Bill and I (mostly Bill) managed to get our garden plot prepped, tilled and fenced yesterday, and today put in our first few plants. So far we have-
6 Cinderella Pumpkins
5 Sugar Pumpkins
3 Amish Pie Winter Squash
2 hills (4 seeds each) of Burgess Buttercup Winter Squash
2 hills (4 seeds each) of Early Prolific Yellow Straightneck Summer Squash
2 hills (4 seeds each) of Cocozelle (zucchini) Summer Squash
2 Stupice Tomatoes (indeterminate variety)
4 Principe Borghese Tomatoes (determinate variety)
2 Siberian Tomatoes (determinate variety)
1 Purple Tomatillo (I learned my lesson from last year - one plant's worth of tomatillos is all that we can handle.)
2 Aunt Molly Ground Cherries
In the next few days I hope to get our carrots, beets, herbs, lettuces, beans, peas, sunflowers and celery in. Since we didn't do the mondo-sized garden that we'd hoped to put in, we're just going to have to shimmy things in where we can and hope for the best. We're holding off for a bit yet on putting the corn in, because the soil temperature needs to be at least 65 for the seeds to germinate. That could take a while yet, but we at least have a dwarf, short-season variety that was developed for growing in Alaska, so we may just have a fighting chance of actually getting some corn this year after all. Fingers and toes crossed!
I have just 8 tomato plants in so far, and am wondering if that will be near enough for canning? I haven't picked up a cherry tomato yet either, so maybe I'll have to cruise that farmer's market this weekend and see what pops out at me.
I also have a few oddball seeds that I bought on a whim that I'm not sure will find their place in the garden this year, with space being as limited as it is. Number one is the "Homemade Pickles" variety of cucumbers that I have tried to grow, unsuccessfully twice. Do I bother wasting precious space on a potential flop? I also have some Romanesco Broccoli and Giant Prague Celeraic that I'd like to try, but their relative unpopularity in our kitchen make them a somewhat dicey proposition, considering the garden space that they'd require. My only fail safe here is that if the hubby and kids won't eat something, odds are either the goats or bunnies will. On the fence here. Hmmm....
Anyway, the plants that did make it into the garden today are some of our most core veggie staples, so I feel pretty good about the progress we've made so far, small though it may be. I know that we won't have veggies enough to sell this year, but with any luck we'll at least have enough to can, dehydrate and freeze for ourselves for the coming year. Now as to whether or not we'll come out ahead in terms of what we've spent on tiller rental, deer fencing, plants and seeds, I'm a little doubtful that we'll recoup our investment this first year. But monetary savings is not my chief motivation for growing my own. I get such satisfaction and joy from nurturing my little seeds and starts, and even more so from harvesting them. I'm a nerd for the numbers, so I keep track of every pint and pound that we grow. Having my little checklist of jars and freezer bags full of homegrown goodies is satisfying to my mother/provider instinct/imperative like nothing else.
Now I just need a little blessing from mother nature and some decent weather to see my little plants on their way.