Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shared Resources

While planning my spring garden several problems with logistics and layout were brought to light. Remember my house sits on the north side of a ridge and only about one of the five acres are available for planting. A large area would need clearing and raised beds built. Additionally there is no well and deer in the area tend to decimate gardens.

I spoke with my neighbor about these issues and she enthusiastically suggested I plant the garden in the area surrounding her small wind break trees. This “L” shaped area is enclosed with an eight foot deer fence and covers roughly 4000 square foot. It has adequate water, unobstructed sun and is easily accessed. Raised beds will be built and placed around the perimeter. Plus I can see the garden area from my recliner for easy monitoring.

My neighbor works so tending a large garden is difficult. On the other hand my job is basically tending a large garden. She provides the land, water and security. I provide the seeds, labor and canning. We share the produce.

As we move forward in the Great Decline people need to seek out these types of resource sharing arrangements. City dwellers living in apartments might have relatives or friends who have space for gardens but lack the time to maintain the plants. Many people have large backyards but no time for gardening, try running a CraigsList ad offering your land. Everyone benefits.


HermitJim said...

A good idea that we should all avail ourselves of. Thanks for the post!

Mike said...

Safety in numbers too. In troubled times sticking together can be the best defense. Too bad our nation wasn't onto this before we landed in this situation.

theotherryan said...

Seems like a mutually beneficial situation. Great for everyone involved. Good post idea.

Mo said...

I've found the more "elbow room" I have, the better the neighbors I have and the more they watch out for you.

Good neighbors are a blessing. Sounds like you have a good one.

Mayberry said...

Great advice Big Bear.

Billybob Cornfed said...

Just bought seeds from this guy - great resource...

Anonymous said...

That sounds great but you also need to plan for self sufficiency. So this year go with that but also work toward developing your own garden as well.

Maybe start/expand your greenhouse, clear some ground, put in a well, put up some fence, Build some raised beds, etc..

You never know how long you will be allowed to garden at your neighbors

Anonymous said...

A great plan and suggestion, Big Bear.

Anonymous said...

Storing those buckets sure takes a long time

Anonymous said...

I found this little gem of information that i thought you might be interested in:

some new south american farming techniques for high altitude and dry climates. Basically it's growing in a 2 foot deep pit with a plastic covered wood frame to keep the heat in.

FilthyRich said...

Uh, An acre is exactly 43,560 square feet.

So yer neighbor's plot is less than 1/10 acre? (4000 sq ft)

Are you planning on growing Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes?

What about the
40 bushels of wheat per acre =
73 loafs of bread per bushel of wheat =
2920 loafs of bread per acre of wheat =
Feed 28 people 2 loafs a week for a year???

I'll guess it's a typo, and you meant 40,000 sq ft.

Read "Farmer in Chief" at NYT Sunday Magazine.

My garden is going nicely: 5 different beans, 6 different peppers, cukes, carrots, lettuce, 5 different tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and butternut squash. We'll get the spinach and more lettuce in by late summer.

Farming is Hard Work!

FilthyRich said...

I noticed you are in San Luis Valley, CO.

I checked out the area. Great history!

From wiki:

• The San Luis Valley was long part of the lands of the numerous and powerful Ute Indians. The Valley was the first portion of Colorado to be settled by people of European descent. The area was administered as part of the Spanish, later Mexican, province of Nuevo Mexico until the area was purchased by the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Extensive settlement began in the Valley, again primarily by Hispanic farmers and ranchers from New Mexico in the 1850s. The history of the post-war U.S. military presence in the Valley is preserved at Fort Garland and other sites in the Valley, which became part of the Territory of Colorado in 1861. Today, the Valley has the largest native Hispanic population in Colorado; many families are directly descended from the original New Mexican settlers. The original Ute population was confined to the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Indian reservations in the late 1800s.
• Agriculture in the San Luis Valley is generally concentrated around the Colorado towns of Alamosa, Monte Vista and Center. Principal crops include potatoes, head lettuce and barley. Less favored areas with a shorter growing season and less access to water rights tend to be devoted to alfalfa and grazing. Broad areas, especially in Saguache County, Colorado have a high water table or are even flooded part of the year.
• Predominantly agricultural in nature, the area is also one of the poorest rural areas of Colorado, and is a net exporter of its children.
• San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, a full service Acute-Care hospital and specialty physician clinic is the largest employer in the Valley with over 600 employees.

Might be a good place to get that drill-gash checked out.

Sounds like there is quite a bit of arable land near you (but the valley IS approximately 8,000 square miles!) So I guess your elevation and water rights would be the biggest factors in whether farming is in your future.

Just sayin'....