One of my goals for this summer is to grow enough of the staple fruits and vegetables that we eat that we can can, dry, and freeze our supply for the year. I am not going to try to do that with everything I grow, but the attempt will be made this year for green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, pickling cucumbers and potatoes.
I have figured out what I need to plant in order to do that. Onions and garlic I can get very cheaply from a no-spray farm nearby. If I had the land and had planted them in the fall it would be one thing, but until we sell our house and buy the farm I am limited to what I can plant in the space I have available. Space that has to be protected from our meat and egg animals, not to mention the deer that come up from the multi-acre park and the lake behind the hospital nearby.
To get the amount of food I want to put by I will need to plant:
20 tomato plants
20 bell pepper plants
30 pole green beans (green, purple, yellow, asparagus)
30 bush green beans
25 pounds of seed potatoes
30 pickling cucumber plants
400 carrot seeds
Half of the tomatoes and all of the bell peppers will take up residence in the new green house, along with a very few watermelon, cantaloupe, slicing cucumbers, and pumpkin plants. Since we are putting off aquaponics for at least another year, we will have the space in there for that.
The pole beans will be in a strip in front of the house between our yard and the neighbor’s yard. The bush beans will be in 5 gallon pots or buckets lining one side of the driveway. The potatoes will be between the pole beans and the new poultry run. The pickling cucumbers and the carrots will be smack dab in the middle of the flower garden.
Then on top of that we will plant small blocks of heritage corn in whatever spaces we can wedge them into in the flower garden. We won’t can corn, just eat it fresh. TJ’s canned organic corn is second to none and with limited space there isn’t a point in trying to can or freeze the few ears we’ll get. Jerusalem artichokes and sunflowers will grow in 25 gallon pots. Slicing cucumbers will go in trellised 25 gallon pots on the deck. Lettuce will go in 1 gallon pots on the deck rail. Radishes and green onions will be in the window boxes. Kale and chard will go in the front flower garden, 15 plants each, grown for the rabbits. Comfrey will be grown in 1 gallon pots, also for the rabbits. If I can find chicory, I’ll grow that for them, too. Somewhere in there I’ll manage a couple of zucchini and summer squash plants. If I can fit them in somewhere, I’d also like 20 broccoli and 20 red cabbage plants. But cabbage is cheap to buy so no big loss there if we can’t. I’d like to squeeze snow peas in somewhere.
I’m still trying to figure out if we can do strawberries anywhere, but this is strawberry country, so I can u-pick if I need to to get enough frozen strawberries for the year. We will have no problems meeting our blueberry and raspberry needs for the year with our established plantings. We are still eating what we froze last summer. I should be able to make plenty of applesauce if the tree has a good year. And the neighbor will let me harvest her excess Italian prune plums.