A Homestead in the Making
This past fall we connected with a family who is ready to turn their home into a homestead. For the Wiemer family, it’s important to have control over the quality of food they are eating. Plus, they want to teach their kids where food comes from and get the entire family involved in the process of growing their own food.
When the Wiemers recently moved to a 35-acre property with 256 sq. ft. of growing space, they were excited to start a homestead. But, they had no idea where to start, and quickly felt overwhelmed by the amount of info on the internet. And that’s where I came in! Since the Wiemers didn’t have much gardening experience, I developed a step-by-step action plan to build their confidence and create a clear direction for their garden.
Client: The Wiemer family in Burlington, WI
Custom Garden Design
- 10’x12′ L-shaped cedar bed
- 4’x8′ cedar bed with specialized lower height for the kids
- locally made custom moon arch
- two 4’x10′ beds with custom panel arches
This kitchen garden is a key part of a major lifestyle change for the whole family, and they want the kids to be completely involved in the gardening process as they turn this property into a homestead.
Garden Installation Process:
With so much space to utilize, we broke this homestead project down into three phases to avoid the overwhelm of a huge project. Focusing on one phase at a time allows newer gardeners to concentrate on learning and honing their gardening skills with a proper set-up.
Phase 1: In Fall 2021 we installed a 10’x12’ L-shaped cedar bed kitchen garden along with another 4’x8’ cedar bed with a specialized lower height so the kiddos could have their own garden.
The family wanted to get their hands dirty and did their own DIY prep for the kitchen garden install, while we assembled the beds on site.
Phase 2: In Spring 2022 we will install two 4’x10’ additional beds with panel trellises.
Phase 3: Long-term goals include fruit tree crops with orchard maintenance. And who knows where else this homestead might take us along the way!
“We really appreciated visiting Katie and Matt’s garden. Seeing the garden in action makes it so much more tangible. Also hearing about their trial and error was helpful. It has helped me realize the journey that is involved with gardening and cooking. [And] Katie is extremely personable and transparent. I felt very comfortable from the moment I met her. I loved that she provided us with the ability to help build the actual garden. Planting the garlic once the beds were complete made me happy.” — Jenni Wiemer
These clients approached the project with plans to expand. Going in with the mindset that gardening is about the journey helps you enjoy the process just as much as the end result!
After we installed this garden for Jenni’s family, she joined my garden-to-table membership and now we get to trade garden recipes, share tips and tricks, and catch up on each other’s lives each month. The friendships that I have made along my gardening journey are a bonus I didn’t really expect. We have cultivated some meaningful relationships with each other in the membership (in addition to delicious homegrown veggies) and it makes me so happy to feel grounded in my community!
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