Backyard farming is a good way to cultivate both crops and livestock within the confinement of a backyard.
vegetable for farming backyard picture
Although any basic garden or collection of a few chickens is technically farming, there are many ways to reduce the effect, cost, and time it takes to maintain crops and animals. The best two tips are to plan and use preventative, rather than reactive, methods. Preventative methods in backyard farming deal with common problems before they occur. Typically, this involves planning the actual garden or livestock corral before building. This includes checking with local authorities to ensure that backyard farming is legal in the area and choosing the right crops and animals for the space.
In backyard farming, there are two main problems which can be easily solved with preventative action: weeding and watering.
A backyard farming irrigation system saves time and effort. A drip irrigation system can be connected to a rain barrel, which reduces the cost of watering. Dripper systems can be installed using a kit or by a professional, but purchasing the parts separately and building the system by hand is the least expensive option.
In order to eliminate weeds, it is best to disc or till the dirt in late winter. This turns the dirt over, scraping up the upper layer of weeds and turning them upside down. Repeating the process again after a few weeks destroys most surviving plants, leaving a clean bed ready for cultivation.
In raising animals in backyard farming, some of the greatest difficulties are dealing with excrement and shelter. For chickens, using a deep bed flooring system is a natural way to allow excrement to decompose without regular cleanings. This system uses layers of hay and over coverings, combined with the daily excrement, which creates a small eco-system within the coop. Insects grow in the layers, feeding off the excrement, and the chickens feed off the bugs. This creates a symbiotic environment.
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