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| By Javan Wells

You want to become self-sufficient? Here are a few things you need to consider.

More and more people dream of a self-sufficient garden. Numerous books, not only since Corona, have been published about this subject. Fresh vegetables, without chemicals is what everyone wants. But there are a few things you should know, before you can become self-sufficient...

Firstly, to be able to supply yourself (almost) completely with fruit and vegetables, the garden area should be at least 50 to 70 square meters - per person! (Children proportionally according to age.)

Additionally, extra space is needed if fruit trees and shrubs are wanted. In the countryside, gardens of this size are found quite regularly, but hardly ever in the middle of a city! Even the normal "allotment garden" is way too small.

Secondly, a lot of commitment is needed. For a family of  four people, about three to four hours of maintenance are needed per day. The time required can be somewhat reduced by raised beds, at least when it comes to the caring of your plants. For cultivation and heat-loving vegetables, a cold frame or greenhouse are ideal. 

Thirdly, the vegetable garden should have a sunny location and loose, humus-rich soil. To get this perfect soil, increase the humus content with compost, rotted manure, green manure and mulching. In short, by providing the perfect soil, a brilliant harvest can easily be achieved with little additional effort. 

Good planning is also important: You should plan ahead when and what you can grow, when to plant, when to harvest? And even how to store produce and rotate crops.

By the way, when planning, always plan to grow a little more, if a crop doesn't do well, you will have a substitute ready.

To get your harvested vegetables ready for storing in winter, you can freeze, preserve or dry them. 

Lastly, self-sufficiency, in addition to the cultivation of vegetables and fruits, actually includes keeping animals. At least smaller animals like, especially since Corona, chickens. But be careful, when purchasing animals you take on responsibility! In addition, plan in enough space for each animal as required by law. You should also consider warning the neighbors or the landlord of your plans. Especially if there is a rooster involved.