I have a large amount of respect for the farmers who grow our food. It’s hard work. There are long hours in the sun planting, weeding, harvesting and then getting out to markets to sell the produce. Right now I’m learning about all of the planning that must go into the off season in order to have a chance at a successful growing season.
I’ve been staring at seed catalogs over the past week trying to decide what kind of produce we should grow this year. We haven’t been able to grow any food for the past two years due to selling our old house and purchasing a new one. At our previous house we had built four 4′ x 4′ raised beds and one 4′ x 8′ raised bed. We mostly dabbled in trying to grow a number of different veggies and we found a lot of success with cherry tomatoes, beans, and garlic.
Now that we’ve moved, we have more room to garden due to the configuration of the yard and a second story porch on which we can container garden. We built eight 4′ x 4′ raised beds. We have room for a whole lot of five gallon containers on the porch. This gives us a fairly large amount of room to grow a lot of different vegetables. The Square Foot Gardening book recommends eight 4′ x 4′ blocks as a maximum for a family of four. We’ll shortly be a family of five and we want not only fresh vegetables, but vegetables for preserving as well. I’d say that the amount of space we have will work quite well.
I’ve come up with quite a large list of different vegetables to grow. Looking at the list, it seems that the only way we’ll be able to keep on top of planting and harvesting so we can get the maximum benefit out of our garden is to pre-plan everything. Plan out what seeds will go where and at what times during the season. This will hopefully get us fresh veggies all season long and still allow us to preserve a bunch. I’m quite certain, though, that we’ll still need to purchase extra vegetables. Some veggies I’m not going to bother growing because it’s either not worth it to try to grow them, or we don’t have the room to grow enough.
Hopefully I figure all this out soon. We’re going to have to start some seeds around the end of March.
Mmmmm. I can already taste delicous, fresh veggies!