Travis Johnson wrote:
It is a two step process; how to grow your own food, but also how to preserve it. For us the latter part has proven to be more frustrating then the former.
Abbey Battle wrote:
My soil is horribly infertile, not really good for growing anything which is why it was so cheap and has historically been used for grazing and as a quarry. (Also iron ore extraction). The top soil is only a couple of inches deep before you hit sandstone. Saving grace is that there is a lot of water.
My orchard, (which is only 2 years old and yet to start producing fruit), is about an acre in size. I've planted other edibles around the edge, (again, too young to have started producing crops). I'm planning on planting more edibles this winter. Also extending my nut orchard.
I think if I want to become totally self sufficient, I will have to radically change my diet. I have had almost zero sucess with growing veggies. Even having built up the soil. I think to put any kind of fertility in the soil will take years. The trees I planted were planted in large holes with plenty of compost / organic matter. This should sustain them. I'll have to keep mulching with compost to improve the soil. At least I have plenty of leaf litter to go at.
I'm interested in your idea for a root cellar Travis. My worry is that where I am, the water table is very high. (or I am very low, almost sea level). Maybe I could build the cellar (at the top of the land), then dig a deeper drainage hole to take the water away to one of the ponds lower down.
Dado Scooter wrote:The problem with aquaponics is that it is as you said, high initial startup cost, and big learning curve in learning to balance the system. A big greenhouse is extremely expensive for a homesteader. My dad had a commercial chrysanthemum greenhouse nursery, but the cost was justified and a good tax write off. If you are a commercial grower, yes it would be worth it, but for a backyard homesteader, NOT. There is no way that the cost will be offset for not buying canning jars.... that is totally unrealistic. .
Dado Scooter wrote:
If I had a southern slope, I'd build my greenhouse into a slope. My land is bottomlands and I get standing water in the back where my horses lives when it rains. So no in ground greenhouse for me. I don't want to have the expense of flood proofing a space so my greenhouse doesn't become a water pit. So, in some ways, you DO have to identify problems so you can avoid or mitigate them early.