Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back in the Game!

I am BACK for the 2014 growing season!   WOO HOO!  Last year the garden sat completely empty due to a mixture of factors, but the beds are still in place, and our composters are full of rich black goodness as we speak.   I have many goals this season, but here are a few in the interest of accountability:

1)  Let's get Crazy! 
I have a bunch of ideas for things that might just be complete failures, but I'll never know until I try.  This year I'm going to test them out and hopefully a few will be winners.  The first idea up is to make a mini-greenhouse using a tall raised bed and heated ground coil against the South-East facing part of my bricked front porch.  The area is where I've grown climbing veggies in the past, but it's really the only reasonable location for setting up a winter bed.  I hope to have it planted by early February.  That's only 2 weeks before pea-planting day here in Pittsburgh.

I really don't have a whole lot of space, so it's time to stop screwing around with things that just don't produce for me, or that are reasonably yummy and cheap from local farms and stores.  Onions, celery, brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and most winter squash are not going in this year.  Instead that space will be used for more peas, more bush beans, chard, kale, basil and other things that I do well with and that I always wish I had more of.

3)  More Tutorials!
Over the last year I've gotten several messages asking for more posts like Growing Carrots in Containers - A Tutorial.  Happily, the kids loved making that one and are excited to work on a few more.

4)  Long-term Fruit Planning!
We currently grow no fruit on our property, other than apples from our huge old tree.  We need to seriously examine the property and figure out where we want to be in 5 years.

5)  Water Collection and Access Planning!
There are two areas in the back of the house where we have no access to hose water.  We need to fix gutters and set up water collection systems in those areas to make it easier to keep up with those sections of the garden.

6)  Preservation!
I really do prefer frozen veggies over canned for most things, so this year I just need to actually freeze stuff regularly enough that we can make it through the winter.  I also need to expand the types of foods and dishes I preserve.

Here's to an amazing garden and an amazing year!