About Me

My photo
Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Farming: Why I want to grow my own veggies

I'm still a novice when it comes to home gardening. I did okay last year, but have a long ways to go before producing enough... er, produce just to keep us in tomatoes, peppers and salad fixin's in the summer. I'm not talking about canning and storing home grown things for winter consumption; at this point my goal for 2011 is just to not buy veggies between June and October.

You might have heard this week about how the price of food will go up in 2011 because of the price of corn commodities. I myself am just becoming more aware of everything that corn goes into, from feed for animals, to soda drinks, etc. Frankly... it kind of grosses me out!

I've mentioned before that I'd like to shift our eating to more organic, more local, and less processed foods. I think to do this, we need a giant freezer (so we can buy half a beef or something) as well as to check out our options for a CSA in Bozeman.

A successful garden this summer, hopefully, will move us in this direction. I'm trying to not get overly ambitious about what to plant, given the diminutive size of my garden and that it's just the two of us at home. We'll also be in Europe probably when most of the produce "comes in" (damn!), so I don't want to waste time and money growing something we won't eat.

So what do I intend to plant this year? And how will I use it? Here's what's on my list for now:

  • Asparagus (a perennial that's already in the ground), which I'll sautee, steam and put into quiches. 
  • Broccoli: I've never grown Broccoli before, so this is a bit experimental for me. We'd use it with dinners, and cut up as snacks.
  • Lettuce:  for salads
  • Spinach: for salads. If we grow enough, I might also be able to blanche and freeze it for use in my favorite spinach artichoke dip. 
  • Carrots: for salads, snacks, etc. If things "come in" together, I'll use it to make soups to freeze for the winter. 
  • Sugar snap peas: for snacks. MMMM! (hopefully I can figure out a way to keep the gophers out this year)
  • Snow peas: for stir-fry
  • Zucchini: Am I the only person in the universe to fail at growing zucchini? I think I harvested 2 zukes last year. It'll go into stir-fry, bread, muffins, and maybe be grated and blanched for freezing. 
  • Spaghetti squash: I really like the idea of getting veggies in while eating pasta. MMM.
  • Sweet corn: Corn on the cob, frozen corn kernels for soups, mmmm.
  • Roma tomatoes: for summer consumption in salads, pastas, etc., then blanched and used to make pasta sauces. I might consider dicing and canning them, but I'm not sure if I'm that committed.
  • Early girl tomatoes: since our growing season is so short, they need to ripen quickly. These'll go on salads, burgers, etc. 
  • Cherry tomatoes: these'll go into salads and as snacks. 
  • Eggplant: for on pasta? I've never grown this before, so we'll see...
  • Bell peppers: we purchase at least one bell pepper every week, year round. I'm hoping that these'll ripen by mid-August, for use in fajitas, on salads, pizzas, etc. If we get enough, and the timing is right, I'll roast them on the BBQ and then freeze them for use in soups through the winter. I'd also like to try my hand at making home-grown salsa and canning it!
  • Jalepeno peppers: for salsa, and spicing up foods. 
  • Pumpkin: for pureeing for pumpkin pies, carving into jack-o-lanterns, etc. 
  • Yukon Gold potatoes: for use in mashed-potatoes, summer potatoes, diced into soups, Harrison spuds, twice baked potatoes, etc. 
  • Fingerling potatoes: so yummy! So tiny! 
  • Celery: I've never grown celery before. I'd like to use it in salads, soups, as snacks. 
  • Walla Walla Sweet onions: for slicing onto burgers, chopping and including in soups. 
  • Shallots (baby onions): for salads
I've tried not to grow something we won't eat, or use somehow. I considered artichokes, but realized that might be too much of a pain in the rear. Man... looking outside at that frozen garden right now makes me depressed. 

1 comment:

  1. Check with Anne ... she has a CSA membership, or used to, at least.