Are you ready for spring? It is such a joy when the seed catalogs begin to surprise us with their arrival. At last, there is hope for summer! Each year life seems to get busier and busier.
I do notice however, no matter how often we say, “Maybe we shouldn’t plant as big of a garden,” it seems to somehow get bigger. How is that? LOL!
We love the fresh garden produce, and even though it involves extra work in our busy schedule, we all LOVE it! It is such a blessing and so exciting to see the ground come to life again after a fierce winter. Well, enough excitement to keep us growing more and more.
We are now up to several miscellaneous growing patches around the yard and three extra large garden plots. Praise the Lord! For this, we are fortunate enough to put up a lot for winter and have plenty to share. With a bit of wiggle room to expand and explore together as a family a particular “project produce” for that year. So far we ave ventured into varieties of tomatoes, corns, beans, peppers, onions, root vegetables, and last year was loads of squashes. Okay, so a bit nerdy at heart, but still, it is SO MUCH FUN! We try a few new varieties, some new techniques or “tricks’ that may help produce a higher yield, and etc. We have learned so much along the way, maybe even a few cheats that allow about the same yield, maybe a “tad less” BUT with a lot less work! 😉
As the seed catalogs arrive, my young boy is the first to scour. Shortly he asked about specific seed, so he could have an entire garden plot. Specifically, so he can plant one entire field by hand with sweet corn. It is so sweet to see his excitement!
I absolutely LOVE that our children delight in gardening and help each year willingly. It is even more exciting to see them branch out AND to additionally want to embrace gardening more “independently”. (Beyond their tire or garden box beds.) By planting their own garden plot, they learn so much and love to “study” that particular plant. We all learn details!
Making a relate-able turn here, the post is to explain a new experiment we are wanting to try outside the gardens to expand and create more space for other vegetables. Our growing family puts up a lot of potatoes, and honestly it is a “no fail” great crop around us. Soil wise and weather, if it’s a poor year for gardening, the potatoes seem to always make the difference with their high yield as to not be a “bad season”. Also, because of this, it’s been good enough reason not to change our method. I mean why fix what isn’t broken?
This method is not new, in fact it is very old. Several different people have put their spin on it and claimed a similar method with a different name. However, I have to give credit to my first findings on this method and that is Ruth Stout.
We have embraced container, bucket, Kratky method, lasagna gardening and a few other methods to save space in our main gardens. All have been done small scale as trials and were successful. All of this allows us to grow more for our family, have fun and experiment outside the box a bit.
So, we have decided we are going to do an extra large plot of potatoes using the Ruth Stout method. Since this is our new yearly garden project, we are also going to try an additional 6 potato varieties (we usually do 2-3 main growers) and try to supply several hundred pounds of potatoes in our winter root cellar. A little ambitious, but I believe very achievable.
My thoughts to you are? Do you always plant the same things, same seed, same variety, etc.? Also, do you also do it the same way? Or do you use a different method for the crop and it’s varieties?
Along this journey we have found some amazing, “non traditional AND traditional” farmers & gardeners. I LOVE their shared wisdom!!! In the meantime, happy gardening! Happy Homemaking!