Fresh From the DIY Backyard Farm
By Greg Carbone, Backyard Farmer
From his New Jersey DIY Backyard Farm, Greg Carbone relishes the opportunity to share the joys of organic, backyard edible gardening, and he’ll focus on just that with his GRIT blog.
Greg also hopes to help families, especially the youngsters, become more engaged with fresh, homegrown produce, and he plans on “showing off! I like to show people just how easy it is to grow your own.”
His grandparents influenced his love of gardening. “My grandparents taught me to grow my own produce at a very early age. It is part of the fabric of who I am. Life without an edible garden was very tough for me. I always need something to grow!”
This year’s garden included a number of favorites. “It is easier to list what is not planted,” Greg says. “We tend to favor tomatoes, peppers, beets, chards, cuccuzza (Italian squash), cucumbers, kale, broccoli, all kinds of herbs, garlic, onions, radishes and lettuce. The list could go on!”
Currently, Greg is working on the second edition of his book, The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide. “It will have an improved cover and additional content.”
Another project on his to-do list is a children’s version of the book, adapted for the 12 and under crowd. Greg says, “It will be based mainly on the experiences I have had with my own kids.”
Showing off our golden raspberries.
Other projects include building a cold frame or two, raising chickens and rabbits, and installing a drip irrigation system.
When asked to define a “homesteader,” he writes, “In the truest sense of the word, I believe it refers to someone who sustains the majority of their life off their own land.”
The Carbones also welcome several animals to their home. “Our suburban homestead has wild rabbits (too many to name), two hermit crabs (Shellby and Gartner), and two wonderful aquatic frogs (Cali and Francesco).”
As for his country skills, Greg lists a few: gardening of all sorts (with the main focus on edible gardening); farm-to-table cooking; baking; upcycling; naturalistic pursuits (in particular, engaging his children with their natural surroundings); and one more. “Tinkering, if you call this a skill.”
His philosophy on “country” life? “Country life does not have to only occur in the ‘the country.’ To me, country life is slowing down to enjoy your surroundings. We live the country life by living more with less. Simple is a magical thing if one gives it a chance.”