For some reason, we purchased a load of mulch, but did not have a chance to spread it all winter long. In Spring, when my research was complete, we went out to dig and till (one time only!) and found the ground under the mulch pile completely transformed! You could actually push a shovel in it! (Those of you from the South know what I mean.) We formed up beds, my sweet husband added an irrigation system and I was off!
I call myself The Maven, not because I am the most excellent gardener ever, but because I have had so many opportunities to learn from failure! I know this is The Homesteading Maven , but the foundation of a self-sufficient lifestyle is a garden. Adding chickens for eggs is a no-brainer, even for a suburbanite. Just those 2 things - a garden and a few chickens - can start you on a path to self-sufficiency. How far you want to walk down that road is up to you!