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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our Plans for the Backyard Farm-

Updated: 2 more pictures of the front yard

This is the birds eye view of our property, I have outlined it in red to make it easier to see. You will notice that a large portion of our property is in the front, and for right now we have to work around a circular driveway that takes up a large amount of space.  So we have to be creative. 

The front of the Property

Here are our ideas:
  • Plant our "bee feed" wild flowers in the center of the circular drive. 
  • Grapes will go along the fence at the front of the property.  
  • Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries will line the fence to the north.  
  • The south end of the property we have an easement  that has to be unobstructed for bikes, 4 wheelers, and snowmobiles.  We have enough space to either line the easement with trees or maybe it would be a good spot for rows of corn. 
 Any other ideas for me?

Front Yard: 

I would like it to be somewhat similar to the front yard of my old house: 
  • The big tree in front is right over the poo tank, which is a HUGE "no no". So it will have to come down.
  • Door will be painted
  • Grass will be brought back to life
  • Hopefully I will have some beautiful flowers growing in the front as well. 
I've got a lot to do! 

Side Yard
 This is where we will put our fruit trees.
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Plums
Back Yard
animals include chickens, goats, and bees.

current view of the backyard

This is what we dream of doing with the property.  If we can have all of it done in the next 3-5 years, I will be happy!



David said...

Wow, that's an ambitious plan. It will be terrific to follow you through the journey of development.

Have a great property development day.

Curbstone Homestead said...

Love your ideas! What a great use of the land you have. We have a meager .63 acres and I feel lost and what to do. We just moved in and I don't want to make mistakes that we'd have to tear out later.

marisa said...


.63 isn't meager! You can do so much with the land. I don't blame you for feeling lost, it can be overwhelming. If you want, you can send us pictures of your property and I'm sure the readers and I would love to give you some ideas.

Holly said...

It will be a lot of fun. The circular drive does take up a lot of space but at least it provides a natural separation between the areas as well as convenient access to them for bringing in mulch, dirt, manure, etc. I'm curious what you plan to do to keep critters out of the garden.

Deb W said...

The flowers at your former home are so colorful and nice. Could you give us an idea of what you planted there?

Your new place looks like it would be a natural for native species and drought-resistant plants, which I'm also interested in.

Mike said...

You're already starting out right by having a plan. A lot of people just jump in and spend years moving and re-arranging until they get it right.

If it we me, the first thing to go would be the driveway. Backing up isn't that hard :) Run it along the easement and plant your wildflowers between them.

Take a look at this site for front yard ideas. They are in the middle of the city and grow enough food for themselves and to have a farmers market. http://www.urbanhomestead.org/ I've been to their home and it's unbelievable what they do with so little space.

We were just lucky enough to buy 10 acres of land in Oklahoma that we are going to homestead on. Based on our budget we have a year before we move there so that's a full year to plan and watch weather patterns.

brookie said...

I have been waiting for this post!!! It all looks like such fun! Remind me what animals you are going for. Obviously chicken ladies, but what else? What kind of shelter's will you need for them?

marisa said...

Brookie, the post was dedicated to you! We are getting bees this year, milk goats, and the chickens. In the future we will possibly get pigs and meat chickens.

marisa said...

Oh, and housing....
Bees - behive
Goats - still working on that
Chickens - chicken coop

unfortunately we will need separate areas for all three. The goats will get into the bees and will eat all the chickens feed. I'm trying to figure out if there is a way that the chickens can have the same roaming area as the goats and then have a door to their coop with their food where the goats can't get into it.

marisa said...

Holly, keeping critters out of the yard is going to be difficult. We have seen fox, tons of antelope, snakes, raccoons, mice, and plenty of neighborhood dogs roaming.

To keep the chickens/goats/bees safe we will be using electrical wire.

To keep the garden safe, we may just have to fence it off and add electrical wire as well. I'm going to talk to some of the neighbors and find out what is necessary.

Veggie PAK said...

I want to share some thoughts with you, but I don't want to sound like a wet blanket towards the end. Not all easements turn out the way my son's did, but I'll share what my son went through for some "just in case" knowledge.

First, I agree with Mike on the driveway. It consumes a lot of land when you look at the picture. Possibly redesign it and it still can be very accomodating. It sure takes up a lot of space that could be used for growing something if it were repositioned. (Maybe get a professional designer's opinion on the possibilities.) Or, use the center area for more fruit trees. I like the wildflower idea for the bees, but looking out across your back yard, what is that land used for across your fence? It looks wide open. If it isn't used for anything active, I would absolutely sow wildflowers over there. Would it bother anybody? I doubt anyone would notice, except the bees.

I would use dwarf fruit trees. They are reputed to be MUCH less maintenance than full sized trees. Easier harvesting too. Your current plan is good. The thing is, it now allows you to splurge with the possibilities of what could be done. Make some other plans for comparison. That would be a big help to you.

I would absolutely have some type of small trees in place along the easement. Something that will flourish in your area. Maybe cedar trees or something like that which grows slow and is tough to the area. A local tree would be easy to collect from the wild area and plant appropriately on your land. With a little care, they'll grow fast. That way, you don't have to buy them, and they already thrive in the region. We found that with an open easement, people will run through your yard cutting corners and destroy your work and property. The reason I say that is because my son went through that and it was so bad that he and his wife ended up selling their place. His dog was run over on the easement, and no one even told him or moved the body. You'll see how pushy and disrespectful people can be if you don't prepare for it. They'll also speed through it. Be prepared ahead of time, then go for it! It's your place. Thanks for listening and giving me the opportunity to share. I hope I didn't step on your toes with this.

marisa said...

Veggie Pak, nope, didn't step on any toes. I posted our ideas and asked for suggestions, so I appreciate everyone's input so far! You and Mike have me thinking about that circular drive. I think you are right that it needs to go. There are just so many things that I want to do right away and the cost of getting rid of a driveway just isn't as fun as everything else.


Do it while you can. The body seems to deteriorate faster as time goes along.

This will be fun to watch the progression of your improvements.

Suggestion: Remove the vines growing on the front of your house. Vines can damage the structure of your house.