Sunday, December 2, 2012


Is there anything more thrilling then watching the seed catalogs coming in? It's late November/early December and we here in the Upper Midwest are patiently waiting to get the shit smacked out of us by old man winter.  And then, in through the mail box come these colorful jewels, telling us it's okay to give in and fantasize about spring. Though to be honest I don't need much urging or excuse. 

I have to say that while I like the idea of growing saving money by growing my own vegetables, I think the opposite is true.  I choose not to do the calculations as I don't want to know for sure how much I'm NOT saving money.  Ignorance is bliss.  The problem is that my vegetable growing conditions are far from ideal - I have a small shady yard.  Here's Rudy showing it off: 

Doesn't it look green and verdant and productive.  Well it ain't.  And while I'd like to blame all of my usual meager harvest on the yard conditions, I think a chunk of it is me not knowing what I'm doing.   But learning is fun.  And in the case of the garden, costly.  At least the produce I grow is super tasty (I think simply growing something yourself adds flavor) and organic. 

Anyway, I sat down today and went through my seed stock and started making my list of what to buy.  I am trying to do a better job of making seed last so am doing a germination test which I read about on this awesome website - A Way to Garden.   I also decided that in 2013, I needed to face the grim facts of my small shady yard and realize that if I am to get a usable harvest of anything I need to stop trying to grow things like Kohlrabi.  I need to focus and grow my very favorite things and grow more of each of them rather than growing a little of a whole bunch of varieties. 2013's gonna be all about focus. My final winnowed down list:

Beets, Bulls Blood
Beans, Empress green bush
Carrots, Dragon
Cucumbers, Sweet Success
Garlic; Thai purple; Music; Morado gigante
Kale, Lacinato
Lettuce, Mesclun mix
Onion, Bunching green 
Peas, Sugar Snap
Peppers, Tolli's Sweet Italian; Tomato-shaped Pimento; and a slightly hot variety Fish
Potatoes, Fingerling 
Spinach, America
Swiss Chard, Rhubarb Red
Tomatoes, Beam's Pear; Gold Medal; Italian Heirloom 

The garlic is already planted, along with some shallots I got from a friend, and is actually well up because of the warm October/November we've been having.  Most of the varieties listed above are heirloom and will come from Seed Savers Exchange; from right here in Iowa, y'all!  They will all be grown in pots, 1- 2'X12' raised bed, and 1- 3'X3' raised bed. What an exciting day thinking about spring!  Thanks seed catalogs!


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