How will my blog, Small Footprint Gardening, mesh with GRIT Magazine and the rural lifestyle? After all, you’re more than likely on a few acres and don’t really need small-scale gardening methods. I hear you, but hear my out. Even though you may have extra space, do you have a lot of extra time? Probably not! So why not give yourself a well-deserved break and take advantage of an easy small-space gardening method for your personal garden?
Here’s a photo of my main edible garden from a couple years ago. It is 2-by-23-foot and runs along a fence. As you can see, those modest 43 square feet are jam packed with a variety of veggies for my husband and I. Plus I use many of those squares two to three times per season.
Since 2010, I have been a Certified Square Foot Gardening Instructor, trained by the creator of the method, Mel Bartholomew. Although Square Foot Gardening is my main passion, I love adapting other normally large-scale methods, such as Hügelkultur and Back to Eden gardening on a smaller scale. The main advantage of these last two methods is that they use some things you’re always trying to get rid of as you clear land – logs and wood chips. Another bonus is that these methods require little, if any, supplemental water!
Another small-space idea would be container gardening that can provide a tremendous amount of food in a very small space. Think about how great it would be to grab a carrot out of a large terra cotta pot. So put away the tractor or rototiller and walk just a few steps from your kitchen door to pick your dinner salad, supper veggies, herbs and small fruits. Here are some reasons why you should think small:
1. Time is on your side. Small-space gardening methods will take mere minutes to care for. Even if you have several Square Foot Garden beds, it will usually take less than 15 minutes every day or two to water by hand, harvest and check for trouble – even less if you choose to use drip irrigation.