Start a Mini-Farmstead
Goats are the backbone of the abundance mini-farm. Not only do they produce milk and meat, but the fruit trees and gardens rely on goat manure for their principle fertilizer. Goat manure is also used to grow black soldier fly larvae for chicken feed, and a growing medium for the hydroponic garden.
Chickens, eggs! That’s the first thing that comes to mind when people think about poultry. At it should be. Fresh, pasture-raised eggs are among the healthiest foods on earth. But, chickens play other roles in this system as well. As they forage among the fruit trees, they clean up pests. Extra chickens can, of course, be raised for meat.
Ducks play an essential role in this mini-farm system. They too, produce wonderful eggs. Duck eggs are very rich, and preferred by some to chicken eggs. But eggs aren’t the principal product of the ducks in this system. We use Muscovy ducks, and they produce an excellent meat – red meat actually - that is similar to veal! They are also practically silent. They do not quack. This is a distinct advantage because a flock of ducks is actually very loud!
The other product the ducks produce is an excellent, pest free potting soil for the vegetable grow-boxes.
DOGS AND CATS
Predator control! Pests and predators can completely erase production of even the best-designed farm. The familiar farm dogs and cats serve a very essential purpose. Larger predators, such as coyotes, bears and panthers will take goats, and the ubiquitous raccoon will take one or more chickens a night unless the pen or house is tightly secured. Rats and mice are a torment to goats, and will eat entire crops of certain fruits.
No farmstead is complete without a supply of fresh fish. A lake is ideal, but many of us don’t have that option, and the alternative is usually an ugly conglomeration of tanks, tubes and pipes! We have the solution: Build those same workings into a beautiful “koi pond” with waterfalls! This is a semi-self sustaining system, as duckweed is used to clear the nitrogen from the water and turn it into high protein food for the fish.
No farm is complete without bees and honey, and they are amazing creatures to have around. This mini-farm system uses top-bar hives. These are less productive, but so much easier to work with and honey extraction requires no special equipment.
Fruit is awesome! Fruit can play a greater role in a healthy diet than people tend to think. Just replace other carbs with fruit!
There are generally 30 or so varieties of fruit to grow, no matter where you live. Fruit comes from trees, bushes, vines and even tiny plants.
A garden in the first thing that springs to mind when we think of growing vegetables. But, there are many alternative methods that make vegetable growing easier and more productive. The mini-farms system uses “grow-boxes” - self-watering planters – and hydroponics. The grow-boxes are completely self-contained, so there is zero waste of nutrients. The hydroponic towers are not self contained, but the run-off nutrients feed other nearby trees and plants.