Our garden's life began the summer of 2013. With each growing season to follow, we plan on expansion and increased growth. In. the summer of 2014 we had just five raised garden beds. We planted several fruit trees and berry bushes, and several sunflowers and squash plants also grew from seeds in the goat manure we used. As of 2022, we pick fruit from our raspberry and blackberry bushes and tart cherry tree. We will continue to build more raised garden beds and potentially build cold frames or mini hoop houses to help extend their growing season. In 2022, we turned the southeast corner of our back yard into a garden bed for growing Wine Cap mushrooms, and we've already collected over 5lbs of mushrooms. The back porch is also a great place to build a trellis gazebo for growing climbing plants, such as hops, grapes, and beans.
In the Fall of 2014 we reconstructed our existing carport into a greenhouse. The existing structure was approximately fifty feet long by twenty feet wide. Turning this into a greenhouse greatly expanded our growing space and extended our growing season. In April of 2019, three additional beds were installed in the greenhouse! We have a rocket mass heater to kickstart our spring growing season, and hope to continue making our greenhouse more efficient to produce more food for ourselves and our community.
Once we are content with the state of our first house and are able to prove it to be a successful and worthwhile endeavor, we may try to expand to other houses. Purchasing another house will allow us to share the benefits of cooperative living with even more people and build our strength as a community. However, an additional cooperative may not be specifically for climbers. It may be geared towards artists or teachers, or any other group of similarly-minded individuals that have a desire to live cooperatively and sustainably.