I have something exciting to show you today. Are you ready? Ok —
Tadumm!! WOW!! The garlic is UP! – isn’t it beautiful?
Could it be that last fall’s kale will over-winter and start up again in spring?
(Also can someone tell me why the leaves are still being chewed? who knew kale was so desirable?? guess those critters know something!)
And look at the mint, all ready to go!
Forty degrees and sunny this morning! My friend Erin has already ordered her seed for this year’s garden (true, she has a big greenhouse), and it feels like get ready – get set – BOOM! Before you know it, it will be spring. Yeah I know, I know, Maryland’s biggest snowfalls come in March. Ever since I married 25 years ago my husband has been making that remark, and some years it’s true and some not. The weather is so wacky these days that anything could happen. But the POINT is that this garlic knows what to do, and so should you. Put those roots down into the soil and STRETCH! (Did you do your planks today? Hmmm? I did mine! Edward is up to four now, so I had better get cracking.)
Now it’s time to — get paper and make garden plans.
This winter we have been looking with shock and horror at last year’s expenditures. Since one thing I refuse to economize on is as many organically raised edibles as possible, I will be looking for
A) how to get as much food from our garden as possible this year, and
B) how to put up as much food from our garden as possible.
“Putting up” means canning probably, as well as the dehydrating and freezing that are easier. That will be next fall’s job. I know I can capture more than I do. Did you catch my re-posting of Shannon Stronger’s blog post on canning? (She’s inspiring – here – Nourishing Days ) This means next August I will have to face something I am very afraid of: the pressure cooker canner. Got one at a yard sale, and there it sits. I may ask Mary, the accomplished older lady who used to own it, to come over and give me a lesson. I am truly terrified of this thing. I feel like I will mess up and it will explode. Silly. But long before the pressure cooker canner, we have to start growing the food.
The first task for “getting as much food as possible out of a garden” is to extend the season – start early. Which means GREENHOUSE. Without a protected environment even in sunny Maryland we cannot hope to eat food form our garden til midsummer. I hope to get lettuces, greens, and radishes, maybe even the elusive broccoli started very soon, and be eating them in March. Now Edward and I have talked for years about putting in a really cool greenhouse – built into the bank maybe, facing southeast. We love to build things, to renovate things…. But building a greenhouse will not do much for the budget. Oh yeah, that. So, my plan is to wrap a small area of our garden beds on the south side in a plastic enclosure, using sturdy stakes and some of the ornamental plastic sheeting that lies draped about the property here and there, waiting for its next assignment. (Gives the neighbors something to look at.)
Here is my plan:
Thanks to you all this is actually a lot clearer than most of the sketches I hand to Edward to explain myself when I have a “vision.” So – now that we have envisioned it, all that is left is to actually build it! Oh, that.
I guess I had better get out there locating stakes and plastic sheeting.