I’ve got a couple more raised beds I’m mapping out in my mind. It is a great time to get those seeds ordered and think about the getting those starts going. Now for those who can’t devote an acre of ground or 12 hours + aday for just growing vegies or are new to gardening. I got a couple of ideas for you to try out…
- Grow the most expensive things at home. Herbs, are pretty easy to grow in a sunny window sill and do great in pots. I also bet they are some of the most expensive items you buy in the produce section.
- Grow what you eat, just like you store what you eat. Just cause a plant grows well and you get a great harvest means nothing if you despise it.
- Know how to preserve your crop. This could be a root cellar, Pressure or hotwater bath canning or a freezer. Get what equipment you need before the harvest from vacume/ziploc bags for freezing to jars, lids for canners, to boxes or straw for root veggies. To making wines, beers, ciders and vinegers and ferment cabbages to pickleing, salting and smoking. Don’t get narrow in your outlook. Both grape and cabbage leaves can make great wraps for food. I’m looking to use both leaves frozen and pickled.
- Get ethnic in your cooking, the flour that makes egg noodles, makes flour tortillas, biscuits, bread and yorkshire pudding. Corn makes grits, polenta, corn mush, hush puppies not counting the breads, muffins and breading. Add masa and you have corn tortillas, sopas. Add rice into the mix evertything from stirfrys, to rice cakes and all the southern gumbos and jambalayas. That’s only 3 staples and 3 cuisine types, mostly USA. Curries and Asian cooking is great. And European root cooking is faboo, and all you need is a few different spices,oils and different techniques of cooking. This will prevent food fatigue.
- Don’t be afraid to try new stuff.. I like most vegetables even the smell of canned spinach turns my stomach. But I love it fresh in salads. Even steamed as greens I like. Something in the commercial canning process screws it for me. I know folks that put vinegar and cinnamon on the canned stuff and say it tastes better. But as far as I’m concerned on canned spinach. You could sprinkle it with Ajax and not make it taste worse. While I’ll never store canned spinach. I got no problem dedicating some garden space for the fresh stuff.
I guess what I’m saying is have a plan not only for the garden but how to preserve the harvest. Plant what you know you will eat, but be open to new menu ideas and using stuff in new ways.