Welcome to Buddberry Farms. This is the name of our little 10 acre homestead in Central Florida. We bought the place last fall after renting for about 3 1/2 years. Most of the property is pasture for our 8 cows and not really a farm at all. Not a farm in the conventional sense at least. I barely have one little planting bed about 8×8 and a couple of bins of potatoes, idaho and sweet. However, we also have a small strawberry patch, a patch of cantaloupe growing among my sunflowers, and a myriad of containers. Work your way around the front of the house and you’ll find 7 blueberry bushes, 3 papaya shrubs and a couple of guava shrubs. These are the beginning of my edible front yard landscaping. Toss in a couple of fruit trees and there’s more growing than one might think! That’s not even including all the wild blackberries growing all over the property.
While I don’t have a particularly green thumb, I do have some big hopes and dreams for the place. I aspire to add a fruit and nut orchard up in the front pasture where I can fence off a section while still having access to the water spigot. Before that however, we have to add another row of fencing around to protect the trees from the cows and horses. Everything takes more time and money than is readily available, so it’s slow going! We’re going to need hundreds of dollars in fencing supplies, the trees themselves, the removal of a few too many shade trees in the way, and of course there’s soil prep and companion plants to purchase or grow first.
That’s my goal for this fall, when it will be cool enough to plant young trees again. But first, I have a smaller goal to have my chicken coop built by the end of summer! That’s fast approaching, and I still have yet to actually start. That too is much more involved than one may think at first. I have to add a gate to the existing fence line, separate a section of pasture and add fruit tree nets overhead to protect the girls while they free-range, and I haven’t even got to the coop part! I’m tired just thinking about it. No one promised me it would be easy though and I do have the energy and drive!
This is a ton of work and we’re just starting out and learning as we go. We grow organically and try and use permaculture principles along the way. We’re trying to have the farm help support itself so we can become more and more self-sufficient. We have a small store of items we sell at farmer’s markets… signs, soaps, gifts and some edibles, such as my latest creation, Chocolate-Blackberry Preserves.
I hope you’ll join us and stay tuned for more to come in the near future.