We have actually been planting seeds since Fall last year for this years garden. It started with some berry bushes and apple trees but was shortly after followed with some garlic. But that was the base work. We have actually expanded the garden so now we have about four times the original garden space to work with. What started with four small garden beds has now turned into those four small garden beds, five big garden beds and a decent size herb garden space. Its been one of my favorite things to watch the garden grow but I definitely think this may be the last expansion I manage in this space. Yet I truly think that is completely fine with me.
More garden spaces means more options of plants. Now this year we managed to try some new items in the garden but we also have one garden bed being used by our friend. She has started a farm share program and we have been lucky enough to lend some space to her dream this year. Now before I continue on and list what we are trying out this year, I must start with a funny small story about potatoes.
One day I was talking to Jeremy about how I truly needed to find some potato starts and get them planted as the window for potatoes was closing. I had the plan to plant maybe 10 plants worth of potatoes thinking we could use them in multiple ways ( Ill explain that in a little). Well the next day turned out to be a really rough day for myself and nothing in the day seemed to be going too well. I was complaining to my husband about all that was going on. Well my husband took it upon himself to try and improve the day by buying some potato starts. But he bought 6 bags worth of potato starts….. Meaning we had a massive amount of potatoes on our hands. We ended up planting two garden beds worth (the new big ones) of potatoes and proceeded to also make 20 buckets of potatoes too. A few of the buckets were given to friends and family but we have a majority of them here at our house. He really tried to help his wife with an issue but now we laugh as he cause a bigger issue.
Now back to our garden plans. This year we have brought back some of our typical planting items like tomatoes, peppers, and beans. But we also have added a lot more to our list. So the following are the items that we planted and what we plan to do with all of them!
Tomatoes: Sauce, ketchup, diced tomatoes
Peppers: hot sauce, cowboy crunch
Carrots: stocks and eating
Radishes: eating and pickling
Onions: we didn’t get too many so we will just use for cooking
Garlic: Cooking and possible pickling
Potatoes: freeze drying them, soups, eating, fries
All Berries: eating and freezing. Possibly jam too.
Okra: Freeze and eating
Flowers: Dehydrating for medicinal use
Luffa: dish sponges (last years growth was great but I harvested them wrong)
Herbs: Medicinal use and spice cabinet.
Now some of these items we have a big quantity planted and the plan behind these items are that we will be able to skip planting them again next year. I plan to preserve the potatoes in different ways so that we won’t need to replant any next year. We could use a freeze dryer to preserve the majority of them. We also will have lots of hot peppers for hot sauce and hopefully that means we can use different hot pepper varieties next year.
I know a lot of people will noticed we have picked a lot of items that cause lots of time to prepare but thats the joy I receive the most. I absolutely loved spending a whole day canning or dehydrating food to put up on our shelves last year. We have eaten through a good portion of the items but since we canned so much we do still have a great sized pile of food left. Our biggest stock would be apple sauce and we truly didn’t move many jars yet. But we also canned a ton of pickles and I would say about half of the stock is gone.
This is just the start of the gardening year so definitely check back later when we update and let you know what we accomplished so far! Heads up, pickled radishes are coming up soon! This one has me excited!