When we bought our home, it was a foreclosure and a major fixer upper. We had no intention of creating a small little farmhouse out of our home, but here we are, killin’ it. There are chickens in the backyard, a kitchen garden in the front, and a few meat rabbits scattered about the property.
I’ve tried so many types of gardens on this property, and each one presented its challenges. Because we live on a steep hillside, gardening has been a challenge in and of itself for the entire time we’ve lived here. But in 2017 we created our very first official “Farmhouse Kitchen Garden”. . . and I fell in love. I fell in love with the way we laid it out. I fell in love with the mulch that kept down the weeds. I fell in love with the cattle panel arches that we created to grow vertically and save space.
In the 2017 farmhouse garden we planted:
- 15 tomato plants (different varieties)
- 14 bean plants
- 12 cucumber plants
- 6 pepper plants
- a large patch of lettuce (seen above under the first arbor)
- 1 row of peas
- multiple patches of garlic
- a too many herbs to count
From that, I was able to can multiple batches of spaghetti sauce, harvest multiple gallons of beans, pickle and can over 20 pints of pickles, feed on lettuce and other veggies through October, and make herbal products throughout the entire season.
This year, we’re expanding. In fact, we’re doubling our garden space from last year. Last year was our test run, this year, the gloves come off.
In order to expand the garden, we had to have 4 loads of fill dirt delivered so that we could fill in some holes in our backyard. We seeded the back yard (our “mini pasture) will pasture grass, so that we can create a deep root system to help hold in the hillside and offer a multitude of delicious forage for the chooks. After the fill dirt was laid out, we finally had space in the front to expand the garden (where the fill dirt had been).
Here’s what I’m planting in 2018:
- 1-2 long rows of potatoes
- 20-30 tomato plants (mostly canning tomatoes, with some heirlooms for eating)
- 1 arbor of green beans
- 1 arbor of cucumbers
- 2 rows of peas
- multiple new herb varities
- 15-20 pepper plants (different varieties)
- 1 large patch of lettuce
- White Icicle radishes
- Purple carrots
- Multiple rows of garlic
- Multiple rows of onions
- . . . and lots of other things I haven’t decided on yet.
Talk about an expansion!
See what I’ve been up during this process in my most recent video on my YouTube channel.
Amy K. Fewell is an author, family herbalist, entrepreneur, homesteader, and homemaker. Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her and her family live a natural homesteading lifestyle where they promote self-sufficiency and liberty. Amy is the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. You can discover more on this website and at homesteadersofamerica.com