The Compound Homestead

The Serenity Garden

garden beds to bebuilding raised bedsraised garden beds being builtcomplete raised garden beds - leftcomplete raised garden beds - centercomplete raised garden beds - righttrellis and herb spiralAustin garden before 1 of 2Austin garden before 2 of 2Austin garden afterDeveloping Food ForestAustin Food ForestAustin Food ForestAustin Food ForestSerenity gardenSerenity gardenSerenity gardenIMG_1168IMG_1168IMG_1168

(Click a thumbnail to view larger image)

This property has a fenced area is about 1/4 of an acre with raised beds that were custom-designed & built for ease of access, maximum longevity, & with enough room to grow all the staple vegetables (or calorie crops) for at least one family. Down hill is the food forest plot where we’ve put in a huge variety of fruit trees, berry bushes, Asparagus, Alliums, vegetables, leguminous cover crops, support trees & native attractors. This 1/4 acre of rocky hill side will provide a constant & varied yield with minimal inputs. Yields will increase over time & the soil will improve as plants, & the biology they draw in, add organic matter, accumulate or unlock other nutrients, & self propagate.

The Dragon Garden

backyard mess to clean upbackyard raised bedsfruit gardenCompressed earth block compost binStart of an herb spiralFinished herb spiralPlanted herb spiralIMG_1168IMG_1168IMG_1168Dragon garden

(Click a thumbnail to view larger image)

This garden is right outside the kitchen door. Sandwiched between a strawbale structure & a tall fence, it is in a nice micro-climate that offers enough sun for growing veggies & some protection from the scorching summer sun. It is also buffered from cold weather in winter & we’ve planted 3 citrus trees close to the house to soak up heat from it’s thermal mass. We constructed 2 of the 3 herb spirals here, made from left over stones on site, planting them with culinary herbs. The composting system is closest to the house so it can be well maintained with ease. Because this site had been excavated down previously, we back filled with mulch inoculated with king stropharia mushrooms, thus providing another yield. There’s nothing like stepping out your backdoor & harvesting ingredients you grew for your meal.

The Chicken Run

Chicken coop and run beforeChicken coop and run afterChicken Run BeforeChicken Run Afterjuniper fenceelectric chicken fencechicken runhomestead chicken runhomestead chickensGrapes on the vineChicken runChicken run

(Click a thumbnail to view larger image)

This was a cedar thicket that you could not walk through. As we pruned it up we harvested posts & made firewood & mulch. Then we built the fence with two electric wires on top to deter predators. Figs, pomegranates, mulberries, grapes, and blackberries were planted for humans & chickens to consume. The coop itself has smart watering & feeding mechanisms so the chickens stay healthier & the steward has less work.