Backyard Gardening and Urban Farming for Self-Sufficiency on Small Acreage

Backyard gardening advice for those who want to learn how to be self-sufficient on very small area, even if you only have a fifth of an acre. You don't need a large homestead! You can go homesteading in your own backyard leading to backyard self-sufficiency!

Instead of dreading mowing the grass every weekend why don't you turn it into something useful? This type of backyard gardening has been revolutionized with the economic downturn, where more and more people aim to grow their own organic vegetables and be self-sufficient. So why don't you start to Grow Vegetables and Fruit? organically? Use natural pesticides to protect you and your family's health and redesign your garden and give it a better landscaping plan which includes a place to grow some food.

With backyard gardening or urban farming you can grow your food without the use of pesticides. Improve your soil with a simple worm farm and make compost in 4 months.

I came across a video the other day, which I have put up on my Free Farm Videos page of a family that did just that, in fact there are several interesting videos showing other families, but the one that really grabbed my attention was the video of a man and his family living in suburban California, who were urban-homesteading. Not only did they manage to be totally self-sufficient with vegetables, keeping chickens, goat's milk, herbs, etc. with their backyard farming efforts, but he was also able to sell his excess produce, make ethanol fuel from his vegetable waste - all on one fifth of an acre!

Now that is not a big piece of property, by any stretch of the imagination, and admittedly, he redesigned his backyard and turned it into something productive and usable, but he also turned his front yard into all things edible.

Self sufficient living

What if you only have a very small piece of land, not big enough to swing a cat in? So what? You need to think inside the box, including those who live in flats and have access to small balconies; even you can grow herbs and vegetables if you wanted to. So what do I mean by that?

What if you have that extremely small piece of land which is even smaller than a fifth of an acre? Well, you can still go urban farming and backyard gardening. You won't be able to milk Daisy the cow every morning, but you can still grow vegetables and herbs, by growing them vertically, rather than on the ground. With this backyard gardening style you will need to build boxes, or trays, deep enough for your vegetables to grow, about 10 inches is fine, and then build them into vertical frames with space in between for the sun to get to them. For tall growing plants such as tomatoes, green peppers and egg plants, those should be grown on the very top tray.

Think about other options for backyard gardening, backyard self-sufficiency or urban self-sufficiency by planting a couple of fruit trees or even growing some grapevines in your urban garden. There are a number of dwarf fruit trees available now which are perfect for small yards, gardens and growing in tubs on patios. There are videos on these topics too for you to have a look at.

Even if you have just a small balcony, you can also have these frames and grow your vegetables in the same way. Or buy some pretty window boxes and containers and grow herbs and salad vegetables in those. What about a strawberry barrel or two? Growing vegetables in containers is one way to go. Another way to grow vegetables in a small space is to growing vegetables vertically to save on space.

If you are interested, have a look at his video, and if you want to do something similar, remember, no one will stop you planting fruit, herbs and your backyard vegetables, but check your by-laws to make sure that you can keep chickens and livestock in your municipal area. And if you want to sell your vegetables, you will have to get a trading license. However, if you merely swap your produce for services that others can provide, then no license is necessary.

Remember, you don't need lots of land for backyard gardening and self-sufficiency; you just need, sun, soil, water, and determination to succeed!


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1. Backyard Gardening:  How much Food can you Grow in your Backyard? Afterwards read our article on Peak Oil

2. Backyard Gardening: An Experiment in Back Yard Sustainability

3. Backyard Gardening: Urban Farming at its Best!

4. Backyard Gardening: Be Self-Sufficient on Less than 1/5th of an acre

5. Backyard Gardening: Mini City Orchards

6. Backyard Gardening: City Vineyards


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