Recently I received an email asking me to review a video all about backyard food production systems. I was curious so I said sure. I grow a large vegetable garden in the backyard every year and if there were ideas inside this DVD that I could use and incorporate into my garden it might be worthwhile for others who read this blog to learn more about as well.
The video is simply titled Food Production Systems for a Backyard or Small Farm and is about 110 minutes long. Through the video Marjory explains why her family set out to become as self-sustainable as possible and how they've sought to accomplish it. She tells in the video right from the start that what they have tried to do A) isn't easy and B) they've made a lot of mistakes along the way. Because they have experienced it you can learn from the mistakes they have made.
So what has her family done exactly? They've installed a significant rain collection system for their water uses, learned about food crops and management, composting, protecting livestock from predators, raised chickens and rabbits as well as a whole array of other subject areas. They have put together some ingenious methods of sustainability like with their rabbit composting system. They raise rabbits as a food supply but also receive the added benefit of their composted manure. Rabbit cages are suspended over hay which eventually becomes compost for the garden. The method she uses for fertilizing her fruit trees is pretty clever too. She puts out water troughs for geese to come bath in underneath the trees. Every now and then she dumps out the messy water underneath the trees which of course is full of geese manure.
The video has many ideas that could be incorporated into a backyard garden even if complete sustainability isn't your goal. It also comes with a resource disc with PDF files that cover subjects like aquaponics, seed saving, home composting and several others. I do have to caution you though that this video isn't for everyone. Their goal is to become self-sustainable which means that the animals they raise aren't necessarily pets and they explain and demonstrate the whole process which may be a little tough for younger folks and those who might be a little squeamish.
Overall I found the video very interesting. We're frugal and I like the thought of becoming more sustainable through our backyard food production and now I know what to do with those annoying rabbits that continually eat my plants...