Suburban farming: It’s not just for homes
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Suburban farming is achievable, beneficial and fun. Many churches and businesses in various municipalities have donated city lots to be used for gardening.
Also, a significant number of organizations get together with community members and grow food. This is an excellent option for those who do not have a yard to plant a garden or are new to gardening.
Plants that are easy to grow
Beans: Three to four plants can be grown in a 12-inch pot.
Peas: You can grow six plants in a 12-inch pot.
Tomatoes: Can be raised in pots with direct natural sunlight.
Lettuce: To grow lettuce and other vegetables, I recommend stackable planters. You can also use the stackable planters indoors to grow vegetables all year.
Spinach: Spinach can be grown in a pot or a stackable planter as well. Spinach and lettuce are vegetables that can be grown indoors for year-round salads. You will need to use a grow light for your indoor plants.
Bell peppers: Bell peppers grow best in a garden or on a patio versus indoors.
Banana peppers: These are grown just like bell peppers. Banana peppers require lots of sun and warm soil. They need at least eight hours of sunlight.
The types of vegetables you can grow on your suburban farm is limitless. To have a successful garden you need bees. Be sure to plant poppies or other plants that attract bees.
Animals suitable for suburban farming
Chickens: Chickens are an asset to any suburban farm. We started with about 15 chickens. We have no roosters, only hens.
Many people ask me can a hen still lay eggs with no rooster? The answer is yes. We get about eight to 10 eggs a day; with winter coming that number will decrease.
Three things you can do in winter to keep egg production up are increase the protein in their food, provide lots of hay and use a heat lamp.
Ducks: While ducks are messier than chickens, I find they are a bonus to any farm. I love duck eggs. Duck eggs make excellent homemade noodles. You can use the yolk to make the noodles and use the whites to make a meringue for pies.
Many people find duck eggs richer in taste. Ducks do require more water than a chicken because they need the water when eating so they don’t choke. A simple solution is to use a child-size plastic pool.
Rabbits: Rabbits can be raised as pets or as food for the farm. They are easy to care for. As a pet, they bring joy to the farm. They also are an excellent source of food.
In some municipalities, it may be against the law to slaughter animals on your suburban farm so please check local laws. You can however raise them on your farm and take them to a meat processing plant for the slaughter.
Challenges of suburban farming
Bugs, warm weather and rain can affect your farm. We have dealt with cabbage moth worms and slugs. We used Sevin dust on our plants and we were able to save our crops.
We did lose our white corn, but that was due to unpreventable circumstances. Someone was able to break into our gate and trample the plants.
We were fortunate that we did not lose anymore plants than the corn. Even in the city humans and animals can play a factor in destroying your suburban farm.
Tips to a successful suburban farm.
Research, read blogs, ask an expert, and learn from trial and error. Every farmer learns something new every season.
With that said, something that works one season may not work the same next season. Make sure your coops and cages are predator- and weatherproof. You can have a successful suburban farm on a shoestring budget and produce healthy, profitable crops in a variety of settings.
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