Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prepping for our Community Garden Plots, Part 2

Immediately after our 2009 harvest, we sat down and discussed our garden and our future and goals.  One of our main goals is that we provide for our own food needs as much as possible, ensuring our food safety, and supply.  We want to learn to live healthier and more sustainable lives, and teach our children the same.

So this year we tried to plan for one year's worth of vegetables.  We are aiming at having 3 garden plots to equal 40'x60'.  We plan on having 70-90 tomato plants, 5 garbage cans of potatoes,20' row of beans, 100-150 onions, 100 garlic, 6 zucchini, 2 hubbard squash, 2 pumpkin, 2 acorn squash, 2 spaghetti squash, 2 eggplants, carrots, celery, kohlrabi, and a row along the entire back of corn and a few sunflowers.  We are doing about the same amount as last year on the salad fixings, since they don't store.  But, I learned last year, DO NOT plant all your lettuce at the same time!  Plant them about 1/2 - 1 week apart, so they ripen and are ready 1/2 - 1 week apart!  This allows you to eat alllllll your lettuce and not have to throw any out!  YEAH!

Here is my plan.  I like wasting time in KolourPaint. :)

This will provide for more vegetables than are currently in our diet.  I have been researching and trying to gather more recipes that lean more on vegetables, to become our staples.  I have found that homemade spaghetti sauce, made from diced tomatoes and diced or shredded zucchini is DELICIOUS.  This with some pasta will make delicious and healthy meals for our family.  Pastas, Stir Fries, Potatoes, would become the daily staples, with a "meat on fridays" kind of attitude.

Of course, through this year, we will continue our grocery store patronage.  But we will be moving towards bulk items, spices, flour, sugar, pasta, rice, beans, and dairy products.  We are considering purchasing a cow to butcher for the freezer, and if chicken or pork goes on sale, we'll jump on that.

The community Gardens open here May 1st.  I have figured the first week will just be prep work, marking the rows, putting in the irrigation system (we have not yet decided on soaker hoses or drip irrigation tubing), and the stakes and twine for the plants to grow up.

Then the 1st or 2nd week, depending on how long the prep work takes and if the ground is dry enough, we will begin planting.  I intend to put composted chicken manure in each hole for the tomatoes, and tilled lightly into the other rows.  Tomatoes, in particular, take more nitrogen than many other vegetables.

And here are some photos of my starts......

They are all stacked anyway I can get them, in front of my only east facing window.  I dream of the day when I have my own land, my own house, and my very own greenhouse to grow my starts in!

Until then, we will plug along happily with tomato seedlings covering every available surface, and the smell of nice fresh dirt in the house. :)

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