Thursday, December 16, 2010

Looking Ahead

I've been doing a great deal of pondering lately about 2011's garden. I went into my pantry (aka "Seed Storage Facility"), took out all of my seed packets and containers, laid everything out on my kitchen counter, and took inventory of what I already had and what I will be needing for next year. Turns out, I have an ENORMOUS amount of seeds in my possession, both from my own personal seed-saving, and from the 25 cents or free pile at local gardening stores. It cracks me up that so many people don't realize that many seed varieties will keep for 5 years or more if properly dried and stored! Around December and January, most stores will begin to heavily discount (or just give away) their seed packets from the previous summer, and this is when I strike! So yes, I have a large amount of seeds already at hand! See the below picture if you don't believe me! ;)

2011's garden will be bigger and better than last year's (yes, I always say that, but it continues to be true!). With our new tractor, we will finish tilling over the soil in the 2nd pasture garden, and therefore be able to plant the entire area. We will also be able to till more soil in the main pasture garden, which means an expansion of that plot as well. You will continue to see 2010 favorites growing in our plot next year: Oaxacan Green Dent Corn (though I will be doubling - or maybe tripling - the amount grown last year), Applegate Valley Heirloom Tomato, Quinoa, Chile Negro, Yacon, Dragon's Tongue bush bean, Cherokee Trail of Tears pole bean, and a return of 2009's Marina di Chiogga winter squash (just to name a few!). However, 2011 will also bring some new-to-us heirloom varieties: Black Futsu winter squash, Anasazi Sweet Corn, Piel de Sapo Winter Melon (aka "Toad Skin"), Pineapple Tomato, Buckshorn Plantain, and some rare pepper varieties such as the Chapeau du Frade. I'm incredibly excited to try (and taste!) these "new" varieties!

Stay tuned for more updates as the gardening season approaches!

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