How do I begin a self-sufficient backyard mini-farm? I want to start being green and sustainable in my lifest?

Anonymous1 asks: How do I begin a self-sufficient backyard mini-farm? I want to start being green and sustainable in my lifest?
I am a suburban single mom looking to start a mini farm- vegetable garden, raise animals (rabbits, chickens), etc. I already have area set aside for garden, I compost and am trying to be more “green” in my lifestyle. Does anybody have any general words of wisdom or advice for a beginner? I am hoping this will be a good lesson for kids as well… I have been reading sustainability books and organic gardening texts and feel semi-confident that this project is do-able, but any practical advice or experiences would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!

The answer voted best is:

Answer by fluffernut
it is very doable. Read as much Mother Earth News issues as you can. I learned a lot from them.

We did it for many years until age, arthritis, joint replacements, etc took over and we just don’t work as hard as we used to. It is extra work, a lot. But if you enjoy the physical labor, being outside in all weather, working with animals, poop, etc, it is fun. I know our friends missed us giving it all up as much as we did……..fresh eggs, veggies, fruits, honey….ok we didn’t share much of the honey.

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  1. Just remember that you must look at this as something you really want to do, as a hobby and a way to enjoy some foods here and there that are chemically free. It rarely saves you money from what I have observed, and it is truly a lifestyle of “daily” work and upkeep.
    Its is fun for kids, but dont expect tons of real help where its needed when you need it.
    And PLEASE dont raise rabbits or add to the growing list of abandoned and abused animals out there. If you planned on eating them, you could never keep up with all the quantity anyway, and are you prepared to kill and butcher animals?
    So start small, just plant a garden in a couple wooden raised beds 4′ x 8′ x 16″ high, made with 2x 8s stacked. wire the bottoms if you have gophers.
    They are easier to work with; to water, to maintain than an ” in the ground” garden. You can even sit on the edge and work.
    Get some of the Storey’s guides for help in all areas.
    And dont worry about being or looking “green”. What does that mean anyway. its just a catch phrase. You are a single mom with more important things to worry about. And you will not be very “green” but more like dirt brown colored and hate the extra work if you bite off too much.

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