So we planted the tomatoes early… and good thing too! All May we had tons of rain, so the garden was basically a mud pit. There was just no way to plant our garden all month. Where I live, you have to get it planted by June, at the very latest, or you get zero harvest. So we were getting really nervous! But luckily (or unluckily, LOL) this past weekend was glorious and sunny. So we spent a good 6 hours straight in the garden… okay not straight, we took about an hour break right in the middle for lunch. I maybe never be able to walk again! LOL. Thankfully, it was also on a good day for me healthwise, or I wouldn’t have even survived it… but I didn’t have much of a choice. I had to be done. Had to. But I am paying for it now in a big way. I’ll probably be on the couch all week recovering.
We plant a large garden every year and it’s important to us on many levels… but just the 2 main ones you can think of are health and budget. We eat mainly from our garden all summer, so grocery bills are much smaller. And it’s all our own food, and I know I didn’t put pesticide on it, and so I know it’s safe to eat and will be truly nourishing for my family. Looking ahead, we preserve as much of it as possible and try to use it through the rest of the year (again those 2 reasons, helps with the budget and helps with health). We do canning (mainly hot water bath canning), dehydrating, freezing, and sort of pretend root cellaring (get a big, dry box… sometimes with sand in it… and layer root veggies and such in it… store in a cool, dry, dark area and it will keep fresh for several months… if you have a corner in an unfinished basement, that’s perfect.) So really, we rely on our garden so much, it just has to be done. I really can’t skip it. So there was no real choice. But man, I am old to be spending all day out in the sun with a shovel and pitchfork! LOL.
And does it really help the budget that much? I think so. For instance, I grow about 10 different types of herbs per year. Let’s just look at rosemary. I buy a little baby plant for $2 in May. Water it through the summer, with really not much increase in my water bill for the entire garden (herb and vegetable). When it starts getting to be too cold outside, I cut off all the branches and hang it upside down to dry, then pull all the “leaves” off (there’s an easy way to do it, but I don’t know how to explain it.) One good sized plant will easily fill a quart jar, just screw the lid on. That amount of rosemary at the store? I don’t even want to think about how much it would cost. A whole lot more than $2 and a little water. And it will last me for about 3 years. That’s probably my best example, but overall, I do think all of it helps a lot. Plus it’s home grown, fresh, and tastes better. 🙂
So all of this is to say… I’m still wiped out from gardening, and it’s 3 days later. LOL. And I’m sore and sunburned and sick. But it was worth it… right? LOL. I’ll think it was worth it when I start getting vegetables out of it. Until then, I’m just dreading this weekend when we have to put in all the late seeds (mainly beans and peas, oh and the onion starts, oy). But we’re almost done.
And here’s my garden list for anyone who cares… nobody really does I know. 🙂 But I like to keep track somewhere so I can go back and see what worked and what didn’t.
Basil, oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary, savory, sage, marjoram, tarragon, chives… wishing I had dill and saffron crocus (keep dreaming on that one!)
Tomatoes (sun sugar, Cherokee purple, Mr. Stripey, Black from Tula, and Black Russian), cucumber (burpless snacking), green zucchini, golden zucchini, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin (magic lantern), red bell peppers, jalapeno, anaheim peppers, carrots (purple haze, scarlet nantes, tender sweet, and imperator), red beets (detroit reds), radishes (easter basket mix), parsnips, golden beans of bacau (my favorite!!!!), Italian Rose beans, Trionfo Violetto pole beans, potatoes (mainly adirondack blue), onions, garlic, and as always strawberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries, and apricots. I can hardly wait!!!! Oh and I need to get a banana squash for my mom, preferably a pink variety, but I haven’t found/remembered one yet.