Hello from the Canadian Maritimes!

Swampduck

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Hello Everyone! I live in the Canadian Maritimes, more specifically, Nova Scotia. I'm a teenage, vegetarian homesteader growing a variety of vegetables every year since I was ten, and helping raise my six siblings. I'm planning on raising some indian runner ducks this year for eggs. Unfortunately it's the middle of winter here which means my duck project is on hold until April.
However I am currently researching gardening techniques that give you a large harvest in a small space, so any advice about that would be appreciated. I've also been considering getting some honey bees with my older sister. I've fermented and canned food several times mainly relish and sauerkraut.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Welcome, @Swampduck . You'll fit right in here. How big is your garden space? Soil type and condition, amount of sunlight? What is your growing zone? I'm just a tad south of you, in Maine.

Here's some books that might keep you entertained till you can get your fingers in the soil again:

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza

And this book: While it is not specifically targeted to the duck owner, it is a fantastic reference for proper flock and soil management with back yard flocks: The Small Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery.

This book is a fantastic: Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

Then, there are the unconventional gardening methods: Hay and Straw bale gardening.

I've been practicing no till gardening for decades, first following the Ruth Stout method, and most recently adding the Back to Eden approach. I do a lot of sheet and trench composting, have trialed Biochar. Built a hugelkulture mound. The hugelkulture method can even be used in small spaces. There is a thread titled: Hugelkulture and other uncommon garden practices. As I run across helpful resources, I post them there.

I am also dipping my foot into the realm of duck ownership this spring. I have 10 ducklings on order from Murray McMurray. 8 Indian Runner and 2 Khaki Campbell. I will keep 3 and sell the rest. I plan to down size my chicken flock, build a Wood's Open Air style coop inside the footprint of my garden, with the intent of alternating poultry run/garden space in the North side, while the South side will be dedicated to 6 permanent raised beds. The ducks and chickens will share coop and run space, with hopes that I can build some chunnels to direct flock to walk ways between beds, and beds that need to be worked over. Check out this video:

Chicken Chunnel Man
 
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Lazy Gardener

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Then... while waiting for spring, you might consider Kratky hydroponics. There are lots of articles and videos on the net to get you started. Basically, it's hydroponics that can be as simple as a lettuce plant in a mason jar. Once you get the plant in the nutrient solution, there is absolutely no maintenance. the solution will provide all the plant needs throughout it's growth cycle.
 

Lazy Gardener

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And, you might consider deep composting litter in your duck coop and run. @Beekissed is the queen of composting litter. She also has ducks/chickens, and is an avid gardener.

Fermented feed will give your ducks more B-vitamins, as well as boost their immune systems, increase their nutrient absorption.
 

Britesea

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welcome from the Oregon Cascades! I used to have Khaki Campbells and they are so fun! Unfortunately, most of them never went broody for me; the one that did managed to hatch 1 chick two years in a row and both times ignored them afterward-- not good mothers. The first one I found already dead; the second one I was able to rescue. I finally ended up getting rid of them and went with chickens instead- although again I've had no luck with babies.
 

wyoDreamer

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I highly recommend the Square Foot Gardening book.

I had a 3.5' x 7' raised bed with only 6" of soil and I grew enough in that space that I shared produce with the neighbors. All at 7400' elevation in Wyoming. Granted, where I was living is at a Latitude of about 41.1 degrees, but with a simple frame with greenhouse fabric, I was able to keep spinach plants alive all winter - not growing bigger to be able to harvest any, but they were alive.
 

baymule

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Welcome from Texas! You have quite an impressive gardening resume! Good for you. Nothing beats home grown food. Canning, freezing, fermenting and dehydrating extends the “eating season” LOL I once gardened in beds, 4 feet wide and 6 to 12 feet long. We ate good out of that garden.
 
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