One of the nicest things about living in the country is being able to grow our own food. We like the fresh from garden to table taste as well as knowing what is (and isn’t) in our produce. We’re not fanatics about it (at least I don’t think we are) as there are many things we’ve tried over the years but which just aren’t worth the trouble. For instance, carrots and potatoes are cheaper to buy in the store or farmer’s market than grow ourselves. Too labor intensive.
But one of the things we enjoy doing most is pushing the seasons. We have a spring/fall garden area, separate from the main garden, with a cold frame and some area to plant cooler weather crops. Here we grow kale, lettuce, asparagus, snow peas and onions.
What you see here are two kinds of lettuce and Siberian kale that we planted back in mid-February. We should be eating this next week. The cold frame is covered with screen, and in colder weather, a top with plastic, and sometime if we get a late snow or freeze, a blanket. The lettuce and kale will keep coming until June. Then we replant it in September to eat in November and early December. No pesticides or sprays at all.
We’ve planted onions sporadically over the years but always had trouble keeping them. We dried them on screens or put them in the shop refrigerator, but they still spoiled. So last year I pointed out to my husband that since we mostly cook with them, why not just chop them all up and freeze them. So that is what we did. With the aid of the food processor, it didn’t take any time at all process them all. It was so easy to just grab a few handfuls whenever we were making soups, stews, or other recipes which called for chopped onion. This year we’re experimenting with several varieties but we really like the large sweet onions.
The garlic has been another challenge. We planted two kinds last fall. One made it and one totally died. My husband did the planting and didn’t mark which was which, pointing out the necessity of keeping good records. We all have faulty memories and it’s often difficult to recall when and what we planted after the passage of several months.
Sure am looking forward to that lettuce, though!
My mother (91!) still grows an extensive garden. She stores half her onions to use fresh, and freezes the other half to use once the stored ones are gone. Genius! She has her plan so worked out that she uses the last head of cabbage, bunch of carrots, can of beans, etc….a week before her new crop comes in. Guess practice makes perfect! I’m only 70…my plan isn’t that perfect yet!
Yep, I think not only is the produce better, but just the act of gardening is good exercise. Most of my gardening relatives lived into their 90s and 100s. They weren’t vegetarians, but they sure ate a lot of fresh vegetables.