This year’s planning has gone on much longer than in previous years. There are a few reasons for that. One, we added a lot of gardening space in the front bed last year. Secondly, we added multiple raised beds, additional patio planters and dug out a larger portion of the perennial border to expand our food production area. This area will also be home to edible flowers as well as rich nectar and pollen sources for pollinators. Finally, we are planning some vertical structures in the back garden to allow us to grow larger vining crops and to raise some crops off the ground for disease prevention.
The net increase in growing space is a natural progression and is part of an overall life plan. We both agree that we want to get off the commercial food “system” as much as possible. Unless we have larger land, the thought of being 100% self-sufficient is probably not achievable…however 80% might be given our urban location. This will take a multi-year plan to increase our own production and to decentralize our own acquisition of items that we do not produce. This means everything else we need to live and thrive must be sourced from various local producers and must be, as much as possible, organic. For now, these are our goals for 2015 into 2016 for our garden.
Since we cannot grow all of the produce calories we need on our site right now, we will rely on locally grown fruit and veggie farmers through trusted U-Pick farms and local farmers markets for the balance. We will buy more than we need to eat so we can effectively freeze, dry, or otherwise preserve the fresh harvest.
Another resolution for this year is to weigh the harvest and keep track of how much we are supplementing so we can accurately plan for the coming years. I have used this blog as chronicle, but I have not kept a gardening journal.
Below are images of the proposed 2015 garden…these are nearly realized plans so they will probably change as we execute constructing our vertical trellising systems.