Homestead

How Growing Your Own Food Without a Tractor Is Possible

So how do we handle the beginning stages of growing your own food without a tractor? To be fair, we just purchased one from my husband’s uncle however, we haven’t been able to use it yet.

growing your own food garden

We had been thinking of growing our own food for years and researching just what happens to even the organic foods that pushed us even harder. Then the virus hit and food goods have been slowly becoming less and less able to attain. We knew it was time to really dive into it.

So there is a spot in my front yard that is full of overgrown bushes and a few smaller plants that have gotten lost in our garden of death. I know it is pretty morbid, but I call it that due to the fact that everything we ever loved has been buried up there. It isn’t anything you can walk through. Just a big circular plot in the front to block off the road view. Doesn’t work in the winter when the bushes are deciduous. 

Spring hit and you had to have something to eat so growing your own foods is just a smart investment.

I thought okay hubby took the chainsaw to the bushes and was going to rent a machine to pull them up but we found out how much a rental was and it was just out of our budget. Nothing we had was strong enough to dig up the 10-30 year old bushes so we decided to just cut them down low, leave them there and create a garden around them. This is really where a tractor would have came in handy. So we had to rip up the landscaping paper we had put down 12 years ago. Grass had it glued down and in some spots it looked as if I was raking up slices of sod. 

growing your own food in the garden raking

Hand raking isn’t fun.

After all of the paper (technically it’s plastic) is pulled up, it was time to grab the hoe. Do you remember those old grubbing hoes from back in the day?Na, im kidding. We used a tiller. It’s like trying to keep control on a bucking bronco though. 

Holding it in place is more rough on the hands. You’ll get blisters in no time. 

We actually didn’t get to pull plastic, till, make rows, and seed at the same time. We ran out of daylight and two we weren’t prepared with seeds. So it was good to let the soil rest for a little bit. The kids and I pulled roots and weeds and got most of the larger rocks out so it would make for a clean row. About a week later were able to get seeds in the ground.

We are already having signs of sprouting which is so awesome!! Since writing this, it has been about 2 weeks and we had a frost. I didn’t pay enough attention to the weather and it killed the seedlings. Growing your own food is a bit harder than I imagined. We had to purchase more seeds and start again. It’s taking chances when buying seeds. You never know just what your germination rate is going to be from one year to the next and even which brands have the best rates. For us it is just a game of chance.

 rows

So we have corn, snaps (green beans for non southerners), carrots, zucchini, and watermelon from what I remember.

 corn

I am not a professional at growing food by no means.

I grew up shelling peas, snapping snaps, shucking corn, scaling fish and all of that, but as far as growing a crop I’ve only done it once. That was the year of one of the bad drought seasons. Almost nothing made it. We ended up with about one 5 gallon bucket of snaps, maybe half a bucket of corn, a ton of squash, a bucket of cucumbers, and that was really all we had. At that point it was just my husband and I. So it went okay for us but now we are a large family of 7 and I want to make my own baby food as well. So this is going to be a new one for me.

Last year I managed to plant potatoes and I rounded up about 15 itty bitty ones. I fed them to my bugs. I am also raising mealworms too. Gotta have something to give my chickens when they aren’t able to forage on their own. As of tonight while I finish off this post we have planted crimson clover , yellow clover, buckwheat and soon to be sunflower when that order comes in. 

bee food

These are for bee food.

Research shows that these change the color and flavor of honey and I can’t wait to see the difference.

What are some things you are doing right now to stay busy?

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