A Look at the Tiny Farm

So, neither of us are big fans of lawns. The cost to keep it watered, especially for us using city water, to keep it fertilized, and even to keep the weeds out are insanely high, not to mention largely harmful to the environment as a whole. As a result, we have largely let our front yard get taken over by native wildflowers, as well as planting other plants throughout it like chaya and sweet potato. The back yard, on the other hand, is a completely different story. We took out all of the grass and started a little farm. Let’s take a look at how it used to be and what it looks like now!

Quick note: we operate two plots of land, this is just a look at the one in our own back yard. I would hope I could convince more people to try this out, even if they don’t tear out all of their grass. We’re lucky enough to live in Florida, and if you do as well you can harvest vegetables on your land all year long. It’s great!

The day I tore out all of the raised beds. Sugar cane, tomatoes, black eyed peas, and watermelon all got harvested or moved to other plots around the property.
A look at the raised beds that used to be in the back yard from a different angle, maybe two weeks prior. There’s also two automatic rainwater irrigation systems in this shot that I might talk about in a later blog.
This is the first bed that we planted after ripping up everything in the back yard. Tomatoes can survive more of the heat of summer here than the greens can, so those would go in later. The tarp on the right will help keep the weeds down until then.
The tomatoes a few weeks later are starting to really fill out. Planting in the ground instead of raised beds really opens up the amount of land you can use, and makes watering a lot easier.
We rolled the tarp back, exposing one more of the six total rows, to plant a row of cucumbers similar to how we planted the tomatoes. Sadly, the cucumbers did not survive and we will be taking this bed to plant out more tomatoes.
Another shot of the tomatoes, with the cucumbers in the row behind them. This shot also does a good job of showing how much area we had the tarp covering in order to control weeds for our future greens.
Cucumbers in the front, tomatoes in the back!
We finally pulled the tarp off of the rest of the beds in the middle of December. Take a look at how healthy that soil is! The native soil in this area is just straight beach sand, so improving the soil health is always our main priority.
The first greens starting to sprout. On the left is kale, with arugula in the back. The right bed is spinach with lettuce in the back. We planted these two beds first to help stagger harvesting times.
The right two beds starting to sprout, two weeks later. They grow in the same pattern: Kale and spinach in the front, arugula and lettuce in the back.
A little further along.
A little further along
Some color really starting to appear in the lettuce bed!
The right two beds are starting to fill in now too.
Teddy likes to lay in the kale.

We’ve been harvesting off of these beds now for a few weeks. Certainly a better use of our land than keeping grass! They’re extra delicious when they’re locally grown, too, and it doesn’t get any more local than this!

 

 

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