If You Only had 2 acres, what would you grow???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rwinsouthla, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Looking for ideas for someone with only two acres. If you only had two acres, what would you grow? Namely, what animals, what veggies, what fruit trees, bushes, or vines. Give your part of the country or state.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ray
     
  2. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    so what part of S> LA are u from? I grew up in Jeanerette and spent some of my adult years in St.Martinville, we have moved to the mountains of the ozarks and we love it. We have 18+ acres but have only maybe 2 cleared. We have chickens, ducks, guiennas and rabbits. We have several raised beds with sunflowers potatoes herbs, a small garden area with different tomatoes and peppers. If we had dirt instead of rocks we would have a bigger garden. we are trying to make dirt out of leaves and rabbit poop but that will take some time. I would also like to get some goats and a pig. probably wouldn't take much more space. What do you have in mind for you're farm?rannie
     

  3. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rannie,

    I am 20 miles SE of BR and 40 miles NE of New Orleans. 5 miles south of Gonzales, LA in Ascension parish about a mile from the river. I already have rabbits and chickens, with a decent sized garden and about a dozen or so different fruit trees. Just wanted some ideas for something else and posed the question to help someone else out on another thread.

    You guys dry as all get out over there? I can't grow cactus here it is so dry.
     
  4. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    We DO only have 2 acres. Ohio. We have chickens. We have fruit trees and bushes. In the garden we have several kinds of lettuce, mizuna, asparagus, beets, beans, scallop squash, mustard greens, celery, several kinds of tomatoes and peppers, cucmbers, melons, broccoli, cabbage, onions, shallots, garlic, strawberries, corn, peas, carrots...

    We also grow lots of perennials. I either need to start selling some or make some more beds. I'd like to have goats and pigs, but we camp a lot and I think it's asking a bit much of the neighobr to collect eggs, slop the hogs, AND milk the goats!
     
  5. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    Get a book by Mel Bartholomew called Square Foot Gardening. It's amazing what you can grow in a small space. In addition to about 1500 square feet of garden (growing tomatoes, peas, beans, corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and squash), I'd suggest rabbits and flock of nice dual-purpose breed chickens. A small rabbitry and a decent sized flock can keep you in meat and eggs easily. You can supplement the diets of both with garden extras.

    If you still have a little space you want to use, a goat or two (I'd have two) for milk would round things out.

    Tracy
     
  6. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ray,
    We only have 1 acre and well, we just dont let that limit us to much.
    I will start with animals...We "grow" all of our own meat. We do meat chickens, turkeys, ducks, pheasant, and quail. We rotate what we do and do them spring through fall. We also buy at least 2 pigglets each year and grow them up for meat...we get them in spring and about 3 1/2 to 4 months later we have them butchered. We also grow rabbits for meat and to sell as pets. Honestly, we like the rabbits the best...they are very easy, you can leave them "on the hoof, so to speak" and butcher them one at a time or all at once when ever you are ready and they dont eat a lot. And last (but not really least, lol) we have goats. We breed them and sell the girls and sell or eat the boys.

    Now, as far as feeding these animals, we just dont have enough land to grow everything for them, but we do grow several things just for them. I have a huge patch of comfrey just for the animals (I started it just last year and it is super this year) It is about 50 plants or so. We also put in a patch of winter wheat for the goats (and rabbits or chickens) each winter. We have an area that is about 50 x 22 feet and we let it grow all winter. We walk the goats down there each day for some "fresh greens" each day in the winter. We also cut, by hand and feed it to the chicken and rabbits during the winter, and spring. We cut it by hand in the summer and feed it to the chickens and the pigs...then till and replant in the fall. This does not feel the huge amount of animals that we have but it really helps. We buy alfalfa pellets for the goats, and rabbits and an all grain hen scratch for the chickens year round. We try to use the $ we make off the pet rabbits or the extra eggs that we sell to help with this. And as you probally figured out, we produce all of our own eggs from the chickens too. The goat usually product most all of our dairy. We still purchase some kinds of cheese. We have taken this year off to give my dd a break from milking but will resume next year. She is 14 has milked for 2 years, twice a day...but this year she wanted to go camping and to a horse camp so we dried the doe up. We will rebreed this fall and start over. Now that we have the meat, eggs and dairy group covered, we can start with some others...
    Fruit...I really just started with fruit a few years ago...we have 2 older apple trees, a persimmon tree, 2 young apple trees, a 4 yo peach, a newly planted (this year) approcot tree, a few gooseberries, 1 blueberry (i planted more, they just didnt make it), a few grapes planted last year, raspberries and blackberries (just planted most this year, but a few last year) and a huge amount of strawberries (that I have picked gallons and gallons from this year).
    The fruit will take a few more years before it is really all producing!!! but it will and should be quite a bit...enough to can, and make jelly from. In the mean time, I use some local farms to help suppliment...
    As far as veggies go, We plant was much as we can in our garden areas...we grow beans, cucumbers, squashes, tomatoes, potatoes, lettus, carrots, corn and anything and eveything else we want to...
    We do rotate and use almost every season to do this in...we grow the lettus, carrots, radishes, spinich, broccili and such in the fall when the tomatoes and beans and potatoes are done...we cover them with plastic and have fresh lettus and such well into the end of the year and sometimes much longer if we have a mild winter. We use all of our "extra" and the "bolted" items and "garden clean up" , "stalks and stem" to feed the animals with too. We can, freeze and dehydrate as much as we possibly can.

    We use every square inch of our land...we have herbs and strawberries planted in the "flowerbeds" and the hedges are raspberries or blackberries...and the trees are mostly all producing... All of the animal waste goes right back into the garden, in the flowerbeds, or we sell it if we have "extra" (or trade it).

    We have been growing some of our own herbs too... Chamomile, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, garlic, lavendar and more!!! we save the lard from the hogs to make soap with too.

    It is really a matter of timing, rotation, and planning, IMHO, YOu can do what ever you want on any size land you have. We plan and change all the time...next year, we want to add a lamb so that we can "alternate" our meat choices a bit. Just do what you want and have fun!!!

    Belinda
    by the way, we are in MIssouri!!!
     
  7. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    in the 1940's and later into the early 70's around Spokane washington there were many 2 acre "truck farms" gardens that made the owners a living from those small acreages and included the house they lived in. some were berry patches like raspberries or strawberries, but most were vegggies but not monocrops, usually they grew in stages and kept the crops rotating through out the growing season which was not as long as it is where you are located..... they did the truck farms until the price of taxes forced them out, or their kids no longer wanted to take over the business [after all a farmer isnt as prestigious as other professions ya know]

    Personally i would stick to a smaller animal for myself such as chickens and rabbit.... only looking at a goat if you needed milk and could get inexpensive feed from cutting the nieghbors lawns witha grass catcher [which isnt a bad idea to get a host of compost going for your raised bed garden patch .....raised beds even down south are better than just planting in the ground and 2 acres of such will make a huge profitable enterprise if you choose to do such Ask Shrek about his "plantation" of raised beds and worm farm. If you are just after someting to eat yourself then palnt whatever you like to eat... start small witha couple of 4x8 raised beds and go from there if you like squash like zuchinni however they get big enough to cover about a third of that space and keep other plants from growing if you plant them to close....

    Plant an edible lawn ... grass takes water and needs mowed, change your lawn into something of beauty and usefulness and others will follow suit....

    William
     
  8. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    Since I'm handicapped, I've been doing a LOT of online research into how to garden "creatively"..one of the ideas I found of course can be used by anyone..particularly if you're short on space. A "rolling garden"..so cool!
    Tables on wheels..any kind, any length and width. Wooden ammo boxes for the veggies..they're cheap and can be found virtually everywhere..deep and narrow and come with rope handles. Dump dirt in the ammo boxes, plant veggies in them, put them onto those rolling tables, and your garden goes anywhere that you want it to be..no tilling, no hoeing, and no taking up of a huge space that you need for something else.

    Kind of like a chicken tractor concept, but for gardening.

    So, I'd have a "rolling garden", and then be planting a super-dwarf fruit orchard.
    These trees can produce a great deal of fruit in a VERY small area, and are incredibly easy to maintain. Also would have berry bushes in the orchard.

    I'd have chickens and meat rabbits..no problem with chickens and the "rolling garden". :)
     
  9. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    I have two acres. We garden every year, have corn, peas,squash, tomatoes,jalapeno peppers, also do container gardening, have goats, chickens, doves, 2 pot belly pigs, recently sold my geese, the two acres keep us very busy. Also have a few blackberry bushes, grape vines, and I try to plant a tree every year (fruit) but none are producing yet.
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    Were it me I'd have a very minimal yard around the house, as many perennial plantings as I could manage, a substantial garden, poultry (probably chickens), rabbits, and possibly a goat or two depending upon the circumstances.

    Specifically what you should plant depends upon your specific area. You're far enough south that you could get some useful citrus in. I'd spend some time with your local cooperative extension service to get an idea of what the possibilities for your area are.

    .....Alan.
     
  11. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Do you have any pictures? Can you take some??? I am really impressed with all you can do on such a small place. We're moving out to 26 acres in the Missouri Ozarks and only about 2 of them are "useable" for anything besides trees and Ginseng! LOL. I'd love to see how you do it.

    Do you kill your bunnies and chickens yourself? I don't think I could ever do that.

    donsgal
     
  12. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    I was going to ask for pictures too, sounds like a great place with a bit of everything, I'm not sure I could fit all that in!
     
  13. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I have 1.89 irrigated acres in Arizona. It took us three years to produce all of our own meat. We raise four hogs, a steer, both laying and meat chickens, rabbits, and our new meat project for this year - turkeys.

    I had a semi-good garden the second year, but then dh made me move the garden. Sandy soils take quite a bit of amendment here to work. On the other hand, lots of fruits do well - all the citris - I've planted lime, lemon, red grapefruit, tangelo, and navel oranges. We also have two peach, two plum, and four apple trees. These are all young yet. This year I planted eight mulberry trees in the back pasture - I love the shade and look of them, and have tried to plant blackberries for years with no success. Frozen mulberries in my smoothies, it is! I gave up - but the Pakistan mulberry trees are amazing - bare root plantings this spring - irrigation every two weeks - those are tough little trees! We've had lots of 100 degree days already. I also have several grape vines I planted this spring. Oh, and I planted pomegranite too - those do well here.

    We have goats for our dairy needs, and hope to get a miniature jersey in the future. I've planted several types of clover to improve our bermuda pasture, which takes up the majority of our property. Chicken tractors, and soon a turkey tractor really help the bermuda - the fertilization is invaluable!

    There's so much you can do on a small piece of land! It's incredible really. Check out The Have-More Plan - it has stuff in there about small acreages - planning, etc. Great book - given to me by my great grandmother.

    Niki
     
  14. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Yes, we do the killing of all the animals here with the exception of the hogs, they are just to big for us to handle. It really isnt that hard after a while. But I have to do the bunnies, my hubby is the softy and prefers me to the the "hard" part, then he hangs them up and does the rest and then I clean it and wrap it.

    I do have a website that has several pic and pages, but it is still in the "workings"...just never enough time to finish it.
    the link is
    http://home.earthlink.net/~stubone/
    My favorite page is "how to disbud a goat...but beware, it has lots of pics and can be slow for some!!! There are several other pages of pics and "stuff".

    Belinda
     
  15. NCGirl

    NCGirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm so simple, I just sat there and played with your curser balls for several minutes. :hobbyhors

    Anyway, nice website!
     
  16. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    There's probably enough info. on the web site for you to get the idea
    www.squarefootgardening.com/

    Last year we had our garden in the ground, but this year we wanted to go back to raised beds, so we made them with downed logs about 14-16 feet long and 6-8 inches in diameter & 4-5 feet end pieces.

    They're working very nicely

    (this is to say, don't spend a lot of money on fancy raised beds, if you don't have to)
     
  17. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I am enjoying your site. One thing.... You might want to double check the wording on your Goats Milk and Honey soap...

    "Very hard long lasting sweet smelling that is genital and soften skin"

    um.... genital? Don't you mean gentle? Maybe it's gentle to your genitals... :shrug:

    donsgal
     
  18. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    Rwinsouthla,it sounds like you live fairly close to me.I'm in the bushes outside of Petal,which is outside of Hattiesburg,MS.As far as what I have had the most success with in this climate zone,blueberries,hands down,have given me the most"bang for the buck".With the right plants,and a little care and preparation,It really only takes a few good bushes to make you sick of blueberries,and have some left over to sell or barter with.Muscadines are a close second.I pick tons of dewberries here,but I couldn't say I "grow"them-they do that all by themselves.Put the 'nutes to 'em,and you cant step into a patch without turning purple from the knees down.Lots of fruit varieties will do well in your area,but peaches and figs really produce like nobody's business.My loquat trees are still very young,but I pick from trees off the property that produce an incredible amount of fruit,with absolutely no care.I'm hearing some good things about kiwi in the area,but I haven't planted any yet.One thing I do know about kiwi,is that at our local farmers markets,the "kiwi market"appears to be untapped.Hmmmm...
     
  19. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    Belinda, Belinda, Belinda!!

    I cannot get over what you are doing!
    You must have un-ending energy!
    You should be proud of all of your accomplishments!
    I am only part way through your website - I'm impressed & I appreciate your writing up your reasonings for different breeds....(turkeys, etc.) as it's helpful information!

    You GO GIRL! (I never really say that, but it seems to fit here - ha :rolleyes: )
     
  20. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    I only have 2 acres.
    I grow peaches, apples, apricots, grapes, a dozen different veggies. I used to have some chickens and geese and rabbits and goats, now I only have some ducks but I dont eat em... or the eggs. [seems I am allergic tot hem, oops] I also had turkeys, the eggs were good. but i could have raise all the poultry for meat.
    they were all pets...

    I have a horse, a donkey, 12 cats, an 2 dogs.
    also 2 seperate homes, and the other home has enoguh space to raise even more stuff if needed.

    so you can do alot on 2 acres.... I still have some unsued corners that could be fenced for a pig, or converted into a goat yard.

    there is enough wild turkey and deer to make meat production pretty pointless for me anyway.

    if I had only one home oon this 2 acres, the garden could be 3 times as large and I could build a large barn, or a greenhouse.

    then again, its all flat on top of a ridge so... depends on how useable the land is.