Gardening = Food
You're probably wondering why I'm including gardening posts in a food blog. While I do grow a significant amount of flowers; I have to have flowers.... I also attempt to grow alot of fruits and veggies for us to eat at home. That means that those items are going in jars or into the freezer for use later on; along with eating fresh from the garden.
Fresh produce from the store tends to be rather expensive here. Just like the spinach I purchased for the Sausage Tortellini Soup awhile back. Yes, that was a once in awhile purchase and I will probably do it again as that soup turned out wonderful and was awesome as leftovers too. Most of the time, unless I have produce given to me; we eat our veggies and fruits out of cans and bags from the freezer section. I can't wait for a fresh tomato and some sweet corn.
With my foray into pressure canning, I've switched over entirely to pantry cooking. I see the garden as a way to stock the pantry and I get to enjoy playing in the dirt at the same time.
Handsome used to grow a large garden every year when he was younger and last year he started again. He had great success with potatoes! We are still eating on the ones he raised. (They canned beautifully in the Oven Stew.) He had trouble with Japanese beetles on his corn, beans, and sweet potatoes last year. He will try again. He enjoys growing different veggies than I do. I can't wait to see his garden this year!
I'm no expert and I'm not going to pretend to be. My garden will probably get weedy in places and I'm sure there will be flops. There were an exorbitant amount of Japanese beetles around my place too. My biggest problem last year was the fox digging everything up behind me each day.
I have plans, big plans, as usual for the garden. This will be the first year ever that I'm not doing a hard rotation. (I hear you Dad.) Tomatoes are going to be planted in the same places I planted tomatoes last year instead of moving them to a different section. Due to the weather and the fox, several of the raised beds didn't even get planted. The plan is to grow some leafy greens and herbs in those beds and leave the tomatoes and peppers where they were previously. There's a section of my yard that is rough and hard to mow as it hangs wet. I've seen people place a tire and fill it with compost and then plant something in the compost. I'm going to try this with winter squash and maybe some melons. I figure the extra moisture on their roots will help them along.
All the flower beds got super weedy; the yard man rolled his eyes at me last week when he came to check things out to get ready for spring. (I love to mow grass. I want to mow grass. There simply is not enough of me to go around and I would like to do some major gardening this year.) I'm going to just burn off whats left of the weeds and place a layer of compost over top, mulch it and then plant. There's even going to be some veggies mixed in with the flowers.
What are your garden plans this year?