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Updated: Mar 8, 2021

As a wife and a stay at home mom, I have learned that if I am to be successful at raising my kids and also get supper on the table without losing my mind, I need to be organized. I am a housekeeper, a chef, an event organizer, and so much more. When I decided to become a homesteader and grow most of our own food also, it was going to have to be more then raising cute goats. I couldn't look at growing a garden as just a hobby anymore, like I have been doing for years, if my family needed to count on getting a sizeable harvest to feed us through the year. It turns out that our hobby garden was actually costing us more then if we would buy all our produce from the local farmers market. It was time to add Market Gardener to my list of job titles. When I began to look at my garden as a market gardener would and make it my job, I saw my garden as adventure instead of a burden. I began to see a schedule of planting dates, and a to do list that didn't take me by surprise every Spring. I felt ready! I felt inspired! I want you to also!

Here is my step by step plan!!!!

Step 1: What do I need to grow?

Our family is not a huge veggie eaters but there were a few staples we all eat and enjoy. I looked over our menu plan. I found quite a few things that I could grow for myself and give us a better organic option. These were things like potatoes, carrots, onions and so much more. I also looked at fruits we like to eat like; strawberries, raspberries, and apples. This added perennials to my list. In this series we are going to only focus on the annuals and semi-annuals, that need a yearly plan. Look through your grocery list, what are somethings you could grow?

Step 2: How much do I need to Grow

The first thing I needed to do, was to calculate how much I needed to grow and store to feed a family of 5. I began to think I would need to sit down with my menu plan again and count how much I buy of everything. This seemed like a daunting task but luckily I found some great free calculators on the Urban Farmer Website. The How Much to Plant was the most helpful.

I put in our family size and it calculated how much seed I needed for each veggie. Of course there yield are just estimates. It all depends on how fertile your soil is. Now when I sit down to inventory and order seed I know exactly how much I need. The days of running out and wishing I would of ordered more are over. This calculator also gives row length needed and estimated spacing. My first thought with the row length I was going to need a bigger garden, but it hit me that if I grow in permanent beds, like most market gardeners, I can fit more then one row in each bed. I will explain this step in more detail soon. I feel it needs more explanation.


Step 3: Inventory and Categorizing my Seeds

I love my new seed storage system my sister gave me. I love how I can organize everything by veggie type, when to plant, and days to harvest. While categorizing my seeds I found I could do the same in a digital document. I could keep track of all the little eccentricity of every seed type. It would be all in one place. I could look up a variety of a seed I purchased and be able to see when I should plant them and how long their estimated days to harvest would be and their estimated germination period was. I could keep track of how these seeds performed in my soil and Zone 4 growing has lots of limitations. Our growing season is only 107 days long. This document could help me keep track of this and other things like taste and harvest quality. Now you can do this too with my new Seed Variety Tracker. It is extremely easy to use. I can't wait to show you how it works! Join me next time!

Remember don't let the world hold you back! Pray, Just Plant!

Find me on Instagram at @redridgefarmwyo, #prayjustplant

and Red Ridge Farm on Facebook.

Seeds and More Seeds Series

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