Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Veggie Garden Planning - 2012

I somehow have some time on my hands, so I thought it would be fun to start planning our 2012 veggie garden.  Last year, we constructed a raised bed and planted seedlings we purchased from a nursery.  I think we spent almost $100 on the seedlings.  The problem was that due to IMTX, we couldn't actually work on the raised bed and garden until June.  Sadly, our garden hardly did anything.  I think I got a total of 1 zucchini (from 3 plants), 4 cucumbers (from 2 plants), and a ton of basil.  The egglplant and peppers had fruit but they didn't actually grow or mature into something edible.  The winter squash and cantelope were a complete bust.  The herbs did really well, although it wasn't until August when the basil really took off.

Weirdly, our strawberries (which produced TINY but awesome berries) are still green.  In JANUARY.

The plan this year is to start plants from seed in March and then plant them in April or May, depending on temperatures.  My plant list is based on some items that I really LOVED from the CSA last year (romenesco summer squash), some herb favorites, and some veggies that I really like but didn't get much of with the CSA.  I also had to keep in mind which plants I recieved in crazy amounts from the CSA and resist planting them myself.  (although, I did buy cilantro and green onions.....). 

In addition to the veggies, I bought one pound of seed garlic to plant in the yard.  I got 4 varieties and it turns out that one pound equals about 60 individual cloves.  You plant the clove of garlic in the fall and they magically turn into full bulbs of garlic.  So.... I'll have 60 (!!) bulbs of garlic next summer.  Interesting.

The list:
Golden wax bush beans:
Delicious, golden-yellow pods are stringless and are of good quality with extra- fine rich flavor. This old-time favorite has bush plants.

(my mom's turtle LOVED these last summer)

Telegraph improved cucumber:
Smooth, straight, dark-green fruit, to 18 long. Flesh is very crisp, tender and mild, superb flavor. Very few seeds, vigorous high yielding vines, great for greenhouse production; also good cultured outdoors. This is an excellent English heirloom variety, introduced around 1897.

(I did get a ton of cukes from the CSA, but I like the idea of having my own home grown ones too.  Here's hoping this variety does better than the 2 types I did last year)

Malaysian Dark Red Eggplant:
Tender and delicious violet-colored fruit are long and slender. This productive and tasty variety comes from the Southeast Asian country of Malaysia. A hard-to-find but very good variety that is perfect for frying.

(I LOVE eggplant, but tragically, the CSA only gave me ONE of them last year.  And my garden eggplants fruited but never actually grew.)

 Early purple vienna kohlrabi:
Delicious cabbage-flavored bulbs that grow above ground. Purple skin and sweet, white flesh good cooked or raw. Kohlrabi makes a real staple crop, with high yields; cold hardy. A pre-1860 heirloom.

(I freaking loved the kohlrabi I got from the CSA last year.  Excellent raw in salads.  Texture of jicima (crunchy) and tasted sort of like a broccoli stalk.)
  Rocky top lettuce mix:
Hopefully we won't get tired of salad.....
Ho shi ko bunching onion
An heirloom Japanese, perennial bunching onion; talks grow and divide from the base. Mild and tasty. These are an essential ingredient in both Oriental and American foods. A non-bulbing white type.

(I got a ton of green onions from the CSA.  I'm planting these out of sheer curiousity)

Orange bell pepper
Super sweet, brilliant orange fruit are blocky with and good-sized thick flesh that is flavorful and among the best tasting of all peppers. Plants produce large yields of this most magnificent pepper
(who doesn't love a good pepper?)

Romenesco squash
Famous ribbed zucchini from Rome, Italy. The distinctive long fruit are fluted with medium-green striped skin. The cut slices are scalloped. When small, they are popular fried whole with the flower still on. Rich and very flavorful. A perfect gourmet variety for the market grower.

(I FREAKING loved these.  Very buttery tasting.  Yummmy!)

Patisson golden marbre scallop squash
A unique French scallop squash; fruit is a beautiful bright golden-orange color, very beautiful. Young fruit are very tender and well flavored! Also makes good winter squash. Tall bush plants are very attractive, and yields are good. A favorite of mine.

(I have no idea if these will be good or not.  Its an experiment)

Green tomatillo
Deep green fruit; a standard, richly flavored type. Huge yields as with most tomatillos.

(I've never grown these before, so its an experiement.  Something tells me we'll be innundated by tomatillos.....)

Herbs: genovese basil, sweet thai basil, dill, and cilantro.  I will probably go and buy some oregano and thyme that's been started already.

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