Planting Season.

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At long last, planting season has finally really arrived here in our neck of the woods in the Pacific Northwest. I feel a bit breathless from all the waiting. I’ve been dreaming about this gardening space for two years, and planning it out for the past five months. The garden beds, representing months of periodic work, seem to support rapid life. We’ve put some serious energy toward this endeavor, and the mix of delight and gratitude as the seeds take root and burst through the soil is totally real and incredibly palpable.

This property will be the source of vegetables and fruits for our family for the next year, if all goes as planned.

Maybe even more importantly, it will be the source of inspiration for as many fresh, fun recipes as I can imagine–simple, herbaceous, savory, sweet, delightful food. Food and the future enjoyment of it is filling my thoughts constantly: I find myself staring off into space dreaming about how I’ll make a buttery pepper sauce or a zippy salsa or a tomato-herb tower or how I’ll freeze greens for winter soups or what kinds of pickles I’ll can this year, or how much strawberry jam I’ll be able to make and whether I should plant more berries and whether the apples will produce bigger fruit this time and how many dried plums we’ll be able to store away in our cupboards. There isn’t anything difficult about the dreaming and planning; I find pure enjoyment in that. Once I get my shoes on and my hands in the soil, the fresh air and dirt make me stop worrying I won’t get it all done. While I methodically organize beds and sprinkle seeds, I bliss out with plans for little bit of this and little bit of that concoctions, imagining music blasting in the kitchen with the windows wide open and piles of herbs and bowls of beautiful food taking form.

If you’re following along and building out your own garden, maybe you’re wondering what to plant now. Here’s what I’ve seeded directly in the soil so far:

  • Many hardy greens: a variety of kales, mustards, spinach, arugula, rainbow chard
  • Carrots: purple, Nantes, baby carrots
  • A couple cruciferous: cauliflower, broccoli
  • And onion starts: 150 Walla-Wallas, red onions, and leeks.

Today and tomorrow I’m planing a happy variety of lettuces, cabbage, peas, herbs, beets, parsnips, potatoes, and radishes.

As soon as the weather warms further, I’ll plant our beans, squash, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, and tomato and pepper starts.

As for what I’ve ordered so far:

What I still need to order:

  • Enough canning jars and lids to can all our food. I’m still calculating this.
  • A freezer storage plan (freezer bags, probably a vacuum pack machine).
  • A deep freezer.
  • A full-house generator (wired).

There is lots of building and organizing still to be done, and the work is hardly over. We’re still building the beds for our tomatoes, planning the placement of the berry garden and reconfiguration of our fence, figuring out where to put the corn field, and cleaning up the weedy pathways between our garden beds. Still, we’re on schedule and should have everything done in time for full food production.

 

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