Who knew you could farm your backyard? I certainly never considered the concept until just a few years ago. After years of trying and failing... I may finally be onto this whole backyard farming and regenerative farming thing...
Our Backyard Farm
Our backyard farm is a humble & homemade... by none other than myself. Many of you know this already. I absolutely love DIY projects and being able to develop our small piece of paradise into a backyard farm has been an incredible endeavor.
Over the last two years of living at this property in San Diego, I've built our garden beds, pollinator gardens, a worm farm, and even a mobile greenhouse on wheels. All of these components took time, and strategy, and energy to put together and finally, after years of labor, we have our backyard farming systems in place!
Between the worm farm, mobile greenhouse, and potager gardens, we now have places to start our seeds, grow our food, and compost scraps to fuel the whole cycle in a regenerative way all over again.
Backyard Farm Bounty
This January, it feels like loads of hard work is finally paying off as we literally reap the rewards as our baskets overflow of lemons, peppers, and the dreamy scent of lavender fills our home.
And today, I invite you to join me on a full garden tour & harvest with me!
Many of you know this already, but the lemon tree in our front garden was on the brink of death when we moved in. Hopeful to save it, I started applying worm tea and worm castings diligently over the spring and summer months of 2019 and 2020.
Our first major wind storm knocked nearly all the blossoms off! Determined to see lemons come to fruition, I continued to apply worm tea via foliar feeding and the remaining worm castings from that tea to the roots of the lemon tree.
We got a second bloom! And today, we reap the harvest of the hope and dedication that went in to saving this precious lemon tree.
Regenerative Farming on a Small Scale
This is the power of following creation's pattern. When we learn to work with nature and alongside her, instead of trying to dominate and coerce her, we can yield abundance, even on a small scale. This lemon tree is a testament to that, as many of you already know!
But our little backyard farm offers us so much more than lemons right now. We are also harvesting jalapeños, serranos, and jimmy nardello peppers too.
Regenerative Farming & Our Soil
Fruit is exciting. But you know what's even more amazing? Great soil. If you garden... you know. Soil is everything. For the last three years I have applied myself to becoming a student of soil - how to care for her & repair her when needed.
Last year, without much knowledge of the need for mulch, I nearly killed our soil... again. But we live and learn, right? So I installed drip line, laid out mulch, and started applying worm tea and worm castings like it was my day job. A year later, our soil is soft and light and fluffy and ready for planting. What a dream! It almost seems like a good omen for a good year, and I will gladly embrace it.
Worm Farming & Regeneration
Little did I know my worm farming endeavors would yield such abundance here. Or that documenting the process would encourage so many of you to start your worm farms too! My mom is now even a believer.
Once terrified of anything squirmy, creepy or crawly, my mom now loves worms and maintains a worm farm a made for her. But this took time.
Once she saw worm casting bring back life in her beloved roses, she was hooked too. Now she happily maintains a farm full of creepy crawly red wigglers and loves knowing she's living a little more sustainably by composting her food scraps there.
If you're thinking about worm farming, please take a look at my free guide here as well as my Worm Farming E-book. I designed these to help new people feel confident getting started with regenerative farming on a small scale using worms. ANYONE can do it! I promise!
Lessons Learned Through Farming Small
Now, as excited as I am for peppers and what this means for flavors in the kitchen, I've also learned some things this year.
Our little backyard farming adventure has taught me about cross pollination and that as much as I would love to save the seeds from all these peppers, there is no guarantee I will get what I think I have grown!
What does this really mean?
Well it could mean that if I saved the seeds and hoped to get more serranos, I may get a hybrid of a serrano and a jalapeño. Or if I save the sweet pepper seeds, plant them again, and grow them again, they could be secretly very spicy! So what to do going forward?
In talking with some fellow farm friends, I learned that to keep the seed line pure, you can place a mesh bag over peppers you'd like to protect for seed saving and this can prevent cross pollination.
Now, let's be honest. While the goal is to sell seeds one day... right now... I'm just happy if I can get some fruit and veg out of our backyard! But it's nice to know that I have options going forward should I want to save seeds for the future.
Thanks for joining me today on the tour, I hope you enjoyed the video and blog today. If so, please leave me some comment love so I know you're reading! It's also a free way to support our small business and help Hey It's A Good Life Grow.
until next time,