Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Prodigal Master Gardener Returns....

Hello, Everyone! I hope that some of you remember me. I fell off the master gardener scene because life got in the way for a bit and I had to let some things go. But I've never stopped growing food. In fact, I have ramped up my homesteading skills. I also started making vegetable gardening videos that I put on my YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/veggiegardentv) and that seems to be picking up quite a bit of steam! I'm very happy about that. My backyard garden has evolved into a backyard farm complete with four Barred Rock chickens! We just finished building the coop this weekend for our girls. Here are two pictures of it:




My hubby drew up the design and built it. I helped, but he did all of the hard work. The girls really seem to like it. I am looking forward to getting eggs from them around October. 

My gardens are coming along quite nicely as well. I've added three new raised beds because 300 square feet just isn't enough for me anymore. Here are some shots of the gardens. This first shot has beans in the back of the bed to grow up the chicken wire and tomatoes in the front.  It's kind of hard to see because of the strawberry patch that's in the big garden cage directly behind this bed. There are also two zucchini plants in the front that I will let sprawl into the yard.



This is the second of three cinder block beds I made this season. This one has three tomato plants and eight pepper plants. I also planted basil, oregano, and chives in the holes of the cinder blocks, and one watermelon plant on the edge of the bed that is sprawling its way into the yard.


This is a raised bed that I put in last year. There are peppers, garlic, sugar snap peas, radishes and spinach, which is just about done now. Thinking of what I will put in its place.


This is the amazing strawberry patch. It started with just six plants three years ago. I never mulch it in winter, never feed it, and it always gives me a TON of strawberries. I had to thin it out this year because strawberries were rotting due to too much cover. 



Finally, here are seedlings I grew that were in the greenhouse you see in the background. I only got them planted this past weekend because my chickens were using the garden cage during the day as their play pen until we got the coop finished. I've got okra, cukes, collards, kale, and tomatoes growing.

Everything is coming along quite well. I bought a scale this year to keep track of how much I actually harvest. I'll be sure to post blogs of how the garden grows and what my chickens are up to. My goal is to become totally food independent like my grandmother was. With the hunting and fishing skills I've acquired, I move closer every day to not having to buy my food from the store!

So that's all for now!

God bless and Happy gardening!!!


7 comments:

  1. LOVE the chicken coop! Beautiful design.

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  2. Thanks, Nancy! Hubby came up with it, drew up the plans on paper and then went to work. It was so amazing to watch him take pieces of wood and plywood and turn it into a coop!

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  3. Nice to see you posting here again, Audra! I'm looking forward to more garden and chicken reports!

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    1. It's great to be back! Much more to come!

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  4. Ditto! ~ I hope to begin raising chickens in a few years. Great backyard farming..

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    1. Thanks and yes it is! I already see a reduction in my waste. I feed all my kitchen scraps to the birds and they LOVE it. So now all of my household trash is able to be recycled! That alone makes having chickens worth it! I've already started saving egg cartons and can't wait for the day when I don't have to buy eggs anymore!

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  5. Good article Audra. Mind if I share it?

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