Ah, the Home Garden…

Setting up the home garden

After quite a bit of talking about it, and last year’s false start, a Home Garden is suddenly in place in one corner of the field. The idea is to have a small demonstration veggie plot, to encourage people to grow at least some of their own stuff in whatever space they have. Why? Well, it seemed like fun. Located by the farm stand, it would be an extra little attraction to farm visitors… Just a thing worth doing… Anyhow, last year, I staked out a section, but didn’t get too far in planting anything in it, a couple of tomatoes and a few potatoes… This time around, I’d been chatting with Shannon, who has a lot of permaculture-based ideas, from reading and interning, so I asked her to plan it out. The final design was done really quickly earlier today (it was a busy month…), it’s more a freeform, jumbled garden with a permaculture flavor: all annual veggies, no rows, lots of interplanting, a herb spiral on a mound (a mix of annuals and perennials), an anti-pest barrier of alliums (onions and garlic chives) around the perimeter, and three little keyholes, which are dugouts that you can kneel in to garden within reach around you, as an alternative to working from paths. At about 10’x20′ (3x6m), it’s fairly small. One cool thing: the home garden layout is entirely unlike the rest of the market garden, which is all flat, linear and grid-like, lots of rectangles and squares and straight paths. Now, we have a deliberate elevation and CIRCLES! To make the mound, I dumped a few buckets of compost using the Kubota compact tractor, and raked it into shape. We then added stones for the spiral, and Erin and Mike dropped in and helped plant it out, using odds and ends of transplants and also seed, with Shannon directing. The rough plan is to have Lynn and Raechelle develop and tend it over the season (Shannon leaves tomorrow after a solid month in the field).

Planting the home garden

At just over two acres of veggies, the tiny farm is really small by most any modern agricultural standard, and starting up a MUCH TINIER space is its own private…thrill for me. It’s so…opposite! ;) It’ll be interesting to see how Home Garden 1 turns out as the season rolls along! Any way you can, getting your hands dirty is what it’s all about… (Guest photos: top by Shannon, below by Erin.)

Getting hands dirty

12 thoughts on “Ah, the Home Garden…”

  1. Brilliant idea Mike. I hope it inspires some of your Tiny Farm visitors to have a go at growing their own. We had such an interesting radio programme on small farms on the BBC Radio at the weekend. I couldn’t help but think of you a the time. It appears you’re a trailblazer to the new future! :)

  2. I’d love to see more photos of it, and/or a diagram as well. A round garden just pushes buttons in my brain!

  3. wow buddy… good thing….
    i wonder if you are planning to plant vegetables, fruits or flowers….
    i think its will be a great idea to add some nutritious food to you home garden. Even i have planted some but mostly i have planted vegetables… i you too are planing to grow some vegetables then i will suggest that you must used SurvivalSeedBank’s  seed. It has great results…./.
    Happy Gardening….

  4. Great informative description of getting a garden going and what problems you can come up against. I enjoy planting veggies in my small garden, and when it comes to planting all types of herbs which I constantly use in my cooking I have to use Pots for Herbs because my space is limited.
    Thanks again for the cool blog.

  5. I’m so jealous of all the room you have to work with. My postage stamp garden pales in comparison, but it’s productive. I have to grow vertical rather than horizontal, but with a little creativity it still works well.

  6. It’s my dream too to have a really productive home garden.  Currently we have quite a small garden and I manage to grow tomatoes each year – quite a successful crop this year!  In future though I’d love to buy more land and have an orchard.  I will need to buy somewhere out in the country for this though so will keep on saving, but you’ve got to have a dream!  There’s nothing better than growing your own fruit and vegetables.

  7. Looks like an interesting project. I hope you guys can post the progress of your tiny farm soon. I’m curious, what is the purpose of having an elevated mound in your garden? If you want to grow veggies, wouldn’t planting them on rows be enough?


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