Raise Organic, Fresh Food in the Backyard

With a little hard work and some determination, even small, urban backyards can be converted to functioning mini-farms, and a supply of fresh, organic food.


Even this fall, there still are ways to accomplish this. I've written my post on foraging, but have you ever considered raising your own animals or starting a small greenhouse? Both are ways to have fresh, organic food this winter and can be added on next spring.


Eating clean is easier than you may think. With potential upcoming supply shortages, it's a great time to begin thinking of supplying your own groceries, even your own milk and meat.


Garden

It's fall, meaning garden season is over(for the most part.) There are still some plants that don't mind the cold weather, and can still be planted, even this late! Kale is power food that comes to mind. Kale enjoys the cool weather.


If you're wanting to jump into growing a full-on garden in the cold weather this winter, there are a few ways of achieving this!


Greenhouse Heater Options

Unless the greenhouse is in an extremely warm climate, more than likely it will need a heater during the winter months. No matter how insulated or layered the house is, the sun will not be enough to fully heat it in extremely cold temps. There are several options for heating a greenhouse, even in the coldest of climates!


Heaters are available in electric, propane and even natural gas options from greenhouse suppliers, such as Growerssupply.com(not sponsored.) Don't forget, an electric option can become a solar option with a solar panel setup!


Larger Greenhouses

Dive right in and have fresh strawberries in the middle of January, or even a choice of favorite veggies. No buying imported food from thousands of miles away, this greenhouse is 20'x10', with plenty of room to grow a variety of berries and veggies.






Medium Greenhouses

An in-between option for space saving and growing big!











Small Greenhouses

57"x57"x77"- a great space saving option for some vertical growing! I could even see this as an option for growing carrots or some other root veggies.









Mini Greenhouses

I think this is more for prolonging the growing season, but still a great option!









Some of this equipment seems pricey, but given that it can be added onto and cut out a grocery bill completely, it's worth the money in my opinion.


Animals

Poultry

Chickens are small and hens won't make much noise, like roosters. They don't take up much space, and can be kept contained in coops, like this one, or pens. These hens can produce eggs and meat from a source you know is 100% organic and cage free. In fact, chickens can be fed some food scraps from our own plates(and gardens!)


Ducks need a water source and a little bit more space than chickens, but still qualify as small space friendly! They do require a bit of upkeep for their water, as they can very messy, but are still great for a meat variety and eggs!


Turkeys are another option. They do require more space than the before mentioned, BUT they produce much more meat per bird. Turkeys do lay eggs as well, but I've honestly never tried them. I do love turkey!


There's also other poultry options for small yards, such as guineas and quail. Both guinea and quail lay eggs, and some have even found a great income in raising them.


Bees

Another small animal option are bees. One hive like this one can produce up to 100lbs of honey per year. This is a source of organic honey, never watered down and with no sugars added. This is also a great option for an additional income!


Pigs

Depending on the breed and time of butchering, a pig can produce over 100lbs of meat. A boar and sow can have over ten piglets per litter, meaning one set alone can produce 1,000lbs of meat in one year's time. Given that not many families will eat that much meat, they can also serve as an income. Some piglets are going for over $50/head, here!


Goats

If you have a larger backyard, and don't mind a little bit of noise, goats are a great option for many reasons. They produce milk that can be turned into many different products, like soap, cheese, cream, butter and, of course, just plain milk!


Goats can be raised for meat, or sold for an income. A doe can have two babies at a time, and unregistered milk-breed babies can go for over $75 a head, here.


If you're uncomfortable butchering animals on your own, some butchers will do this for you. Ask around for prices and be sure to mention that you're wanting to bring the live animal in.


Look for butchers that are USDA certified, and call before changing the diet of or bringing in any animals. They are usually very busy in the fall and early winter because of hunting season. Ask about their turnaround times before dropping off animals!


Starting a suburban homestead is a step toward independence from the supply chain, self-sufficiency from foods from potentially unhealthy sources and a cleaner, less-waste lifestyle. Sustainability is the deciding factor of our future!


Thank you for reading! As always you can find me over on Twitter and please share this post! Sharing helps me to keep making posts just like this one and creating more content. I'll see you on the next 'round!




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