There are all kinds of ways you can grow food in your backyard, but I am going to recommend a way that has worked well for me in my four short years of experience. There are key “technologies” that I have found work well together, which I would recommend to new growers :
- Wicking Beds – allow you to grow more food with less water
- Tower Trellises – allow you to grow climbing plants up to 7′ high
- Bokashi Composting – a method to compost most anything, that you can do in your home, and create free fertilizer and soil enriching compost
- Aerobic Composting – convert plant waste into nutritious compost using natural bacteria in an outdoor box
- Rainwater Harvesting – Local rain provides everything you need for your garden. No water bills.
I call these “key technologies” because they allow home growers to be sustainable and independent. Using wicking beds makes it possible to run year round on rainwater. Bokashi composting gives you a way to enrich your soils using your own kitchen waste as well as free fertilizer. Aerobic composting allows you to renew your soils season after season. Tower trellises allow you to grow vertically in your raised bed about 7′ upward. Each of these is a DIY project that you can build yourself, and which I will provide plans on this website. These practices lead to a more resilient food system that doesn’t require much cost to maintain, and reduces external dependencies.
All of these projects are compatible. For instance, the tower trellis fits inside the dimensions of the raised bed. I will also plan on adding bokashi fermenters and worm composting directly into raised beds in the future.
While building a garden, you can also plan on maximizing your own health and well-being:
- Learning to cook and eat what you grow
- Use the garden as your gym – in other words, you can garden as exercise
- Creating a routine of gardening, exercising, and cooking
This is a win/win, because as you take care of your plants and make them healthy, you are also consuming them and making yourself healthy. The synergy keeps you motivated. Myself, I garden 6-8 hours a week, about the same time you would spend in gym.
You don’t need all of these things at once, but I suggest you start by at the beginning of the list by building a wicking bed. Each of these methods takes time, observation and practice. So, it’s good to explore all of these one by one.
What kinds of things should I grow?
Grow things that you will eat. The interesting thing is you will often eat what you grow.
Dark Greens: Chard, Kale, Peas, Beets
Zucchini, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn
There are plenty of other ways to grow food at home, but if you take this route, then this website can help accelerate your learning process. I hope you have an amazing journey!