Why you should convert your lawn to food production
pri02 Send an emailAugust 24, 20192 4 minutes read
Yearning for more sustainable living, an organic garden, but don’t know where to start? Dreaming of eating healthy vegetables and less processed foods?
The solution lies in your backyard. Whether you live on a small lot in the city or a piece of land outside town, there’s a lot to benefit from by having your own backyard farm.
Here is a quick start-up guide that will help you learn more about backyard farming.
Why you need to start backyard farming
Converting your lawn to a garden requires time, effort and will even suck up your resources. But, there’s a payoff.
Here’s are the benefits of backyard farming;
– Saving on groceries
One of the benefits of growing your own vegetables is reducing your monthly food bill. You can grow your own groceries at a fraction of the cost in the stores. You will also be reducing your carbon footprint by reducing food miles.
– Get to increase your physical activity
Before you even take a bite, you will benefit from vitamin D from the hours spent outdoors, which is vital for your health. Tending your backyard for 30 minutes daily is also a good source of physical activity which can help you burn calories and eventually lose weight and live a less sedentary lifestyle.
– Eat Healthily
Reducing your intake of processed foods and vegetables is a great step towards healthy living. Picking vegetables right from your garden will reduce your chemical intake from pesticides used on the vegetables. Vitamin and mineral content is also higher for freshly picked vegetables.
– Stress reliever
Gardening is a hobby to many and a stress reliever that leaves them feeling rejuvenated and happy overall.
As a new gardener, starting on the wrong foot is a common fear that you might experience. Here are a few points to help you when starting a backyard farm.
Most new gardeners have high expectations when starting backyard farming. While it is important to have lofty goals, don’t set the bar too high when starting. Having high expectations might kill your motivation when the results turn out to be small or slow in coming.
You will be surprised at how much you can grow in a small area using the latest backyard farming techniques. Think of starting with a raised bed, or even a collection of container plants. All that is needed is a little creativity to trade in your high expectations and watch your garden become lush with beautiful plants.
Commit to 30 minutes a day
Or even less, depending on your yard size.
It is common to feel overwhelmed by the things that need to be done when starting out in backyard farming. Well, you don’t have to do it all at once. Have a 30-minutes-a-day strategy and you will realise how much you can get done when doing it consistently.
What should I grow?
Grow what your family likes eating.
No one would love to watch their family at the dinner table forcing themselves to eat what they don’t like just because you grew it.
So, be honest. Only grow what your family will enjoy eating.
Make a list, of what your family loves and needs in most of their meals. This will save you the agony of watching your hard work go to waste just because your family doesn’t like it.
After making a list, now figure out what does well in your climate and grow it. You can try growing plants that don’t do well in your climate with greenhouse techniques later, but for now, go for the easy wins.
Think of the perennials
All that most new gardeners see is growing vegetables. But what they later learn is that annual vegetables need to be worked on a lot. And, it might be unnecessary to do so much work when there are other low-maintenance crops they can plant.
Avoid getting overwhelmed by giving perennial crops a chance. You will benefit from products that come year after year without so much work. Some examples of perennials are strawberries, herbs, artichokes, asparagus and fruit trees.
If you have little time for your yard, perennials should be your top priority.
Get creative ideas from books
Get a book to read about backyard farming and watch your creativity soar with ideas.
You can also scan a lot of online resources for great farming ideas, especially small personal gardening blogs and YouTube videos. You will be amazed at how much people have been able to grow in even tiny yards.
Learn to deal with bugs
Avoid pesticides and research organic pest solutions and preventive ways to deal with any pest outbreak.
Backyard farming should be fun, don’t let it feel like it’s a chore. Just start small, incorporate all these concepts one at a time, and watch your yard flourish with healthy, nutritious plants you can use for your meals.