The Homestead is very lucky to have amazing soil that sustains us throughout the growing season and beyond. We have an outdoor vegetable garden (soon to be two) and a greenhouse located in the lower level of Cabin Phoenix.
Unfortunately, the Lower Garden sometimes suffers a loss in crops due from groundhogs. This is our main garden area with fourteen beds that supply us with okra, potatoes, cabbage, beans, peas, squash, hot peppers, tomatoes, herbs, chard, kale, leeks, onions, eggplant, and more. After frost, the beds are planted with a winter rye to help recharge the soil for next year.
The Upper Garden is located next to Cabin Bob. While it has not been used in recent years, Homesteaders are currently working to create a two-terraced, fenced in garden that will soon become our primary vegetable garden. It currently receives more full sun than the Lower Garden, which has been surrounded by trees over the years.
Our greenhouse in the lower level of Cabin Phoenix provides adequate space and heat to continue greens and herbs easily throughout the winter as well as start seeds at the very beginning of the spring. Other crops such as peas and beans have been grown in the past as well.
Composting is a great way to convert food and garden waste into fertile, usable soil. It is especially important to the Homestead because it is one way that we can cut down on the space we use at the landfill. All of our cooking and table scraps are either fed to the chickens or are put into our compost pile, a recent Homestead project. Our compost pile, which we rotate and tend to regularly, is situated nearby the Upper Garden, soon to be our main gardening area. Our chickens also provide fantastic manure for our gardens as we regularly clean the coop.