It’s February; spring seems like an eternity away. The days are cold and bleak, and the pickles you canned in the fall are almost gone. Store-bought tomatoes are awful. You’re sick of potatoes (OK maybe that’s a stretch). All hope seems lost... until you realize it’s time to start planning your garden!
I’m a planner. It makes me feel like I’m being productive and moving towards a goal, even if it’s just a glorified to-do list. We bought a house in late spring last year, and cultivated what we could through the summer and fall, but most of last year’s good weather was consumed by moving, weeding, landscaping, etc. This year will be our first chance to have a full growing season at here, and ideas have been churning in our brains since we moved in.
Spring will officially be here in about a month, and I have tons of prep to do before planting - new wooden raised beds to build, indoor seed-starting, renting a tiller, and other general mayhem that requires attention.
I purchased a bunch of new seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, have a couple bags left over from last year, and seed-saved from a few previous harvests, so I’m itching to start planting. Maybe a third of our garden will come from saved seeds this year, and if we get really good at it, my goal is 4-to-1 saved to new seeds eventually. I also like to try my hand at a few new plants each year; this year’s experiments will be white pumpkins, broccoli rabe, rutabagas, jalapenos, and shallots and marigolds from seed. I might be going a little crazy with the prospect of new beds and a full growing season, don’t judge me.
I plan to post updates regularly as things really get going, and many future recipes will feature produce harvested from the yard. What a world it would be if everyone with viable gardening space and some free time grew some veggies - there are few things better than a tomato fresh off the vine, and you know your food’s journey from field to table, as you were there every step of the way. A guy can dream.
There’s still planning to be done and early projects to complete, but I’m excited to see how this year’s garden evolves. It will be warm before we know it!