Friday, June 19, 2009

From Yesterday- Getting the Peppers In The Garden

Hah! The rain cleared up just long enough for me to get our pepper plants (and one more tomato plant) into our little garden. We have four sweet pepper and four bell pepper plants. This should give us a better idea how many pepper plants we will need when we plan out our garden plots for the homestead.

This year, we have a small veggie garden going in the back yard. There isn't much available space, but we're packing a lot into it... tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, green beans, carrots and cabbage. The varieties we picked were for storage and cold weather planting. We're hoping that with some cold frames and the right plant varieties, we can extend the season a bit.

This is the first vegetable garden I've ever kept (not counting the tomatoes grown in pots on my balcony). Growing up, I was only permitted to grow flowers in the backyard. Veggies were off-limits, not providing enough ornamental value I suppose. We have no idea what kind of yield to expect from each plant. Based on a journal I'm keeping of this year's efforts and results, we will plan a larger garden at our place up north. However, most of what we put in the ground up there next year will be fruit trees and berry bushes. The following year, we're hoping to be living up there full time, or at least close to it. This year, we will plan out the locations for a veggie garden and orchard, test the soil, and make necessary adjustments as needed.

One of our goals for this year is to see how much we need to grow in order to can sauces and soups, and freeze enough veggies to last through the winter. Last year, a friend was kind enough to provide us with more zucchini than any human should ever eat in a decade. I made a lot of zucchini bread, and it kept well in the freezer. This year we have three produce sources, our backyard garden, that same friend with the abundance of zucchini, and the CSA farm we have a share in. I would be thrilled to not have to go to the store to pick up veggies all winter.

Live better, a little every day.

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