Garden Thoughts

I’ve been thinking about the type of garden I want to grow this year. I mean, it’s the new year. Spring is just around the corner. Or so I like to delude myself on these below freezing mornings. My major goals are green beans and tomatoes. If I grow nothing else, I want to grow and can enough green beans and tomatoes to take me through the following growing season. Right now we are down to 20 pints of diced tomatoes and 12 pints of green beans. Those won’t make it through summer, although they might take us through spring. So the way I’ve figured it, I need to grow 106 pints of tomatoes. 52 for dicing and 52 for making salsa and spaghetti/pizza sauce. And I need to grow 106 quarts of green beans.

For tomatoes I am looking at heirloom plants that produce well and mature in no more than 80 days from plant out and that grow well in my climate. I’ve narrowed the list, but will likely be narrowing it further from here:

1. Paul Robeson 78 days
2. Eva Purple Ball 68 days
3. Rosalita 60 days
4. Sunset’s Red Horizon 72 days
5. Stupice 52 days
6. Yellow Submarine 70 days
7. Gramma Climenhaga (yellow) 78 days

Stupice, Eva Purple Ball, Rosalita, and Sunset’s Red Horizon will make my list for sure and I’d like a yellow one, but it’s not necessary. Not sure on that yet. And I may just go for all of them, but the shorter growing seasons are definitely more attractive to me.

As for green beans I need to choose amongst these:

1. Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean 55 days
2. Blue Lake Bush Beans 55 days
3. Bountiful Bush Beans (broad) 45 days
4. Contender Bush Beans 50 days
5. Royalty Purple Pod 55 days

I know that Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake are ones we like and they are the easiest to find as they are common. They are both prolific and reliable. But I would like to try some other beans. I have grown the purple beans in the past. They turn green once cooked, but are pretty in the garden and easy to find when picking.

Aside from that I am looking at Fordhook Lima Beans (pole type, 75 days), Rainbow Chard (60 days)(for the rabbits), Forage Kale Proteor (for the rabbits), Blue Curled Scotch Kale, Early White Vienna Kohlrabi (the rabbits get the tops, we get the bulb), Mammoth Melting Snow Pea (65 days), Laxton’s Progress # 9 Shell Pea (65 days), and Early Scarlet Globe Radish (22 days)(rabbits get the greens). I haven’t figured out if I want to grow other brassicas this year. I love broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, but they are generally pretty cheap. And since I don’t like them frozen or pickled, only fresh, it would only be for eating during the season. I do want to get a mix of lettuces, though and about a dozen herbs. And Jerusalem artichokes (which are neither artichokes nor from Jerusalem but are a member of the sunflower family), because they are a food the bunnies can eat as well as us. I will grow them in pots though. They are invasive. And maybe some black oil sunflowers for the seeds.

Not sure about potato, onion, and garlic varieties yet and I have never had much luck with growing carrots, but organic carrots are cheap and we like them canned. Probably a pretty standard russet for the potatoes, Music for the garlic, and some long-keeping yellow onions of some sort. If I get that far. Like I said, I will be happy if I can grow enough tomatoes and green beans to meet our needs. With my disability I try to keep the goals reasonable, and then go from there. Though this year the son has promised to help in the garden, so it won’t all be up to just me.

For anyone keeping track, the rabbit cheeseburgers we had were outstanding. They tasted better than beef. We added about 1/8 cup of tomato sauce to the 1.25 lbs of meat to make 5 patties. The tomato sauce helps retain moisture in very low fat ground meat. Then each patty was sprinkled with onion salt and Lawry’s seasoned salt and cooked in a bit of olive oil. Simple, easy, and delicious with a slice of Tillamook cheddar on homemade buns with a bit of organic ketchup.

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20 thoughts on “Garden Thoughts

  1. dirtartful says:

    I haven’t heard of using tomato sauce to retain moisture in the rabbit burgers! I will need to try that once I get my rabbits back.

  2. Aisling says:

    We plant our garlic in the fall here. (Great Lakes region) Had great success with German Extra Hardy last year, but couldn’t find it again this year so we saved some to plant, and are also trying a German Rocambole and Music. Am eager to see which we like the best! Good luck. I am compiling seed orders right now too. Already have received the tomato seeds. 🙂

  3. liselfwench says:

    Did you end up putting lard in the ground rabbit meat too?

    • LuckyRobin says:

      No, I didn’t, but we put in all the fat that was on the rabbit. It wasn’t much, but it seemed to be enough.

      • liselfwench says:

        Great! I just want to say, your blog is so tremendously helpful to me in my “thinking about getting meat rabbits” journey. It’s nice to hear from a beginner, who is also a bit conflicted about the actual killing of cute furry things.

  4. I’m so excited to try ground. Well actually I’m excited to try rabbit period…it may seem odd that we are raising rabbit when neither my husband nor I have ever tried it =) good to know on the tomato paste and good luck with the garden! I’m guessing your gardening climate is a tad different than mine (Las Vegas) =)

    • LuckyRobin says:

      We were able to try rabbit beforehand as our local food co-op carried it. I think that mine taste even better than those ones did, though. Also, make sure it is sauce and not paste. I’m not sure tomato paste would give the same consistency and it would make it far tangier. LOL yes, the garden climate is far different.

  5. We like the purple beans as well. We like how easy they are to harvest because you can see them with the green leaves. I do more of them and less green each year.

  6. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi there! Just popped over from FarmGal’s page to see your buns; but now I’m wondering if you’d ever tried Scarlet Runner Beans with your climbers? The blooms bring a ton of pollinators to the garden, they’re very tasty cooked young and make a great dry bean as well: )
    An egg per pound of meat will also help your patties stick together. Happy newYear: )

    • LuckyRobin says:

      I’ve grown them once, but that was in a flower garden, just because the blooms were pretty in contrast to the white honeysuckle. I’ve never tried to eat them. They grow very well here. Do you eat the young beans in the pod or as a shelled bean?

  7. Rachel says:

    Tillamook cheddar on your rabbit burgers…I knew there was a reason I liked your blog. 😀

    Nice to read about your gardening plans! I have a thing for making lists of possible varieties to grow, and all their pros and cons. 😛

    We grew a couple plants of Orient Wonder Yard Long Asparagus Beans last summer, as they are supposed to do well in the heat. They did well and tasted great. This coming summer we are planning to try some of the purple pod beans too. Easy to find on the bush. At least if we can get to them before the deer do, that is.

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