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The 863 Magazine Useful Yards, from page 17

Friends and neighbors often go home with a dozen farm-fresh, cage-free eggs, or a basket filled with a variety of vegetables and herbs, he says. “It’s a great way to get to know a lot of people,” Naugler says. “Some neighbors come over when their grandkids are visiting to see the animals.” During the past four years, Longster

says they have learned a lot about farming. “It’s been a learning curve. First of all, you have to fertilize,” she says of lessons they’ve learned. “Also, don’t get a rooster, just hens. The females are quieter. With chickens, the breed matters, too. You want eggers. For the produce, grow for the weather and the area.”

For anyone interested in creating their own backyard microfarm, Longster suggested seeking out advice from someone who has experience. “When we got started, we didn’t envision the size we have now,” she says. “It’s really a labor of love. I’ll have a little space, and ask myself, ‘What can I grow here?’ This is the best way to come home from work.”

From top left, clockwise: Several large raised gardens line the Winter Haven backyard of self-sustaining microfarmers Samantha Longster and Scott Naugler; Longster pulls carrots from her garden that are from the seeds of an organic rainbow mix; a summer spinach vine, Malabar spinach, is just one of the many veggies growing; Naugler feeds pineapple skins to Cupcake while Rowdy, the other resident pet goat, looks on.

The 863 Magazine - July & August 2017  

Useful Yards: Sustainability in a Backyard; Lake Wales Little Theatre: Looking ahead at its 40th Season; CPR: Life Saving technique taught t...

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