Articles, Blog

Potential For Abundance? (Gardening collab with Roots and Refuge Farm)

January 28, 2020


Hello, today I’m continuing to look
at how to plan a better garden. I’m Liz Zorab and this is Byther Farm. This video is a collaboration with Jess
over at Roots and Refuge Farm and if you’re not familiar with Jess, well,
she’ll introduce herself. Hi I’m Jess and this is Roots and Refuge Farm. I’m
currently in my greenhouse where I’m just kicking off this year’s gardening
endeavors and I just wanted to take a moment and introduce you to my farm. We keep a herd of dairy goats, Nubians and Lamancha, which we breed for milk. We
also have alpacas for fiber and because they’re awesome. We breed a type
of pig called Mangalitsa for meat, known for their curly hair and we have a flock
of laying hens. We are homesteading on about seven acres
here in Central Arkansas, which is in the southern United States. It’s growing
zone 7B. This is my raised bed garden, which at the current moment is
not much to look at, but in the summer and spring and during the winter
whenever we have a winter garden planted, this cranks out a lot of our big
families food needs. Jess and I were talking about how excited we are about
the new growing season because there’s so much to come, there’s so much potential. On days like these, when the world has almost disappeared in the freezing fog,
it’s really hard to imagine just how fantastic a growing space this will be. So last time I talked about intentional observation and now, going on from that,
the next stage for me is to turn those notes into imaginations of just how much
we’re likely to grow this year. When I started creating this garden four
years ago, it was pretty much a blank canvas. It was just a field with grass in
it and a few old mature fruit trees, but I had the belief and I had the faith
that I could turn it into a really productive space. The soil was really
poor quality and had very little life in it. But I knew that if I gave the ground
the right ingredients, nature would do its thing and rebuild itself. The next phase of planning your better garden is to do some imagining and some
remembering, so that you can start seeing the potential for abundance. At first glance everything on our homestead is in stasis, it’s not growing, it’s not doing
anything. But when you look really closely you can see all the little buds
are starting to form on our fruit trees and it won’t be very long before it’s
absolutely smothered in blossoms and then leaves, followed by some very, very
tasty fruit. Every year I’m surprised and delighted by the way in which this space
transforms from a rather sad looking, muddy mess into a lush green full space
that’s just bursting with food. So how do we begin this visualizing or imagining
process? Well, one of the things that I do is to look back and see what I did in
previous years. I’ve got really good about making sure that I take lots of
photographs and now video, of what I’ve planted where, what
grew really well and what really didn’t flourish. Most of our broad bean harvest it’s just dead. Not enough moisture
deeper down in the soil so it hasn’t formed deep roots and then it isn’t able
to survive the lack of rain. And of course nowadays I draw my
inspiration online, on the internet, places like Twitter and here on YouTube. There are so many really good gardeners
out there creating videos and writing blog posts, so I can continue to learn
and be inspired by them. One of the really good things I’ve learnt is to use
panels to create archways, just like Jess does in her garden, for growing plants up.
Here in the UK I couldn’t find cattle panels in the same way that they seem to
have them in the States, but I did find these panels which are 8 foot by 4 foot.
And I fixed two of them together to form an archway and in this tunnel
I’ve got roses growing up them and during the summer I have spaghetti
squashes as well. I draw inspiration from other places places like Hampton
Court Palace with it’s 0.8 acre – the same size as our whole plot – they have a
no dig vegetable garden there which I just think is beautiful. And from Wisley where I visited. What a delight it is, there’s masses of things like the cup
and saucer plants here, so there’s lots and lots of things to encourage
pollinators and even by the French beans there’s salvias at the bottom to encourage the
bees and other pollinators to visit. So I’m just gonna have a quick look round
and then I’m gonna have a really proper look round and just spend
now another hour or so feeling ver,y very envious in such a beautiful garden. And I get inspired by friends’ gardens
and also members of my Facebook group who post photos out of their gardens
and what they’re doing, all of which inspire me in various different ways
around the garden. And when I look at those really huge palatial gardens,I
try and think how I could scale those ideas down to work on our site. And sometimes I’m inspired by seeing an image of a terrarium – a really small
glass jar with plants in it, and it gets me thinking about companion
planting or something like that. So I try and draw inspiration from anywhere that
I can and to scale it up or scale it down so it will work in my garden. If you’re finding value in this video, please give it a thumbs up or leave a
comment and don’t forget to subscribe for more gardening, homesteading and
tutorial videos. We can have quite a few beds that appear to be almost empty
except for these sticks sticking up all the way through it and they’re to remind
me where the perennial beans are planted. And at this time of year, when all the
beds have in them is a deep layer of mulch, that’s when I really have to start
using my imagination about where I want things to be and the potential for their
growth this year. I’m often asked about the varieties that
we grow and where to get the seeds from. So I’ve pulled together a list of
every variety that we grew last year, all the plants that are growing in our
garden here. And if you’d like access to those lists, all you need to do is sign
up for our newsletter and in our next newsletter there will be a link taking
you through to some hidden pages on our website, where you’ll be able to peruse
those. I’ll leave a link in the description box so you can sign up for
our newsletter. In late January we still have plenty of
food in the ground waiting to be harvested, things like the dill, which
died down in the autumn, has come back again already, some celeriac for little
bit later in spring, some beet roots and the Hamburg parsley which is a parsley but we eat the roots of it. So our beds are still quite full and it
reminds me that actually the growing process does continue through a really
long season here. We garden in the equivalent of zone 8b, so it’s quite a
mild climate. It doesn’t get excessively hot (except for maybe a couple of years
ago), it doesn’t get excessively cold (except for maybe three years ago), but
generally we don’t get huge extremes of heat or cold that there are in other
places. So in this temperate climate we can grow
a really wide range of fruit and vegetables over a really long period. I find it incredible each year I plant these tiny weeny seeds into soil and
that they grow into plants, so rapidly, so willingly, and I continue to remind
myself that nature just wants to grow. In this area I’ve planted onions and
shallots and some elephant garlic and they’ll get inter planted with carrots
in three or four months time. And I think it’s important to remember just as Rome
wasn’t built in a day, creating your garden isn’t going happen
instantly either. This garden has changed significantly over the last four years,
partly through observing and trial and error and things that I thought I would
do, some of them have just taken longer than I expected them to, and other things
have taken longer by design. So this area on both sides of me here, my patrons
garden and the market garden, were both chicken fields to start with, with
temporary fencing which we took out bit by bit and created these other areas. But
I wanted the birds in here, partly because I wanted the birds but also by them being in here the soil fertility has been improved and
increased. And it also gave me time to concentrate on other areas, the more
productive areas, before I came and did the floral garden. This long border is
pretty much all flowers, because I wanted something attractive that would
also attract pollinators. So I built this just about a year ago and filled it with
perennial flowers. Inevitably there are weeds in, so I’ll have to keep on top of those
a little bit. So this was built in our third year here and it will take a while
for it to fill out and I’m not in any hurry for it to happen.
I put annuals in it this year to give it some color and to fill the gaps and over
the next few years, hopefully, the perennials will spread and
fill this area and then this border will pretty much look after itself. Over this winter I’ve been researching more plants to put in this border. These are all
edible plants, but they’re also highly ornamental. And that’s the thing about
the downtime in winter and very early spring, it gives you the opportunity to
explore more ideas and to start to build a framework for how you want to put
those things into your garden. In the six years that we’ve been
homesteading, we’ve learned so many lessons and we’re still learning. We’ve
learned to care for animals, we’ve learned to garden organically, but one of
the things that has been one of the greatest joys, that we really didn’t see
coming, was getting to share it with you guys. Because of the YouTube community,
we’re able to share our experience and to invite you in. And so thank you for
visiting today and I will see you again sson. So Jess and I invite you to join this collaboration and tell us what you’ve
been doing over the winter and early spring to prepare you have a new garden
and to share your hints and tips to turn that potential into an abundance.

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39 Comments

  • Reply 4 Kids and a Farm January 28, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    What a great collaboration! We love roots and refuge (and your channel).  WE are so excited for the abundance we will get from our garden this year.  our goal is to grow 50 percent of our food…and hopefully skip the grocery store a few times.

  • Reply Barbara Buchanan January 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Two of my favorite gardeners!
    One in Arkansas, one in Wales! I’m so excited that you have found each other!
    ❤️🌱❤️

  • Reply Ansie Vicente January 28, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    My two favourite YouTubers, and gardeners, in one. Whoop whoop!

  • Reply lizzie Atherfold January 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    The magic of seeds always gets me as well
    🙂 thanks for sharing x

  • Reply Liz Zorab - Byther Farm January 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    If you've enjoyed this video, please check out Jess's video that's packed full of great ideas about preparing ourselves and our gardens for the abundant year ahead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2yIbZTyKCo

  • Reply Deborah Zamora January 28, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    Wow! I'm not the only one to be thrilled that you two found each other. Lucky me, my two favorites together in one place.
    You both have soo much to share and such an easy, friend- to- friend way of doing it all, I always feel like I've just stopped by for a cup of tea. ( if only! ) Good job, my friend.

  • Reply Donna Ratliff January 28, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Looking Great Liz! As for right now,
    I'm building up the soil in the garden as every winter. A great to put in soil and let it rest, rot together. We're adding more compost and wood chips now. I don't have any raised beds but I would love to have some, easier to manage. My squashes and cantaloupes were all over the place last summer. That was very hard to get around in there.
    I'm a hoping to sell my 10 acre homestead this summer and down size to a smaller place. But I'm going to plant anyway, it will make it beautiful for potential buyers and show them the potential to grow here. Where ever I go, I will be growing food, chickens and ducks. I have horses right now that have given me abundant amounts of compost. They're not going with us this time.So good to see that 2 acres is plenty of room to grow lots of food. Thanks for sharing your garden plans. 👍

  • Reply Angie LaCross January 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    I love you so much 🙂 I have already started planning my spring garden. Vermont weather is very testy, but the joy of planning through the winter and muddy spring is very exciting. I appreciate you,Jess, Huw and the Stivers for all of the tip's tricks and the absolute beauty of your gardens each year <3

  • Reply Angie LaCross January 28, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    I will be using cattle panels for the first time this year. I hope to expand all of my vining vegies this year.. Cross your fingers it works out..lol

  • Reply Trisha Brink January 28, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Absolutely two of my favorite gardeners on YouTube! Fun to see you two together… Been a subscriber of both for about a year and a half now. I’ve learned so much from both of you! Keep up the good work ladies… Got my new camera for Christmas… Might have to use it to track my own progress online soon…. you will both be inspiration to me for sure! I appreciate all the time you put into your channels to help us learn! Can’t wait to see what you both do in 2020.

  • Reply Green Side Up January 28, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Very nice video Liz, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Thank you..:)..Steve.

  • Reply Little Jordan Farm January 28, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    That was wonderful liz..love you and jess both th hank you for the inspiration now and always..may abundance of Blessings be yours

  • Reply Helen Marshall January 28, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I'm really going to enjoy your channel. I'm glad I found you. I am also in a Zone 8b area and seldom find anyone who deals with the same problems I do on YouTube. I'm so glad I found you!

  • Reply Hida Way Homestead January 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Jessica said to come check you out. Here I am. Can't wait to get to know you better and see your homesteading journey. I am just starting my journey and can use all the information I can get.
    Stay safe and God bless. 🌱🐷🐓🐄🐇🐐🌱

  • Reply Seedaholic Gardens January 28, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    What an awesome collaboration!

  • Reply Dolly Perry January 28, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Liz…are we suppose to share it here…? P.S. Love this video!

  • Reply Karen D January 28, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    I love your channel And love your garden❤

  • Reply Grow Your Groceries January 28, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    😱 you had me at varieties list!!!

  • Reply tracy ealden smith January 28, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    You and brimwood farm are my favourite inspirers!

  • Reply Amelia Beeley January 28, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    When do you plant the Hamburg parsley please

  • Reply Mary Carder January 28, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Jess sent me! I was already subscribed to your channel. Guess i didnt have the setting right. Got the bell rang now 🙂

  • Reply Wolterman Homestead January 28, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Found you from Jess! You have such a lovely garden and a beautiful way of doing things! Excited to join you on all your garden journeys! Take care! 😊

  • Reply Teresa Bourgoin January 28, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    It’s my first time here, Jess sent me. I subscribed to you channel and will spend this cold winter day knitting a sweater and watching your videos. Thank you for sharing your part of the world.

  • Reply Lorraine Owen January 28, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Love both your channel's! Your both inspirational! Your gardens are amazing too ❤️

  • Reply Mama Grows January 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    This! Is a great video. You answered my questions as the video went and you inspired me. Rome was not built in a day.

  • Reply Little Lee Gardens January 28, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    I found and subscribed to your channel after Jess mentioned you on one of her live vids. Both exceptional gardeners that get me excited about my own garden! I watched one of your vids yesterday and had to run outside to start messing around in the garden. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your knowledge with us 🙂

  • Reply Jayne Teal-Jeffery January 28, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Very nicely done. Enjoying the collaborations. I’m looking forward to the new growing season and going to try some winter sowing for the first tiime. Wish me luck. I believe we are in zone 6a here in Ontario Canada. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  • Reply Jayne Teal-Jeffery January 28, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Also on the hunt for cattle panels! Lol

  • Reply Erica's Little Welsh Garden January 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Great video, loved seeing the end bit, you have done so much!

  • Reply Sow Enchanted January 28, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Love Jess! Love both of your gardens 🙌💚

  • Reply carolyn moody January 28, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Came over from roots an refused..new sub here..blessings

  • Reply Steven Dowden January 28, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    really enjoyed your video

  • Reply Back to Basics Homemaker January 28, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I found Doric Brussel Sprouts here in the states at High Mowing Seeds! I was so happy!! 😁 A variety list would be AWESOME! Also I love Jess and have followed her for a long time.

  • Reply Lyn Maunsell January 28, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    You two are both so inspiring 💜

  • Reply Joanne Rose January 28, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Just have to say how fab you are looking Liz, I know only too well how hard it is to stay feeling like life is worth living and to keep plugging on. You're an inspiration, stay focused, you ladies give us ladies a reason to keep pushing ourselves, a reason to get out of bed each day, bless you both and thank you 😘😘

  • Reply UK Here We Grow January 28, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Great video, nice to see Jess make an appearance she has a great channel too. Its getting exciting now its starting to warm up. Having seen your garden grow first hand I think its amazing

  • Reply Anna williams January 28, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful video Liz. I have to say you have been my inspiration for creating a vegetable garden , owning chickens and I’m even trying flowers this year. Lots of them . Thank you 💖🥬🥕🦆🐓☘️
    Jess your tomatoes always look so amazing I wish I could try one in one of your tomato sandwiches. 🍅💖🐐❤️

  • Reply GreenScene SouthCoast January 28, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    New Subscriber here! Sent from Jess @ Roots and Refuge. 🌿 Love the gardening community, it's filled with the nicest people.

  • Reply Tricia Rosamilia January 28, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    I love this collaboration! I watch both channels and this was so much fun to watch. I have a small home garden and I also garden in a community garden plot(allotment) which rent every year that is 20’x40’. Thanks for sharing your passion of gardening!

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