Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Seed Catalogs and Garden Plans

So... Have you ordered your seeds yet? Have you been staring at beautiful seed catalogs and neurotically adjusting your shopping cart at your online seed store? What? You don't do that? Madness I tell you! Don't you want a new way to incorporate a little excitement and stress into your life? Get with the program! Maybe it isn't really stressful for everyone. I just make up things to stress about. Stressing about EVERYTHING (no matter how small or nonexistent) is apparently something I excel at. Just ask my husband.

OK, so I get excited about seeds. This year I am finally doing a real garden (that will probably catch on fire and be ravaged by 'vicious bug bears') and I am so excited. So I have been looking at ideas and ways that I can do this garden and make it the most cohesive with our landscape and land usage. Most of our land is dedicated to fields, paddocks, or animal runs of some sort. The small animals: new bottle calves, chickens, eventual meat chooks, and Archimedes the Beaster Bunny are all kept in the yard. The yard is actually double fenced if you count perimeter fence and yard fence, thus discouraging opportunistic creatures from entrance. It also helps that we have Bug the cattle dog in there and she patrols... Enthusiastically... 
She Loves her little animals so much. 
I am honestly thinking about a crazy perimeter garden. I don't even know how it will work. I mean in theory it should work. I will dig a hole for each plant. I will add compost and soil amendments. I will then proceed to place said plant in it's new home. See I am thinking tomatoes near the field fences then I can tie them straight to the fence. This eliminates tomato cages. Same with peas, beans, and whatever else wants to climb everywhere and generally be unruly. It will basically be a two (or three in some places) row garden around the yard perimeter and down the driveway. This is a pretty huge perimeter and the sun/shade variety will work nicely for what I want to plant. There will also be plenty of opportunity/necessity to plant around the house for plants that need shade. I want it to look nice. It will be maybe sort of like a Potager (which I would love). I just am not very good at decorating yet...
Like this is the very tip of the corner of our yard and driveway. Our yard is about 3 acres total and has plenty of perimeter. 

Or that's the theory anyways. I suspect it will be more fire and 'vicious bug bears' than anything else though... So onward with the seed list. This is what I am going to plant and why.

  • Cantare Beans-French/stringless/bush green bean
  • Chiogga Beets
  • Golden Beets
  • Yellow Cylindrical Beets-purported to be great for cattle & pigs so we will try them.
  • Glory of Enkhuizen Cabbage-all for delicious fermented kraut!
  • Cosmic Purple Carrot
  • Parisienne Carrot
  • Dorinny Sweet Corn
  • Glass Gem Corn(It's so pretty! We will attempt to pop it)
  • Boston pickling Cucumbers(Around 50 plants hopefully. For lot's of pickles!)
  • Lemon Cucumbers-Super neat looking
  • Attila Strawberries
  • Aurora Mixed Greens
  • Rocky Top Lettuce Mix
  • Dwarf Siberian Kale
  • Giant Musselburgh Leek
  • Zebrune Shallots(Says they are the best shallot for storage)
  • Yellow of Parma Onions(Supposedly excellent for braiding)
  • Little Marvel Garden Peas
  • California Wonder Peppers
  • Victorian Rhubarb
  • Early Prolific Straightneck Squash
  • Black Beauty Zucchini
  • Five Color Silverbeet Rainbow Chard
  • Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
  • A Grappoli D'Inverno Cherry Tomatoes
  • Amish Paste(100 seeds and we will plant them all)

Now we are way over planting to hedge our bets. If only 1/4 of what we are planting thrive, we will have a well stocked larder. If everything grows well we will have an overflowing larder with plenty to share. Most of these seed packets are $2.50-$3.00 and we are ordering more than one of quite a few things. We will still come out great. We hope to stock up, raise pigs, and supplement layers and meat chickens on this garden. 

Even if you aren't like me (more space than sense) everyone and I mean everyone can grow something to eat. It doesn't matter where you live or what the situation is. It doesn't have to be a lot. If you buy a pack of seeds and get a few of your friends to grow their own tomato plant then you have all saved money and eaten better because of it. It also doesn't hurt that you helped save us all a little by not having that stuff  by unsustainable methods and shipped from far. I am aware that this can't be avoided completely yet. However, it is freedom to eat something you grew. From your kitchen herb garden to raising your own grass fed beef it's a rewarding process to do it yourself. Each thing you don't have to depend on anyone but you and your's for is a true freedom, no matter how small. So go forth friends... Be a rebel and grow your own peppers! 

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