In my last post I mentioned that, in an effort to achieve a better balance, I was going to re-evaluating what I grow, specifically when it comes to the veg garden. Although I would love to grow everything (and numerous varieties of everything!), I simply don’t have the time to devote to growing more than what we truly need. Well, to be completely accurate, I do have the time but would prefer to spend it on other things such as hanging out with family and friends as well as simply enjoying the garden instead of being in a constant frenzy to get things done.
|'Black Knight' Scabiosa from Botanical Interests|
This was one of my favourite 'new to me' ornamentals grown from seed last year
Case in point – when I began harvesting tomatoes last year, I still had around half of the prior years crop in the freezer/pantry. That tells me I'm growing WAY too many tomatoes for our use. Now, if I had the time that would be ok as there are always people and/or places that will take them off my hands. The problem was I was taking the time to grow, pick, clean, weight and process boxes of “extra” tomatoes (above and beyond what we actually needed) while neglecting other things that were higher up on my priority list. Cutting back on the number of tomatoes I grow would still give me everything I wanted – experiencing the joy & yumminess of growing a variety of tomatoes and having plenty to last us all year – without it being a huge drain on my time.
|I'll be cutting back from 3 to 2 beds which will still provide plenty of room|
for lots of different tomato varieties
|My first year growing lettuce, I planted an entire 8'x4' bed...|
we were literally drowning in lettuce!
Well, maybe not so crazy as when I look at my seed collection, I could probably fill all my beds with “new to me” varieties without spending a cent.
A small portion of packets that I purchased
or received last year that are as yet unopened
The only exception may be onions as they have a very short shelf life, but I’ve noticed that this improved dramatically when I started storing them in the freezer. If I do end up having germination issues, I’ll grab a few packets from a local seed house…and I’ll make sure to put on some proverbial blinders in an effort not to let temptation take over as I’m faced with rack upon rack of seed.
|So much temptation!|
The third bed will be used for dried beans which is the only crop that I’ll actually be growing more of. Why? Because I can’t get enough of them!
|'Wild Goose' is a relative newcomer to the dry bean lineup|
|Dried Vermont Cranberry Beans|
When we were cleaning out my in-laws house last year, it was incredibly sad to see all the things that they had accumulated over the years, many of which they never ended up using or simply had way too much of. The amount of stuff that we had to get rid of, either to charity or the garbage dump, was incredible. It really made me take stock of all the things we had accumulated over the years, especially those that we “might” need someday or were "saving" to use later.
Since then, a few car-loads of our excess stuff have been donated to Goodwill and I have been on a “use up what I already have instead of buying something else” binge. My seed diet fits perfectly with this mentality. I’m really looking forward to choosing what to grow from what I already have and I have a feeling that I’ll end up growing just as many new varieties this year as I do when I purchase seeds 😊