The best garden type for you is a...
So what does this mean exactly?
Watch the video below for a brief description of your garden type and read on for some specific steps to help you start taking action.
Result summary video
Why is a HOMESTEAD GARDEN the best choice for you?
A homestead garden is one designed to give you both a steady flow of fresh produce during the growing season and appropriate bulk harvests that you can stow away for the winter. With a plan like this, your vegetable garden can be the foundational source of food for your family.
Based on your quiz responses, this is the best garden style for you because…
You want to enjoy a steady flow of fresh produce in the summer and also have extra quantities of vegetables to store for the winter.
You have a significant amount of land to work with so your garden could seriously contribute to your food supply on an annual basis.
You are prepared to spend time in your garden on a regular basis to tend all of those crops that will be feeding your family.
Not quite right? Take the quiz again.
If that sounds like you, let's get to work!
The gardening world is filled with distractions, so I have lined up some specific suggestions to help you start moving in the right direction and stay on track. Here are three tips for making your HOMESTEAD GARDEN work for you.
Limit your crop selection.
I know this one might be a little hard to swallow, but bare with me. Self-sufficiency is big for you, so your first instinct will be to grow every vegetable that you would like to eat. I want to help you get to that point eventually, but I also want to make sure that your progress is sustainable. There could be a big difference between your garden today and that final dream garden of yours, so I want to encourage you to pace yourself for the long haul. One easy way to avoid that midseason burnout and increase your level of satisfaction in your garden is to simplify your crop selection.
Below are five of our top crop picks for homestead gardens. They offer long harvest windows, relatively low maintenance, and all have great storage potential. That means you can choose to enjoy them fresh or store them all winter long. This kind of flexibility goes a long way towards minimizing waste and helping you make the most of your garden space.
Potatoes have been the foundational starch of many cultures for thousands of years. Keep your potato growing interesting by trying new varieties, interplanting with other faster crops, and planting multiple successions so you can enjoy some fresh out of the field and save others for winter.
Carrots get my nomination for best all round root vegetable thanks to their multipurpose value. Steam them, roast them, ferment them, juice them, or just eat them fresh. I always feel like a champ when I've got a bank of carrots stowed away in the cooler.
Onions are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. It would be a shame to overlook this crop in your homestead plan. Allot some space for high density onion plantings that you can harvest progressively throughout the summer and other zones where you can allow the onions to grow through to maturity.
Garlic simply packs too much flavour and too many health benefits to overlook. Add to that the fact that you can harvest this crop at multiple stages and store it for the winter without refrigeration, and you can see why this crop is a real winner for the homestead garden.
Beets deserve more attention in the gardening world. If their high nutritional value and beautiful range of colours is not attractive enough for you, consider that you can easily eat the roots, stems, and leaves. Beets will always have a place in our garden.
2. Know your numbers.
Know your numbers.
Most of us these days have grown accustomed to the convenience offered by the grocery store so we don't need to do much food planning in advance. That changes when you want to grow all of your food. The main goal of a homestead gardener is to replace all of those trips to the grocery store with harvests from the garden. If you want to accomplish this, you need to remember that your garden can't accommodate changes very quickly. You change your mind about your grocery list while you're in the store, but if you change your mind about growing tomatoes while you're in your garden, it doesn't matter. You've still got tomatoes. My point here is that you really need to know your numbers. If you want your garden to replace your grocery store trips, then consider your garden planning like making a grocery list for a whole year. It's possible to nail down your numbers with simple record keeping habits and consistent growing methods. If you want to accelerate your planning, join us for our upcoming Garden Planning Blitz.
Gear up for success.
Would you take a job if your boss determined your pay by rolling the dice at the end of each day? Not likely! When you put a lot of work into something, you want to have the confidence that it's going to pay you back. That's the mindset you need to hold on to as a homestead gardener, so if you've grown accustomed to casting failures aside as bad luck or you'll feel like gardening is a lot like rolling the dice, it's time to leap into a new way of thinking.
Vegetables perform according to the growing conditions they experience so if you understand the conditions each crop needs to thrive and learn how to create those conditions, you can expect consistent results year after year. That's exactly what you want and need as a homestead gardeners. We are fortunate to live in a time when some pretty great equipment is available for us as growers, so do yourself a favour and invest in the right tools to improve the growing conditions you can offer your vegetables. When you get this right, your investment will pay you back many times over in the form of good food! For a full list of tools and equipment we use, check out our Tool Shed page.
It's time to take action.
A good garden plan is critical to making this dream of yours a reality, so if you’re serious about growing your own food, I want to invite you to join us for our upcoming GARDEN PLANNING BLITZ.
In this live 4 part workshop, I will walk you through the process of defining your garden type, help you lay out your garden plan, and show you what it takes getting results you can count on. These training sessions are free and they will be taking place inside our online Classroom. Request an invitation below and I’ll send you everything you need to know to join in the fun!
The Seed to Table course will help you navigate the wild world of vegetable growing so that you can approach your garden with confidence and finally achieve dependable results for your family.
Join us for the 2021 Vegetable Academy
SEED TO TABLE COURSE
A step by step guide to creating the vegetable garden of your dreams.
Get to know your instructor...
Jared Regier is an urban farmer and educator from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who is passionate about building a more sustainable future. He loves teaching people how to grow their own food because it is such a powerful vehicle for positive change in individuals and communities.
Today, Jared runs an award winning urban farm so he's obviously pretty comfortable in the vegetable world, but his life experience doesn't begin there. His first career as a high school teacher also helped him develop an ability to simplify and communicate complex ideas. So when the farm started to get noticed and people began to ask if they could learn how to grow vegetables like that in their own backyard, it was only natural for Jared to answer the call. Now, his teaching and farming experience have found perfect harmony here at the Vegetable Academy where he aims to put the knowledge and tools of the vegetable farmer in the hands of the home gardener.
Jared's approach to teaching is organized, logical, and light hearted. He loves to learn and enjoys passing on these lessons to his students and watching them experience success. His practical lessons are always rooted in first hand experience and/or scientific studies because there's no sense in passing on misinformation. Jared delights in helping others take responsibility for growing their own food, and the limitless number of learning opportunities in the vegetable garden are sure to keep this work interesting for years to come.