The last few years, my husband and I have decided to try to make our land, half an acre, work for us. If we are going to plant things to improve the curb appeal, might as well plant something that can feed us. I would be lying if I said that we came up with this idea all on our own. We were greatly inspired by a book we found at a local bookstore called The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! (If you click on the link, you can also order it from Amazon).
It really all makes sense. We spend a fortune on buying organic fruit and vegetables, so why not grow our own instead and save ourselves some money? If our blueberry bushes yields 4 lbs of blueberries each on average, and we have 12 bushes, then that would give us 48 lbs of blueberries a year. Since I pay 5.99 for an 11 oz container at the store, I would save myself $313.00 a year on blueberries alone. Yes, we eat a lot of blueberries around here.
Saving ourselves money is not the only reason. We feel it is important that our girls grow up having an appreciation for God’s creation and growing their own food is really a wonderful way to experience His intelligent design. The Bible is also full of sowing and harvesting imagery, and what better way to fully understand those scriptures than to actually do some sowing and harvesting yourself.
We feel that too many people today have little appreciation for where their food comes from and even less people have basic homesteading and survival skills. That included ourselves. Three years ago, the only place we would even consider getting a fruit or vegetable was from the grocery store. We were not able to recognize a strawberry plant from any other plant. However, my daughters will now grow up being able to identify edible plants and know how to grow them themselves if they wanted to.
For us, this is the first year in a three-year-plan. We are concentrating primarily on fruit-bearing trees and bushes and have already planted blueberry bushes, raspberries bushes, a peach tree, a fig tree, two sour cherry trees, an elderberry bush, strawberries, and two chokeberry bushes. We may potentially add hardy kiwi, grapes, lingonberries, and/or plums. Next year we will concentrate heavily on our vegetable garden and the following year we will get chickens!
Seeing that both my husband and I have black thumbs this is quite the undertaking but with good books like The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! and Google, we are confident we can do it. Stay tuned as we will be sharing our struggles and successes and feel free to follow our board on Pinterest for ideas!