Until we get some land cleared, all I can do it PLAN my eventual garden. So, needless to say, it's been planned to DEATH.
Just to give you an idea, here are a few pictures of my garden scrap book (yes, of course I have a garden scrapbook - don't you?):
I can't wait to get started!
So here's a simple diagram of what I'm planning. The main garden area will be securely fenced in to help combat all the deer / raccoons / possums / squirrels / foxes / etc that will want to get in to munch on either the ducks, the rabbits, or the garden itself.
Ducks are great at hunting out insects without destroying a garden, the way chickens are likely to do. So this setup will allow me to let the ducks into the main garden area once the plants are beyond the seedling stage to eat bugs. Also having the rabbits right there will make it easier to feed them from garden scraps and to move their manure into the compost bins.
I'm going to try and reserve the garden raised beds for garden annuals, and find other places for permanent plantings of things like asparagus, alpine and regular strawberries, etc. Those will probably be grown in beds outside the main garden fence, so that I don't have to mow right up against the fencing.
I also plan a large flower bed right next to the garden to attract natural pest control. I also want to enjoy the flowers myself :-)
I want to make sure the main garden gate (and the gates into the duck and rabbit yards) as well as the pathways in the main garden area are big enough for both the lawn mower and the wheelbarrow.
The goal is to grow ALL our own food, and I've read that each person requires approximately 200 square feet of growing space for their fruit / vegetable needs, so an average 4-person family would need 800 square feet. Of course many variables would affect that number, but it gives me a place to start.
I plan to use 4 x 20 foot raised beds (to loose less space to pathways between smaller beds). So each 4 x 20 raised bed would provide 80 square feet of growing space. So that means I need at least 10 raised beds to get to the 800 square feet minimum. I'd like to shoot for more like 15 raised beds to give me room to let a row of raised beds rest each year with a cover crop growing on it. That would also give me room to grow a few experimental items that we're not sure if we'd like and not loose a vital crop.
So many pent-up gardening plans........ I might be able to get started this fall! And then you'll get to see pictures of the real thing. :-)