Saturday, February 16, 2008

In Memory of Warm Weather

On this bitter cold day, I am dreaming of spring. I have hit the winter blues; missing warm days of walks without coats, open window breezes, and digging in the dirt.

I have been taking notes on how fast our canned food is going so I know how much more or less to preserve for next year. And I took notes during the gardening season of 2007 to help me plan for 2008. Here is my summary:

Applesauce - 18 qts - same as this year -- going well
Tomato Sauce - 18 pts - half again more than this year
Diced/Whole Tomatoes - 48 pts - half again more
Ketchup - 2 pts - never got around to it this year
Peaches - 12 pts - twice as much as this year
Jam/Preserves - 6 pts - same
Berries (freeze) - 18 pounds - or as much as budget allows - such a winter treat
Corn - 18 pounds
Peas - 18 pounds
Basil - 2 cups
Oregano - 2 cups
Thyme - 2 cups
Cilantro - 2 cups

And then there is the decision of what to plant in order of priority since space will get tight. We live in an apartment. Last summer I decided to dig up a big patch of weeds near the house on the sunniest side I have access to (facing the west) as my first garden, without asking the landlord first. He never said anything about it, so I going for it again this year, maybe pushing my borders out a bit to add some other vegetables. I would really like to just dig up the whole front yard since it's not suitable for our children to romp around in, but I am guessing even if our landlord did not have an issue with it, and I am sure he would, few of our neighbors would respect it. This last summer my pepper plants became their ashtray.

So here is what I hope to plant: 4 cherry tomatoes, a habenero, a cayenne, two of basil, an oregano, a thyme, a cilantro, several of lettuce with room for planting a few sessions of it, some kale, and, if there's room, zucchini, butternut squash, cantaloupe, and peas.

My plan is that what we grow we eat fresh. I will preserve any excess, such as in the case of the herbs, but in general what I preserve will come from local farms.

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