A few years ago I was on a days course and I got talking to a guy about self sufficiency and my property, "5 acres!" he said "you can easily be self sufficient on that." I politely walked away.
I know it can be done, but anyone who thinks its easy has never grown more than a lettuce from a B&Q plug plant.
As many of you know it's not just growing the food, it's having the infrastructure in place to do it. The fertility in the soil needs to be built up over years, you need to have a supply of seeds that you know will grow well in your area, produce your own fertiliser and you need to be able to harvest, process and store all your produce, let alone all the other bits of equipment you need to store to do all these things.
|The paths I added last year to divide the garden into beds|
|My "new" greenhouse added last year.|
I'm slowly getting more and more set up each year. Last year I felt like I got the garden into a more manageable position by laying lots of paths and erecting my new greenhouse, I put up fences all around the smallholding and generally kept on top of things.
This year it's already making a big difference as I'm using the greenhouse loads and I've got veg beds ready to plant when the time comes instead of messing around trying to lay paths first and remove lots of weeds left from the previous year.
We did start from scratch here so it's going to take a while to get into a position where it doesn't feel like I'm chasing my tail. We only had a couple of old, useless tin sheds when we moved here and no veg garden or perennial plants or fruit trees, so although it gave us the advantage of having a blank canvas, it also meant that we had little to work with and anything we wanted we had to buy, build or erect.
So each year I try to knock something off my list (and in turn my workload) and add something back on. This year's big garden infrastructure projects are going to be a garden/food storage shed, that's going to be frost free and rodent proof, and another nursery garden area to grow on my grafted fruit trees.
So my question is how long did it take you to get everything set up and running smoothly in your garden? And what big infrastructure projects have you got lined up for it this year?