Day 1 – Asking For Permission

Today I called the suburban town we live in to learn what special permissions, applications or other official stuff we would need to keep chickens. Much to my surprise, nothing was required! Our town official told me they consider chickens to be pets and as long as we did not keep too many we are all good. He also mentioned the chickens cannot be overly loud as to disturb the peace of our neighborhood. I explained to him that we are not planning on keeping more than 6 or so chickens at once and we would not be keeping any roosters.

After hanging up the phone I breathed a sigh of relief. I was worried the town may have some kind of rule(s) that would prohibit us from our chicken keeping endeavors. I also felt energized and excited to explore the next steps.

Do you keep chickens? Are you thinking about keeping chickens? Please share your stories.

Bird is the word. We are good to go!

Bird is the word. We are good to go!

You Really Can Grow Buckets of Potatoes

Back in April we began an experiment to see if growing potatoes in buckets was as easy and foolproof as so many Pinterest pins and blog posts have made it sound.

The suspense was killing us all here on the DIY Backyard Farm!

After just 3 weeks the plants were looking green and vibrant. Every couple of weeks we added a few inches of soil to cover up more of the plants. In no time at all the bucket was filled to the top with soil and green plants were spilling out over the top.

Then it got boring. Yes boring! Plant growth slowed and we wondered when we would get to dump the bucket and see the results. Most articles I read said to wait until the plants turned yellow before picking the potatoes. Our plants did not begin to yellow until late July. They also did not yellow evenly.

By the second week of August the kids were bugging me to, “DUMP THE BUCKET!”. So we did!

The video below is proof that growing your own potatoes in a bucket is not only possible, but positively potato pleasing too! If we had waited a bit longer I am betting some of those “small fries” would have gotten much larger. No worries, we still have two pots full of our “ketchup and fries” potatoes to go!

I apologize for the shaky video work. My 9 year-old videographer was feeling a bit too energetic with all the anticipation of mini red potatoes slathered in homemade chive butter.

How to “Kid” Around in the Edible Garden

Engaging kids with their food is a great way to create healthy, lasting eating habits. Just look at the fun and excitement we share in our backyard edible garden. Even more exciting is all the feedback I have been getting on this topic. People keep telling me how amazed they are that their children are eating their veggies, fruits and herbs!

One parent recently told me her son will only eat what he picks. He will eat picked string beans, but won’t touch store bought. Smart kid!

Making Art In The Your Edible Garden

Grandma's garden sketch

My Grandma’s garden sketch

One of the beautiful aspects of edible gardening is the chance to be artful in one’s approach to growing their own food. Edible gardening allows a certain style and grace to be portrayed through plant selection, planting locations and garden design.

My son has a love for tomatoes. He likes other types of produce, but his love for tomatoes is unmatched. As a result he devotes his entire personal garden space to growing tomatoes.

My Son's Garden Art of Choice

My Son’s Garden Art of Choice

My 7 year-old daughter has a more well-rounded approach to edible gardening. She has a variety of produce growing in a very intense method. Chioggia beets intermingle with purple dragon carrots. Swiss chard plays nice with broccolini and snap peas.

This Little Girl Spreads Around The Love

This Little Girl Spreads Around The Love

The ways to make art in edible gardens are endless. One last example for this post is below. My son created this stepping stone to honor my Great-Aunt Georgette. She was the original “Backyard Farmer” and taught me much of what I know about gardening and nature.

Does edible gardening inspire you to make art? Yes you say…how so?

Kids Turned Our Garden Stepping Stones Into Memory Makers

Kids Turned Our Garden Stepping Stones Into Memory Makers

NASA’S Ark???

It would be tough to choose if NASA were to build a Voyager spacecraft and needed to bring on board the best of modern human culture. Modern human culture is all about choice!

This backyard farmer would have to vote for some modern approaches to growing food in space! Maybe indoor vertical gardens from companies like Grove Labs?

No matter what, people in space will need to grow their own foods. Some things never change!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.”

Don’t Harvest Your Garlic Without Watching This

July and August are the months for harvesting garlic here in the Northeastern USA. My 9 year-old videography took this video of me harvesting our 2015 garlic crop.

The only tip I did not mention in the video was to never leave the garlic in the hot sun to dry. I prefer to hang mine from the plant stems for a few weeks. This method keeps them dry and allows good air circulation. Garlic bulbs can rot If they are put away wet and then crowded with each other.

Laslty, be sure to leave some of the dirt on your garlic bulbs.

A Few Simple Ways to Grow Great Onions

Growing opnions is not hard and certainly not magic. However, I see very few backyard edible gardeners growing these pungeunt pals of the soil.

Watch this quick video for tips and be sure to read past blog posts to learn to get started.

Happy Growing!

The Best Thing To Do In Your Edible Garden Is…

Veggie Girl

Veggie Girl

Letting a child grow up in and around an edible garden is the best thing I have ever done. Both of my kids have had the pleasure of having and tending to their own little gardens within our family garden. They truly enjoy the whole process of growing their own produce.

Proof is in the pictures! Check out these veggie character creations they sketched. I did not commission these pieces of art or even “plant” the idea in their heads. They just decided to sketch out some characters after spending a few minutes picking and tending to the gardens.

Get in the garden today and bring along your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews. Grow your own!

Veggie Man

Veggie Man