Water is life and whether you use city water, well water, rainwater or
another water source water is a must have. In our Red Bay Farm
demonstration project we elected to drive a well point and use a hand pump
to lift the water for garden irrigation and aquaponics uses.
In May 2008 we installed our well. The water comes from a shallow well
on 1 1/4 pipe with a 60" well point hand driven to about 12' below the
surface. We can fill a 5 gallon bucket in about 45 seconds...pumping
by hand. If you want to drive your own well point take a look at this pamphlet for detailed information.
Driving a well is hard work and will cost just over $200 for pipe, drive cap, drive couplers, a driving well point (pointed steel sieve that attach's to the
pipe and of course a simple hand pump. I helped my neighbor install a successful well and It took him several days working a couple of hours a day.
Difficulty will depend on soil type. We used a sledge hammer as the driver, you can also use a hand fence post driver or set up a more complex system
like shown in the pamphlet linked above.
If you don't want to or can't drive a well or drill a well then you can use municipal water (leave in an open container for 24 hours if the water will be used
for fish). You can also Build rain barrels or a cistern or use a stream or pond as a water source. But in all cases water is essential if you want to raise
food in your backyard. Get more water source information on my water page.
What an intriguing idea. Raising fish which in turn produce fertilizer for plants which in turn cleanse the water for the fish. Actually this idea is very old and the Chinese were probably
using these techniques long long ago. But this is an option that can produce results and has a relatively low entry cost. For our system we purchased 4 food quality plastic barrels.
barrel for a rain barrel, food storage or aquaponics.]
|Become an Urban Farmer!
Every week the US loses an area of farmland roughly the size of Manhattan
to development. Your Suburban lot was likely either farmland or
productive forest land.
Mel Bartholomew, of Square Foot gardening fame, says that a family of 4
only needs an area about 10 feet by 13 feet to grow vegetables for home
So put some of that land back into agriculture for you and your family!
Become an Urban Farmer. Start a vegetable garden this year!
|Backyard Food Production
~growing food year round in your backyard~
A collection of essentials and optional items
for growing food in your backyard
Plant A Garden
Everyone should have a vegetable garden! Whether you live in an apartment (using containers), in a suburban home or in the country plant a garden.
Gardening is a relatively inexpensive hobby or can even become a part time job which can provide wholesome food for a family and maybe a bit of income.
We don't use tillers or tractors in our garden. Only hand tools are required. All that is needed to start is a shovel, bucket and a garden trowel.
Gardens can range from a simple container with a grow light in a basement to an extensive complex providing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Vegetable gardens can be integrated into the landscape or can stand alone. There are so many ideas for gardening. Just do some Internet research to find
the styles which fit into your life. Read about garden styles from around the word.
Above are some pictures from our garden. We use raised bed techniques in our garden while using a mixture of styles that incorporate the raised beds. We
don't use any synthetic fertilizer, insecticides or pesticides in our garden. We recommend using organic techniques which as you can see below produce
good results. (here are some search word ideas: kitchen garden, raised bed garden, lasagna garden, no work garden...just to name a few.
Here are a couple of our favorite reference links which may be of interest and provide information on some simple and inexpensive gardening methods.
Constructing a Circular Vegetable Garden
Square Foot Gardening Forum at the Garden Web
| A Greenhouse
A greenhouse or unheated cold frame provides the ability to extend the gardening
season by about 60 days per year. If heated...the greenhouse can provide food all
year round. Even though we have had ice inside the cover of our greenhouse.
By placing our tropical plants (taro and avocado) next to our water tanks and
covering the plants with plastic sheeting we have successfully prevented frost
damage down to a temperature of 22 degrees Fahrenheit.
For our demonstration project we have elected to construct what many might call
a cold frame.
We used these plans as a guide for building our greenhouse:
A Small Greenhouse for the Home Gardener
fraction of the cost of a prefabricated model of the same size. Our cost was less
than $350. You can purchase a greenhouse of about this size (12' X 16') but it will
cost considerably more. Even a hoop kit for a greenhouse this size will cost
more. We would love to have some of the greenhouses advertised on this page
but our budget is very modest.
Here are some additional links which provide DIY greenhouse plans and ideas.
I have a worm bin which produces worms which provide some of the food I feed my blue gills and I use solar power to run my growing "Backyard Food Production Complex (BFPC)
Thanks for visiting Red Bay Farm. We hope you have found this page both useful and enjoyable. If you have any ideas you want to share send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
|Need to start some seeds?
Check out this Farmer's
Almanac article with the
tips necessary to get your
seedlings off to a great start!
Some Easy To Grow Vegetables for your first Garden
Just as soon as you can work the soil.
Onion and Garlic sets (bulbs): Here in NC they are very easy to grow from sets. If you prefer
to use onion seed give a little protection under plastic sheeting or cheese cloth.
Give these vegetables some early spring protection with some cheese cloth or plastic sheeting.
Sow the seed in the ground.
Plant a little and plant often for a continuous supply of tender lettuce.
Radish: Plant a few and plant often for a continual supply of these tasty salad vegetables.
Swiss chard: A great addition to a spring or fall garden. Tastes better, to me anyway, after a
Beets: A fantastic vegetable that brings a vibrant color and healthy addition to the dinner
the roots can grow deeply.
After all danger of frost has passed plant these vegetables. Save some money by starting your
plants indoors in a sunny spot from seed.
Green Beans: Try some Italian purple bush beans...purple when you pick them and green
when they are cooked.
Okra: An old Southern favorite which puts the gumbo (African for okra) in that famous
Yellow Squash: For some reason nearly everyone craves yellow squash in the early
summer. Superb sauteed with a bit of bacon and some green onions.
Zuchinni Squash: Really prolific. Don't plant to much or your neighbors will be running away
when they see you coming with more squash to give away!
Sweet Pepper: Bell peppers...usually prolific, can be frozen. Stuffed peppers or for salad.
You just can't miss.
Cherry Tomatoes: These little tomatoes are very disease resistant and are productive.
There are numerous types.
need to take some quizzes
and send an SASE but you'll
get 6 (they sent us 10 packs)
free packs of heirloom seeds.
seed. 10 from
Wintersown and 5 from
the dollar store.