2020 Veg Garden

Since my seed orders have already arrived and I'm proving to have a sliver of self-control, foregoing any of the temptations in the newly arrived catalogs, I thought I might as well get the veg garden plan in place before I become the One Armed Bandit. (BTW, I get to have shoulder surgery shortly and… Continue reading 2020 Veg Garden

Tomato Fight.

I was pottering around Facebook Sunday morning and, as I follow Modern Farmermagazine, saw this salacious posting: "'Cherokee Purple' and 'Brandywine' will always be among the best heirloom tomato varieties, but what else is out there? Michael Pollan and other experts share their favorite heirloom tomatoes." Is that right? Cherokee Purple and Brandywine? Always among… Continue reading Tomato Fight.

Seeds and Plans: 2020

Can we just pause for a minute and sit in awe and disbelief that we are at the end of another decade and leaping into the most futuristic sounding year? Twenty-twenty. The years of my youth are now firmly in the past (strangely, the 90's were not 8 years ago like I continue to believe… Continue reading Seeds and Plans: 2020

Wins and Losses: 2019 Edition

I always like to do a round up of what did and didn't work after the season is done. Partly because I have a tiny bit of hope that it is useful to someone else, but mostly because if I don't write this stuff down somewhere, it'll be lost to the void. (And because this… Continue reading Wins and Losses: 2019 Edition

Seeds Ahoy!

Much to my delight the seed catalogs have started comingĀ  in hot and heavy. Fedco Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek and High Mowing Organics have already arrived and I'm like a kid in a candy store. The bonus to these catalogs coming before the holidays is that my memory of both this past year's… Continue reading Seeds Ahoy!

The 2019 Veg Patch.

Well, the seeds have all been purchased and the logistics/rotations have all been calculated. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a plan. Veg Garden Beans, Fava: Masterpiece (Baker Creek), Broad Windsor (Baker Creek) Beets: Kestrel (Fedco), Touchstone (Fedco) Broccoli: Burgundy Sprouting (Fedco) Cabbage: Kalibos (Baker Creek) Cucumber: Telegraph Improved (Baker Creek), Tendergreen Burpless (Baker Creek) Eggplant:… Continue reading The 2019 Veg Patch.

Let’s Talk: Lettuces and Greens

Oh Lettuce. You are delicious and interesting but you only ever end up bitter and bolted. Spinach? I just need so much of you to make anything, I'm never sure if you are worth it. Kale? You are fine and I can grow you, but you don't blow my skirt up and we never use… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Lettuces and Greens

Let’s Talk: Root Veg

Beets, Rutabaga, Turnips, Parsnips. I've lumped them together because growing them is mostly the same sort of affair. Same with uses and pests. I promise to single things out when applicable! Time to Maturity: 50-70 days is average for beets and turnips. Beet leaves can be harvested earlier and small turnip varieties can be closer… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Root Veg

Let’s Talk: Broccoli & Cauliflower

Broccoli and Cauliflower are big plants. Please do remember this as you decide what to plant! For this reason, and because you only get one head per plant (unless you are growing sprouting or broccolini/rapini types), I tend not to grow them. Its just not a lot of bang for the buck (and square footage… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Broccoli & Cauliflower

Let’s Talk: Onions

Oh onions. You are rewarding to grow, but I'm not always sure if you are worth it. Shallots? Yes, absolutely. Specialty onions like Cippolini? Yes. Bunching/Green Onions? You betcha. Regular old onions? Not so much (in my humble opinion). Regular onions fall into the category of cheap to buy and easy to get, so I… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Onions

Let’s Talk: Winter Squash

I adore winter squash for two reasons. One: they taste delicious. Two: They keep forever with a minimal amount of prep and zero processing. They take up a lot of room and Time To Maturity: Squash can get a little long in the tooth to mature. You'll notice in your seed catalogs that many are… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Winter Squash

Let’s Talk: Radish

Radish is one of the things that is so easy to grow and there are so many fun varieties that I can't imaging a veg patch without them (that is, unless you hate the taste!). I've grown so many types and have rarely had failures. This is an easy and fun place to experiment with… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Radish

Let’s Talk: Beans

Beans are a bit of an adversary for me. Pole beans are so unruly and require big, tall supports. Bush beans only sort of like to grow for me. Dried beans aren't ever worth the effort. Frozen beans from the grocery stores are pretty damned good and a whole lot less work. But Fava Beans?… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Beans

Let’s Talk: Peppers

Hot or Sweet- if its warm enough where you live (or you have a greenhouse or cold frame) I can't help but recommend you try to grow some peppers. The variety alone makes it worth it, but the range of flavors and uses is mind-boggling. There is a pepper for every flavor, every spice level,… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Peppers

Let’s Talk: Peas

I love growing peas! I never cook or preserve any of the peas we grow. We eat them in the garden, fresh off the plant, and it is the best treat in Spring. I will grow Sugar Snap type peas until I can't garden anymore. Let's get into what you need to know. Type: Shelling,… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Peas

Let’s Talk: Summer Squash

Oh Summer Squash. It has the dubious distinction of being the one plant every gardener always has way too much of. Heck, I often joke that I don't need to grow it because I can reliably get some at work or from a neighbor who is looking to offload a chunk of their bounty. But,… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Summer Squash

Let’s Talk: Carrots

Carrots are fun and easy to grow. If you are new or working with kids I can't recommend them enough. For me though? Enh. You see, I have acidic sandy soil and there is no amount of lime or manure that will permanently change that. This means every single carrot variety I grow looks beautiful… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Carrots

Let’s Talk: Cucumbers

The humble cucumber. Never a sexy veg, but summer certainly seems not-quite-right without them. We only ever use them fresh. I don't can or pickle them, and I've not figured out another way to preserve them through winter. With all that in mind, we usually grow 2-3 plants (that and they take up a good… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Cucumbers

Let’s Talk: Tomatoes

Welcome back from the Thanksgiving smorgasboard everyone! I, for one, am still full and have a whole tray of turkey leftovers waiting for me. Oy! The Christmas tree is up and the house is now fully Holiday-ized. The first of the seed catalogs arrived shortly before Thanksgiving (High Mowing Organics), so I figured I'd better… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Tomatoes

Let’s Talk: Veg Shopping Rules

Rules sounds so strict! But I do think it is crucial to have a few bits of information in your back pocket when you dive into either the nursery or the seed catalogs to shop for veggies. Know your growing days. I live up North, Zone 4a (much like MyBackyardGarden4b who got us started down… Continue reading Let’s Talk: Veg Shopping Rules