Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Garden Fare

Don - A View From the Green Barn

As I was planning out my vegetable garden this year, I was forced to think seriously about what I would plant and why I would plant particular things. How do I choose what I will grow? Since I am relatively new to having a veg garden, I don't have decades of eating and enjoying the "fruits" of my garden, but also I don't have the experience of knowing what is easy to grow and what might prove difficult. As I pored over the millions of seed catalogues and studied various blogs, I started to formulate a plan.

Here is what I came up with for my veg patch this year:

Tomatoes: I have three types of tomatoes, heirloom brandywines, hybrid better boys, and romas. I chose these three because I wanted to see what all the hoopla about the brandywines is all about, the better boys, because they get large and we like to fry them in olive oil while they are green, and the romas, because we like to make salads with tomatoes in them and it just feels good to use a tomato with an Italian name.

Pole beans: I have never tried growing pole beans, I have done the bush variety and we ate a lot of fresh green beans last summer! This year, I decided to do a Three Sisters garden, based on the Chippewa Native Americans' gardening model. I have about ten pole beans in the ground and about two feet long, getting ready to grow up the corn stalks as they shoot skyward.

Squash: This is the third sister of the three mentioned earlier. I have several varieties of squash growing. Most are for eating, some are for craft ideas. I have a yellow squash, some zucchini, two types of pumpkin, one is the Cinderella pumpkin and the other is the typical jack o lantern type. I also have some luffa as well as some birdhouse gourds taking up space.

Peppers: I have a nice variety of peppers growing this year. I have three different types of bell peppers, green, yellow and red. I also have some banana peppers as well as three types of hot peppers. I also am trying to grow some black peppers for my daughter to use in her flower arrangements for her wedding.

Corn: I chose a white and yellow combo sweet corn for the Three Sisters garden. I'll let you know how that turns out. I also have two short rows of popcorn growing way out back. I hope they are far enough apart so the pollen doesn't get mixed up!

Herb bed: Cilantro, parsley, rosemary, basil, marjoram, chives, thyme and sage are all growing happily in the herb bed. I have a dill plant mixed in with the corn and beans. I also have three rows of green onions.

That sounds like a lot of stuff! However, if you are a gardener, you know that you often wish you had planted more of some things and less of others. I have a feeling that I will wish I had planted more sweet corn.

What have you planted this year and how is it going? (or for you all who are down under, how did it go?)

I will give photo updates next time.