Food Production in the Front Yard

I got the bright idea a couple years ago to turn our front yard into food production. We never seemed to have time to mow the grass anyway. We live on 7 acres in a rural area in the high desert. Our property is primarily sagebrush and tumbleweeds except for the front and back lawn. Who am I kidding, the sagebrush, tumbleweed, and thistle have taken over the back lawn. But I digress…

Besides making the front yard productive, I was tired of making the 150 yard trek to the garden! Last time we had a garden in the designated garden area, Desert Daughter and I encountered a badger. It was about 100 yards from us advancing fast. Up until that moment, it never occurred to me I should add a shotgun to my list of garden tools. I sent Desert Daughter to the house to get Desert Husband. In the meantime, the badger paused, probably contemplating his next move. It decided to continue toward me. I was a little freaked out and mesmerized at the same time of what this wild creature was going to do. It finally decided it was done trying to intimidate me and made a 90 degree turn and headed off toward the neighbor’s property. Desert Husband didn’t make it outside in time to see or shoot the badger.

Food production in the front yard began with Desert Husband building raised garden beds out of 1″ x 8″ x 8′ long boards. We used non treated wood and attached 1/2″ x 1/2″ wire to the bottom to deter the gophers living on the property. We lined the garden beds with weed blocking fabric before pouring in the garden soil. I started with four beds which I quickly over planted that first year. All those tomato plants looked lonely so I planted them closer than recommended so I could fit in a couple more plants.

That first year I planted a lot of tomatoes in two of the beds. There were so many tomatoes it was an adventure getting in between the vines to pick the ripe ones. I planted zucchini and yellow squash in another bed. Apparently, I cannot grow zucchini. Squash bugs had a tasty feast before the zucchini could get established. In the last bed, I planted sweet peas. I was able to get just enough for a snack once in a while.

The tomatoes did relatively well while they were getting watered by the automatic sprinklers. I never came close to my goal to have enough tomatoes to can for the winter. We were able to have tomatoes available as needed instead of making a trip to the grocery store. Saving a little money by staying out of the grocery store is always a win.

© 2016 by Marge Fox

About Me

Hello and welcome to my homesteading and lifestyle blog.  I’ve always enjoyed the idea of writing but never made the time…until now.

My name is Marge. I am a mother of two teenagers and the wife to a great guy for the past 25 years. This is the story of our journey to being debt free and achieving the homestead dream. We’ve been on the journey for a few years although it doesn’t seem we’ve traveled very far. We don’t do everything right. In fact, we probably do it wrong. Funny how the day to day living seems to get in the way much of the time.

We’ve always had a spending problem. For me it was due to the lack of money growing up. As an adult, earning money, I followed the want it now, buy it now lifestyle. As a result, we ended up deep in debt with lots of crap we don’t need. I say this in present tense because we still have a lot of it! Since a large portion of our money was spent on food, we also have the weight and health issues of eating abundantly.

We’ve known for a while that we need to get out of debt and live better. The catalyst began in 2012. Maybe it started in 2011. In a 16 month time frame my husband and I were in a total of 5 auto accidents. Only one of the accidents happened with both of us in the car.

The worst accident happened about 3 1/2 years ago. I was driving home on a Sunday afternoon. A 17 year old girl decided not to stop at the stop sign and broad sided me. The impact pushed my car just enough that I was propelled head first into a tree. Luckily I was driving an old Mercedes which most likely saved my life. Spending three days in the hospital gives a person a lot of time to think about how life could change in a matter of seconds. During the hospitalization, I realized it was time for a change. Not just with our finances, but a change to living the kind of life we wanted.