Home Farm Tips

Home Farm Tips

I Love Home Farming and so can you

It is easy to be a successful home farmer if you follow a few basic guidelines. These guidelines will help you gain a realistic picture of what will best grow in your home environment. I developed many of the guidelines through experience. They will evolve over time and hopefully you will provide me with some of your experience. These guidelines are not placed in any particular order.

Everything you need to start a succesful Home Farm is included on our Home Farm Starter Kit which you can purchase here: http://www.mcewenfarms.com/products/mcewen-farms-home-farm-starter-kit. We also have a basic  Organic Balcony and Container Garden Starter Kit you can purchase here: http://www.mcewenfarms.com/products/organic-balcony-container-garden-starter-kit

Sunlight

Herbs and vegetables need sunlight. Some of them need more than others. It is important to evaluate your balcony, patio or backyard for sun exposure. Many of our favorite plants such as tomatoes require at least 8 hours of sun per day. This is true of most of your flowering vegetables. Leafy vegetables and herbs will tolerate less sunshine. I have grown Basil and Thyme in my window in the winter with only four hours of sun per day.

If you chose the right size container you can extend the sunlight exposure by moving the plants around throughout the day.

Soil

I use organic potting soil that contains no peat. I also like to find soil made by small companies that specialize in organic products. Important qualities to look for in potting soil are:

  • Good water retention
  • Worm Casings
  • Cow Manure Based Compost
  • Active ingredient compost
  • OMRI certified

These qualities insure your herbs and vegetables grow out of the finest and purest ingredients. I chose Organic Mechanics Premium Potting soil for my home farm. It exemplifies these qualities.

                                                                                   

Watering

It is important to properly water your plants. Too much water or not enough water is bad. Also the quality of water makes a difference. I find the more  attention I pay to detail, the better results I receive. I believe gardening should be simple without diluting the experience. It helps to put some of yourself and your family into the process. For my biodynamic sprays, I let tap water sit for several hours to let the chlorine evaporate.

It best to water the plants enough that the you have  water in the  drain pan. However, do not let it overflow. I monitor the plants based upon the location, weather and type of pottery they are in. If you use plastic pottery, your soil will overheat and dry out quicker. Large pottery will retain water longer. If you have heavy wind and sun exposure you will need to check the water more frequently. 

I tend to let the plants tell me if they need water. I will periodically check the soil and then ask the plants if they are thirsty. The color and condition of the leaves are excellent indicators . With practice you begin to develop a feel for the needs of each individual plant.

Proper watering is made easier by the  use of high quality soil and pottery. This is far more important than automatic watering gadgets. If you provide a quality environment for your plants and begin to understand their needs at a deeper level, you will become a master water person.

Pottery

It is important to chose the correct planters for your home garden. The pottery must be carefully selected to fit with your home environment. It should be esthetically pleasing and meet your growing requirements. I personally believe that making sure your pottery is made to the highest environmental standards by real potters is very important. I do not want the energy contained in sweatshop produced pottery to be absorbed into my harvest.

Some other key criteria  to consider are:

  • Plant type and root requirements
  • Drainage
  • Space requirements
  • Portability
  • indoor/outdoor

These criteria are particularly important if you plan to home farm all year. I have several perennial herbs such as Rosemary and Thyme that I bring inside for the winter. The pottery must fit into my windowsills.

McEwen Farms offers lovely pottery to meet all of your home farming needs.

                                                                           

Seeds

You have two simple choices for starting your home farm. One choice is to buy starter plants from your local garden store and transplant them into your home farm system. I would make sure all of my starter plants were organic.The other method is to sprout them from seeds. I find this more difficult and rewarding. It forces me to really pay attention to the process of growing and planting. You may find this more rewarding as well.

The most important criteria for selecting seeds are:

  • Organic
  • NON GMO
  • Clean Genealogy

McEwen Farms uses seeds from High Mowing for our home and production farm. They are developed with the highest standards and have given us fantastic results. They also contain very clear germinating instructions.

                                                                             

Biodynamic Advantage

Biodynamics can create the best home farming experience. It results in the highest quality herbs and vegetables. Biodynamics also creates a feeling of unity and engagement with the farming process. You begin to understand how the movements of nature effect your home farm. The Biodynamic menu on our website will help you appreciate the joys and benefits of Biodynamic Gardening.

McEwen Farms has a home Biodynamic Home Gardening kit for your use. It comes complete with all of the preparations and an easy to use set of instructions

                                                                             

McEwen Farms Home Farm Starter Kit

McEwen Farms offers you the opportunity to acquire all of the items necessary to begin your own Home Farm. Please visit our product page for easy ordering instructions.