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Garden Chat

The Trials and success of our micro estate.

Growing success

Last weekend I had the great plan that I would do my next post on garden planning. I take planning quite seriously and do my best to follow my plans. However, sometimes nature can derail even the best laid plans. Last Sunday I was gifted winter's fun present of influenza. Hence that blog post didn't happen. In fact very little happened around the house, dishes piled up, the rugs got dirty and things got hairy.

However, it made me consider what it is like to run a micro farm as a side hustle with a disability. Having chronic depression is a challenge where it cause me to ebb and flow from not wanting to get out of bed to burning to do lists like a boss. The unpredictability in my illness brings to daily life has over time lead me to develop strategies to match production with my energy levels.

If you are facing time restraints either because your farm/garden is your side hustle or you have a disability-let me share my tricks! First, I review my exisiting seed stock early and order for what I'll grow that year. And by early, I am talking like hit the road running on New Year's Day. This provides me with extra time to ensure I didn't miss any seeds for what I want to grow. Secondly, is promoting the available seedling combo packs for sale-primarily via social media.

The next big block is growing seedlings. While, this takes patience, space & time it can save you money over purchasing seedlings from somewhere else. Knowing your growing zone and last frost date is crucial information to know on when to decide to start seedlings for outside. Pre-selling helps me better utilize the space I have and to try to keep over production low.

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Aside from the sale of seedlings, the next big task for the farm is hardening off the various seedlings for our production. Often this is best accomplished when one can be home all day and with several days together. Once they are hardened off and planted in their assigned plots the maintenance is much more manageable.

As your food plants mature, while the tasks are more manageable they are daily. It is not a case of plant it and forget it. You must be viligent daily of weather forecasts, plant needs such as watering, feeding and damage control. Your plants will tell you what is and is not working; you just have to understand their language. Then lastly for all your teamwork with your botanical friends a bountiful harvest will be afoot.

What tricks do you use to manage your growing seasons?

BJV