Homestead Experience – Fall Edition – 3 Weeks Away!

Come join us for a day of learning about homesteading and farming!

Event Schedule

Friday Night

The event on-site camping at the farm (spaces limited) on Friday night.

Schedule | Friday

5:00 – Check In at the farm

Saturday

Lets share and learn about how to be more self-reliant by raising more of our own food. Here are the topics, each with practical experience to go with them:

1) Preparing beds – see our BCS walk behind tractor in use as we prepare the beds using a low till approach

2) Planting garlic – learn the basics of planting garlic. Get your hands dirty and put what you just learned into practice as we plant garlic together. We’ll provide the garlic.

3) Sugar snap peas / beans / tbd – learn how and actually plant sugar snap and then trellis the peas. We’ll have everything ready for you to help make it happen.

4) Economics of starting a homestead – we share the real costs of starting our farm, with Q&A

6) Starting a community garden

Schedule | Saturday

8:00 – Breakfast (provided) and Check-in

8:30 – 12:00 – Practical classes / demonstrations / hands in dirt

12:00 – Lunch (provided)

1:00 – 3:00 – Practical classes / demonstrations / hands in dirt

3:00 – 4:00 – Economics of starting a homestead with numbers from our farm

4:00 – 4:45 – Starting a community garden

4:45 – 5:00 – Wrap up / final Q&A

Covering the HugelKultur Mound

Let’s start off with what is a Hugelkultur mound. Here is a great video that explains Hugelkultur

Our First Hugelkultur Mound

Hugelkultur mound in the garden at our house

We built our first hugelkultur mound in our garden at home. The mound is about 35 feet long and used trees that we had cleared on the back of the property. It has worked great for growing squash. We use drip watering to keep the plants watered. We have noticed that the hugel mound requires more water than the conventional garden areas. I expect that to reverse as the logs in the hugelkultur mound (about 1-2 years since the trees were cut) decompose.

The Hugelkultur Mound at the Farm

My original goal with to build at least 2 large hugelkultur mounds on our hobby farm property. We had a great growing experience with the hugelkultur mound at our house, so why not try it on a larger scale.

When we put in the driveway, there were two problems what we were able to turn into opportunities. The first is what to do with the top soil that was removed before the membrane and gravel can go down. We also had to decide out what to do with the tree trunks and limbs from the trees that were cut down to build the driveway.

Perfect Opportunity

There was never going to be a better time to build the first hugelkultur mound on the new property. So we used the logs, limbs and top soil to build the first one. The mound ended up being 85 feet long, 30 feet wide and about 8 feet tall.

The hugelkultur mound starting to come alive

We installed drip irrigation and planted winter squash, watermelons, pumpkins and cantelopes. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of winter squash and pumpkins.

Getting Ready for the Growing Season

One of the tasks for Saturday was to cover the entire mound with a 35 x 100 foot silage cover. Of course it wasn’t windy until after we started spreading the silage cover. Do you remember going out into the parking lot in elementary school where your class surrounded a parachute? This felt pretty similar with the wind getting under the tarp.

Chasing the bubble where the wind got under the tarp
The wind did not make this any easier. But we were making progress

You can see the bumps where the wind kept getting under the tarp as we were getting it in place and held down.

Much better

Once the tarp was in place, we’ll leave it there until just before we plant at the end of April as way to suppress any weeds.