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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about 8 fruit trees and I'm planting 6 or 8 more... Apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums all with the required pollinators in the orchard. I'm also planning on some nut trees for added protien as well. In the fruit garden we have 3 Blueberry bushes, 6 canes of rasberry, 2 gooseberry bushes, 6 grape vines of different varieties, strawberries, bush cherries, 2 goji berry bushes and yadda, yadda, yadda... Once established we should have fresh fruit all summer and plenty to preserve for the winter.

In addition to that we have a 50ft by 75ft garden which admittedly is probably not big enough for survival but frankly it's as big as I want to take care of in the heat of the summer until the fan is actually covered in poo... In addition to a substantial amount of veggies we also are planning an herb garden as well this coming spring. Some herbs for culinary, medicinal and tea brewing purposes.

Obviosly we have all the hand tools and accessories that go along with a good sized garden. We heat the house with wood so there are a few axes, mauls and hatchets around... Perfect for fighting zombies.

In addition to the food we also have a pond on the property for water & fish. A nice library of "how to" books that is expanding. We also have 2 veterans (Army & USMC), a nurse, maintenance/auto mechanic, armorer & a school teacher in the family. We also keep an acre of feed plot for deer to gaze and a salt & mineral block on the property but far enough away from the stand to keep me legal to hunt. I won't discuss our firearms situation but we are of course armed.

Unfortunately a rather large hawk or juvinille bald eagle and the neighbors dogs have killed off most of our chickens but we're shooting for a flock of 25 mature chickens and 2 good roosters to keep through the winter. In addition to the chickens for eggs and poultry, we're also planning on 5-7 turkeys, a few ducks & geese as well as 6-8 guinea foul. This is mainly for variety and the guinea foul also make a nice alarm bird...

We're also considering goats this spring to compliment the poultry. Most likely we'll start with 5 (4 nanny goats and a billy)head. We'll maintain a flock for 3 years and trade billy goats with a neighbor to prevent inbreeding. By June we should be fairly well established with the goats & poultry...

We've been debating over solar or a back up generator... My vote is solar or both but $ is an issue. So perhaps a small propane genset and a few extra cylinders is our least expensive option.

Anywho, your thoughts or suggestions welcome.
 

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How's the southern exposure of this house? Dwarf orange, lemon, lime and banana could be overwintered indoors if you have decent south exposure.

And what about having an indoor salad garden during the winter months.

Hoop house or greenhouse could extend your garden schedule.

There... now you have 2 comments.
 

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Rainwater harvesting system. No sense in using your perfectly good well water for all those garden trees, bushes, plants. During times of drought, that well water will be valuable in indoor applications.... cooking, bathing, laundry, etc.
 

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The herbs should be plantet as close to the kitchen you can get, maybe have som of your favorite foodherbs in the kitchen? If they are far from the house it has a tendency not to get used, i have discovered.

I would think about pigs to, then you would get help whit the garden and a lot of fertilizer, and a lot of meat.

Goats are lovely creatures, that will love to destroy your fruitgarden. Make sure that they never ever get close to the trees! And belive me, when they find out that you dont want them there, then it will become a religion to get there. Think about all the places you dont want them (tobacco garden, on top of your car etc) and make sure that they cant get there. Also be carefull whit powerwires, since they will eat of them and get electrucuted. You can have them on a leash, but one ow my goats once managed to hang herself, poor thing.

Goose and ducks are good if you have running water on your property, if you dont have it there will be a lot of work makin sure they can take a bath. A duck/goose that cant take a bath i animal cruelty. Gooses are good to guard your property, but treat them whit care. If you ever offend a goose, it will hate you and get the rest of the flock to do the same. For all eternity. And a angry goose dont suffer in silence, and have a tendency to attack from behind when you least expect it. Make damn sure that not only cant the dogs get in to the geeses, but that they cant get ther neck out to attack the dog. Then they might lose there head.

Hens are good animals, but why so many? If its only for your own family, cut down a bit, if its fore sale, go for it. Think about what you want from the hens. If you want to be selfsustainabale, the answer is a chicken that take care of itself, breed on itself, and lay plenty of eggs and also can be a bit of soup at the end of its career. Sussex, Rhode Island red, and races like that are all worth a looksie. If predators are a problem, built a predator secure hengarden, and dont let them out unless a dog or yourself protects them.

A greenhouse is a good thing if you live in a colder climate, then you can jumpstart the seson. But since you are growing stuff like grapes i would guess that the climate is good. Let the pigs and the hens help you in your kitchengarden, and let all birds walk around your fruitgarden from fall to spring.

Talk to the people that live around you, and get there advice and help. Solar panels could be a good idea if there is enough sun. The forrest are the best sunfuel thought. If you dont have the new complete guide to selfsuffiency by John Seymour already, get it! It will be your bible and can guide you completly of the grid, if you so chooice. :thumb:

You are well on your way to a healty lifestile, just keep up the good work and good luck! :D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies!

We do have some rain barrels but we could do more in that regard. Although, it's an in ground home so only part of the house is viable for that. That said some gutters & rain barrels on the barns wouldn't be a bad idea.

The chicken yard we have is a tad small and is being expanded from 25ft sq to include an additional 75ftx15ft rectangle. Currently we're planning on adding some netting, dangling a few old cds from the nets to scare off the hawks and discouraging the chickens from breaking thier necks on the net. We're also planting some corn & sun flowers for concealment, shade and forage.

We do have a pond for the ducks/geese but may add a small cattle waterer to help the yonger ones get off to a good start. Although we'd probably again need to add a gutter to the barn for that and let nature fill it for us like a large rain barrel. Although we do have hose hook ups in several locations around the property.

As for the trees they're already goat resistant as we have a 3-4 ft cattle wire cage around them to keep the dog from peeing on them and the deer from ruining them scraping thier antlers... That said the southern exposure is non-existent so the lemons & oranges arent on the menu as of yet. A green house would be nice but we do have a mud room with decent sun in the afternoon that cold be used to get a jump on the growing season. Not sure if the citrus would make it there or not...

Oh and here's a tip we put water beads out on part of the garden this year to see if it'll keep things a bit greener in the summer heat. I'll reort back in August.. LOL I think it'll reduce stress on the plants.
 
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