Trying a Natural, Low-Maintenance Lawn

Lawn care may seem like a strange thing to discuss in relation to self sufficiency, but it’s more related than you might imagine.

To maintain a traditional lawn requires a lot of fertilizer, water, herbicides (for weed control), work, and equipment (lawn mowers, edgers, aerators, etc., plus the related costs of fuel and maintenance).  These costs all add up, and so do their impact on the ecosystem.  This article about water quality in streams improving after a fertilizer ban is a perfect example.  Another good read is American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, which details the history of lawns, and the development of the lawn care industry.

We decided to start looking at alternatives to the traditional lawn.  This came from desires for a lawn that is lower maintenance, less expensive, and natural and organic for our chickens to forage on (while still looking nice).

Continue reading “Trying a Natural, Low-Maintenance Lawn”

Potato Barrels

This year was our first year growing potatoes, and we tried them in barrels.  We had one barrel of Red Pontiac and one of Yukon Gold.

The idea is that you take a big barrel, drum, bag, or other vessel and make sure it can drain out the bottom, then put in about 6 to 8 inches of soil and plant your seed potatoes.  As they grow, soil is added to keep pace with their growth, until you reach the top of the barrel.  They are supposed to send out roots all along their path to the top of the barrel, sprouting potatoes all along the way.  The end goal: a barrel full of potatoes.

Continue reading “Potato Barrels”