With 11 children I have been looking for a way to cut our grocery bill plus have fresh food and better quality as well. I also have been slightly irritated about the produce at a large chain grocery store. What I have been noticing is the lettuce is not green and definitely not fresh. I have been small-scale gardening for 10 years and now I am backyard farming in our .68 backyard in a neighborhood. I am determined to grow a plentiful garden providing our family with better quality food.
I currently have 14 laying hens that give us about a dozen eggs per day. We do not have anything fancy of a pen. It actually is a chain link dog fence 6ft high and 10ft long. Someone gave us a wooden playhouse and we turned that into the chicken coop where we have 2 laying containers.
I had a few raised beds and we added 2 more raised beds so altogether we have 5 raised beds. Last summer I grew bush beans in the large one and had plenty to put in the freezer. What I quickly learned is how much that helped my grocery budget in the winter. I also grew tomatoes and squash and zucchini. We had those fresh all summer. I felt like I had found gold when under those big leaves you find the squash or zucchini:) There is nothing like enjoying the fruit of your labor after growing your own groceries.
The video series I recommend is Growing Your Own Groceries by Marjory Wildcraft. I have watched this DVD several times and continue to watch. It is a go-to DVD with a lot of information on how to get started, how to get and keep your own water source, and what type of animals you may want to have etc.