Monday, August 22, 2011

My summer reading list and plans for the future

In between accidents and trips to the hospital, I've been busy reading and making plans for our homestead. Can you guess what we're planning based on my selection of library books?

My reading material
Of course, when I say "we're" planning, what I really mean is that I'm planning and Hubby Dear is tolerating, albeit with sighs and massive amounts of eye-rolling.

We're going to begin with two or three pecan trees this fall and add in several apple trees in the spring. We want to plant lots of other types of fruit trees, but I know better than to try and do too much at once. We I decided to start with apples and pecans because both are nutritious foods that have the potential to store well. Pecans, in particular, take a few years to start producing, so they got bumped up to the top of the project list. Since we have such rotten soil, we're going to have to take particular care to prepare the planting sites.

We're also going to expand our square food garden and fence it in preparation for the spring's big project: a chicken coop, chicken moat, and, yes, chickens.

A chicken moat plan from Mother Earth News
The above diagram is not exactly what our chicken moat will look like, but you get the picture. The idea of a chicken moat is that you surround your garden with a chicken run, which reduces weed and bug problems. Plus, you raise your own meat and eggs and get a rich source of compost for the garden. We need to start setting up the fencing around the garden area now because we are going to be swamped with garden work in the spring. I'd rather get the chickens now, but first things first. :)

Summer's not even over, but I just can't resist planning for next year. Are you planning a major addition to your yard, garden, or preps in the year to come? Do you have any advice for my ventures? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I love the idea of a chicken moat. We want chickens but live in a suburban area and they are not allowed. :( We did plant some fruit trees this year near our square foot garden. We were told by the nursery to buy two kinds of apples and two kinds of peaches. That way way they will cross pollinate and grow fruit. Apparently if you have trees that are all the same kind they won't pollinate well. We have three peach, three apple, one fig, and three grape vines. Our orchard on 1/3 acre of land. LOL All produced fruit this first year but they are three year old trees that we planted. The squirrels ate all our fruit this year. We are working on a solution to this for next year though.

  2. Dh is right now in the process of building a bigger chicken coop and run. We currently have two small coops that can hold about 4-6 chickens each. We are building a new coop that can hold 20 chickens-- so hopefully we can expand our chicken flock.

  3. I can't wait until I have a yard big enough for chickens! As for planning, I'm so much better at it than actual gardening...sigh. I love planning, and babying along seedlings, and planting & tending the garden -- but somehow I get very little return (except with herbs, which grow quite well for me). Still trying to figure it out, maybe my soil amendments aren't right or something. I'm just going to keep learning and trying!