From Marjory Wildcraft’s GrowNetwork
How much food can you grow on a 1/4 acre lot? Not much, right… Maybe a small garden in the back yard… Think again!
A group of roommates in Austin, Tx decided to stretch their small suburban lot as far as they could. And you won’t believe how much food they’re producing…
In addition to replacing the lawn with garden beds, they worked in a couple of greenhouses with aquaponic systems, and a huge composting operation. They didn’t neglect the visual appeal of the yard, either. They worked in some evergreens and perennial landscaping to keep the yard looking nice for the neighbors. As you’ll see, they won their neighborhood association’s Yard of the Month award in 2014.
A Simple Solution for the Squash Vine Borer
My favorite part of the video is when Michael says, “Our way of dealing with the squash vine borer… is to just replant.” That’s awesome. We hear so much about this particular pest and various intricate attempts to control it. Some people insist on bringing in fresh soil. Others build physical barriers to keep the moths out. Still others inject Bt insecticide into their squash stems using hypodermic needles. Or, you could “just replant.” I love it when there’s a simple, natural solution for a tough problem like that.
There’s another good approach in this article: The Borer Wars – How to Outsmart the Squash Vine Borer.
Micro-Farming as a Side Income
It looks like these folks are eating very well, and they’re generating a surplus. They’re selling some of the produce they grow in a mini-CSA arrangement. And they sell their aquaponic herbs and greens directly to local restaurants.
This group had to be pretty resourceful to come up with the funds to bring this whole plan together. Between crowd-funding, grants, and partnerships with other local organizations, they were able to find all of the money they needed.
No doubt, some neighborhoods would not be as supportive as this one has been. In some places, you might attract some unwanted attention by building a farm in your front yard. But even if you have to keep your garden in the back yard, these guys might lend you a little inspiration about just how much food you can grow on a small plot of land.
You can learn more about Ten Acre Organics and co-founders Lloyd Minick and Michael Hanan here: Ten Acre Organics.
Since I can’t afford an aquaponic system, this year I am starting my garden from seeds and I’m using water from the fish tank to grow the sprouts. It is supposed to make plants grow three times as fast, so I can at least get some of the benefits.
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