Construction on the Workshop and Goat shed has begun

I have started working on the Workshop/Goat shed. I have had some help since my hand is still sore from being broken. Makes it hard to run a post hole digger. This will make a decent sized workshop and goat shed big enough for 3 or 4 goats. Maybe more. 🙂

2009 Gardens

It’s already time to start planning for next year’s garden(s). Here’s the discussion that needs to happen:
1. Some people live here and end up doing the majority of the work
2. Some people can get here easily and help with some of the work
3. Some people can’t get here easily and don’t do any of the work but would like to have healthy food.

We’re going to need to decide who participates, how they participate, and what it costs to participate.

My thoughts:
We probably need to assign a value to the produce
We probably need to assign a value to people’s labor
We need to decide how fees will be paid (I was thinking maybe a monthly “co-op fee” or something) and how credit for work will be allotted
We need to know how many people/families we think we can realistically produce/provide for.

A related note:
We need to know if we’re going to have any gardening co-op partners; these would be people who are willing to have a garden on their own property and participate with us in a co-op/pricing/distribution scheme of some sort.

We also need to know what we’re going to plant. We’re going for as many open pollinated varieties this year as possible, and we’re going to try to get enough seed for two years.

How much is enough?

Mom and I started working out the practical math on what it would take to feed the number of people we’re talking about supporting. Here’s an example of the math:
Let’s say we want to talk about green beans. The average serving of green beans is one cup. If you want to make a meal for 10 people who each get one serving of green beans, that’s 10 cups of beans. If you want to do this three times a week, that’s 30 cups of green beans. If you want to do that for 52 weeks (which is one year) that’s 1560 cups of green beans.
Let’s say that on average we get 2 bushels of beans from a 100 foot row. That would be about 128 cups of beans. That means we would need twelve 100 foot rows of beans to get enough beans to feed 10 people for year! This math may not take into account intensive gardening such as we would like to use.
Another book we looked at says that you need 2 100 foot rows of beans to produce enough beans to feed a family of six.
Either way, I think you get the idea. It will take a LOT of garden space to feed the number of people we’d like to feed (and have some to sell?). We need to figure out how much garden space we really need, and we need to make sure we optimize our productivity.