Backyard Farming On An Acre

Categories: Green



As the economy suffers and genetically modified foods become more mainstream, growing some of the food that your family consumes is a way to save money and eat organically on a budget.

Our family has tried to move toward living as locally as possible and providing our own food as much as we can. While we only have an acre, I’ve been amazed at how much our land can provide, and we don’t even utilize most of it! Even with a small garden and a small flock of chickens, our food bill went down substantially and our kids have learned where their food comes from and been able to help grow it.

Even those in apartments can grow small container gardens or window plants, and those with land can even consider small animals or a larger garden.

Backyard Farming

I recently had the chance to read the book  Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) and even though we already do many of these things, I found myself taking a lot of notes while reading. For those just starting out in growing food, this would be a great resource and I wish I’d had it when we started out.

I found that this book had easy reference for many of the things I’d had to research and learn myself. It provides sample garden plots, how to organize a small lot for the most growing potential, and even what materials are the easiest to find, most natural and most sustainable. It gives a very easy to understand guide for starting gardening, even if you’ve never picked up a shovel before and even gives simple tips for succession planting, rotating crops and interplanting.

The authors even manage to keep chickens, rabbits, goats and sheep on an acre, as well as having a large garden, fruit trees and nut trees and beehives. I liked thatBackyard Farming focuses on making the most of what space you do have, rather than just providing vague ideas for gardening and small scale farming.

The back of the book even provides recipes and instructions for preserving foods, making cheese, yogurt and dried herbs.

What We Have

Our family is not operating on the scale of the authors of the book, but we are able to provide a substantial amount of food on our small property. On our acre, we currently have:

  • a 35 ft by 25 ft garden
  • a 32 vine vineyard
  • chickens
  • equipment for gardening, dehydrating, food storage and even wine/beer making

We could certainly do a lot more, but even this small amount is helpful, and I’d encourage you to do what you can with the space you have as well. While there is certainly more work involved, there are cost benefits and it is a wonderful way for children to be able to contribute to the family and see the value of hard work.

This week, I’m plotting out our garden for next year and making sure I have enough seeds. This is a great time of year to begin focusing on planning for the next growing season, as seeds are often on sale and it gives ample time to be prepared to start growing, even if starting seedlings indoors in late winter or early spring.

Do you grow anything in your yard? Are you planning to this year? Share your tips on the Living Off The Grid facebook comments section:

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