March 30, 2012

Garden, Part One

Cucumber seedlings
 We are starting our garden for the year! Last year we planted a very small garden, which by default could not produce much. This year we have expanded the amount of growing space by about...six times. I'd have to measure it to confirm that, but you get the idea that it's significantly larger. It still isn't large, mind you, but it's larger.

So we created two requirements for placement in the garden. First, they must be something that we could preserve enough of to last us ideally for a year, but at least several months. Since I enjoy preserving, whatever we get will be used. Second, it must be something that we really enjoy, that way if it ends up coming out equal or more in price to buying it at the store (unlikely in most of the chosen plants) it's worth it to us anyway.

With those requirements, we focused on peppers and herbs. By peppers I mean mostly spicy peppers (jalapeño, habanero, and tobasco, although we are also planning for one plant each of poblano and red bell). We eat quite a lot of exceptionally spicy food, and good hot peppers are a bit difficult to find at the local grocery stores. Plus, since pepper plants tend to produce quite a bit, it's almost a guaranteed to be cost effective. As to the herbs, some will be dried and ground to be used in place of store bought, some will be made into pesto and stored in the freezer, and some (a lot) will be eaten fresh. Fresh herbs are sooooo good.
Cilantro! Essential for salsa!

We will also have a few other things just for the fun and variety. For that, we are going to have cucumbers to climb around the railing, while onions and tomatoes will be grown primary for canning purposes. Chad doesn't know how good a fresh sliced tomato is...which is completely to my gain! I shall stuff myself with BLT's...I'm losing focus of the topic.

This rose bush was already growing in our garden space...we're leaving it there.
 Then! After much of this was considered, Mercy called asking if we wanted to help her with a separate plot, that way between the two households we would have three gardens. I jumped on the opportunity. This will allow all of us even more variety, since larger items can be placed there. I will give more details on that plot later, there's still much I don't know. Partially because it hasn't been planted yet, and largely because my sister has been heading up the planning thus far.

A tray of various seeds/seedlings
As of right now, we have lots of little seedlings, with more yet to come! I can't decide what I'm most excited about, although fresh pesto on a fresh tomato? Makes my mouth water to think about.

What is your favorite food to garden?

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