I had this forum recommended to me today by the folks on the herbalism forum, since apparently they aren't involved as much in the growing aspect. I've been a GW member for awhile. Just wanted to say "hello". I'll be reading older posts today, so I won't be asking questions that have already been answered.
Hubs and I are retired. We're on "the down side of 60". We moved onto 1.67 acres a couple of years ago. It is pretty much a "blank slate" because it is on limestone and in order to get trees to grow you have to dig rock out of a big hole first. Our neighbors have done it with pick-axes. We bought an electric jackhammer and a loooooooong extension cord and have been using it a lot over the last two years. Getting plants established has been difficult because we've endured 2 summers of intense heat and drought here in NE Oklahoma. But we have made some progress, it spite of it all. We've planted fruit trees in the back yard, which has a fence around it, and various other kinds of trees out on the remainder of the property.
Where we lived before was on "black gumbo clay" soil and we had quite a bit of shade. I grew a lot of mints and basils, culinary herbs like oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and so on, and vegetables in raised beds in a small back yard.
Now that we have the space to grow we're scrambling to amend the soil and/or dig out rock and/or build raised beds and/or build flower and herb beds wherever there is any shade at all. I've finally been able to get oregano re-established but I've lost a lot of plants that I brought over from the other house. The droughts have set me back considerably and have ruined two summers' worth of vegetable gardening. Very discouraging.
I have six Auracana hens for eggs and fertilizer. A cat that brings me "gifts" of baby rabbits -- ewwww. And an old dog that thinks he's a human. I learned to make soap last winter. I'm a quilter but I'm slow at it. I do most of my cooking and baking "from scratch". I'd like to have a goat for milk and some bee hives but Hubs says no on the goat and I'm afraid bee hives might be more than we can handle.
I'm sure I'll find much I can learn here. Thanks to everyone for sharing your knowledge. --Ilene