Friday, February 22, 2013

Snowy Day; Planning for Summer

We had a very snowy morning at this little place here.  Sometime around 6 a.m., it began to snow, and continued to snow heavily for a few hours.  There is currently about two inches of snow on the ground where, when today began, there was none.

This morning, I waded through snow, shoveled snow, drove through snow (wow, were the roads slick!), turned horses and chickens out into snow, and knocked snow off the firewood in order to stoke the wood boiler.

This afternoon, I am thinking about summer.  Specifically about my garden.  More specifically, about what varieties and amounts of vegetables to plant in my garden.  What to grow for our own needs, and what to grow to sell this summer at the farmers' market.

I'm inventorying the seeds I have left from last year.  I'm doing calculations.  I'm browsing the websites of my favorite seed suppliers.  I'm trying a new one; new to me, but very reputable from what I've heard.  It's actually been in business longer than my parents have been alive, just not on the national scale that it is now.

So far, I have ordered tomato plants, onion plants (roughly 200 onions; I hope that will be enough),  and seed  for sweet corn, field corn (for the chickens), and pumpkins.  Still need to determine where some of my other seed is going to come from--I have enough potatoes in the cellar that I could just use my own seed potatoes this year.  That is, if I don't want to add another variety to my growing list.  (Ha ha, "growing list".  It's a pun; get it?  List of things I grow/increasing tally of what I want to plant.  Yes, you may groan now.)

I'm thinking of adding some bush beans to my list.  I always grow pole beans, as there is an heirloom variety of those that is my favorite for canning.  They are the same kind as my grandmother grew and canned.  However, bush beans seem to come in a little quicker, and would be ready for market sooner.  So, perhaps I should grow some of those also.  I'm all ready planning to at least double my corn patch, so why not double the beans too?  And the peas.  And the potatoes.  And the cucumbers. . .

I have the blessing of not having space constraints.  I could easily increase my garden by two acres, if I wanted to.

I do want to, if only I could figure out where the man power to keep that extra two acres weeded, mulched, and watered is going to come from.

I need an apprentice.  My best 'workers' have grown up and moved away from home, leaving me with the less enthusiastic ones who would rather get summer jobs in town waiting tables.  They'd rather get sunburned at the beach than in the garden.  They'd rather cover themselves in bug spray in order to hang out with friends as the sun goes down than pick potato bugs or tomato worms.  I agonize over what this world is coming to.  (I hope you know I'm being rather tongue-in-cheek here.  But I do wish my girls were as helpful in the garden as my boys were.)

Anybody want to come be an apprentice?  I can't pay you, but you'd get lots of good food to eat while you're here!  Fresh eggs, fresh lettuce and spinach, asparagus in May, strawberries glowing like rubies in June, inky blackberries in July, tomatoes warm from the sun, sweet corn that goes from the stalk to the cooking pot in just five minutes, venison loin hot and juicy off the grill . . .  MMMM!  Can't wait for summer!

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