I'm in more than a bit of a quandary as I have nearly 1/2 acre of undeveloped dirt yard inside city limits of a small town. I am in the position of needing to plan to do less as I age (wisdom) so I am thinking to dedicate two 8' diameter sections in a keyhole pattern as described in Gaia's Garden (not the compost centered plan). I would like to raise fresh produce that is not available locally: lettuce, beans, tomatoes, three sisters with pumpkin or butternut squash instead of summer squash, peppers, carrots, radishes, calendula, nasturtium...that sort of thing. If I went back and forth every year, would that work for the tomatoes? I like sweet potatoes more than russet.
I want to do the forest plan in the remainder of my yard with a tree/shrub/vine/ground cover focusing on perennial medicinal herbs: borage, comfrey, rose, elderberry and about a million other ideas as I study Rosemary Gladstar's Herbalism course.
I've been trying and failing at container gardens (all the gophers) and a few other randoms: an apple tree that barely produces (because I need another I find out five years later), two lemon trees that are struggling and a blood orange tree that has produced one orange last year with four on the branch now. And one nearly dead peach tree (the local nursery forgot to tell me to wrap the trunk to prevent sunburn when I planted it).
I feel more than a little overwhelmed with the work that needs to get done before I'm too broken to do and am stuck living in a sand trap. The land was once a riverbed in a former period of geographical history. Quite sandy but seems to want to become fertile. This valley used to be mostly farm land.
I am thinking of signing up for the permaculture design course, but I'm not needing to go the homestead route.