talapia I have eaten from the store I did not like they had sort of a dirt taste to them, I don't know if that is characteristic or the way they were raised.

Sometimes when you filet a fish, you will see a red line of blood-rich tissue running down the length of the fish, in the center of the muscle mass.

The blood in that tissue is what causes a "fishy taste". It sounds strange, but properly filleted fish shouldn't taste fishy.

When you clean the fillet that vein or red line can be mostly or merely partly removed, and it will reduce that fishiness.

My family goes crazy with the fishing on ACOE lakes in Texas. The lakes get above their carrying capacity with bass, and the daily limit may actually be something like 12 fish per person, if you catch all your fish in each category.

This year is looking thinner due to the outrageous droughth/heat here, but last year we ate fish once a week from may into october (and we have many children to feed).

I know this isn't a fishing thread, but I'm just saying, the whole aquaponics angle sure got my attention.....

Thanks for that.

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