Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Planning Your Garden

Meal planning starts with stocking your pantry. But stocking the pantry often begins with deciding what you want to grow in your garden. And of those items what you want to grow enough of to freeze or can.

So as you look over the racks of seed packets and page through seed catalogs, what do you choose? Only you can decide that but here are some questions to ask yourself.

What kinds of fruits and vegetables does your family like to eat? Make a list of the foods that you find yourself buying on a regular basis or wanting to buy. You may want to start slow your first year and just grow the basics.

What are the basics?

Tomatoes, green peppers, green onions and cucumbers.

Tomatoes can be easily frozen or canned. I will blog about the process of canning/freezing these later this summer.

Green peppers grow easily and can be frozen chopped or cut into slices. I never buy green peppers in the winter to make omelets or add to recipes because we grow at least 6 plants and I freeze most of the peppers.

Green onions are nice for a great variety of recipes and as they grow they will grow into storing onions which you harvest in the fall and will often store for months. We still have enough onions from last summer to get us by for a few more months.

Cucumbers are just a nice summer food. I don't make pickles but I like to eat them fresh.

Also, you need to pick a spot to grow your garden. Do you have an area in your backyard? front yard? containers on your porch?

How much space do you have to grow your garden? When deciding what to grow, you may want to think about this as well. Do you have room for corn? or just enough room for a couple of tomato and pepper plants?

Once you know what you want to grow and what space you have to grow your garden in then you can pick out seeds and plants.

Good luck with your garden and let me know how it grows.

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