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Growing My Way to Freedom #38: Planning for 2013: Seed Purchases

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Blog entry by Radicalfarmergal posted 491 days ago 707 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 37: Harvesting Hazelnuts Part 38 of Growing My Way to Freedom series Part 39: 2013 Planting Schedule »

2012 was our best year for actually eating the majority of what we grew. I am finding that it isn’t just growing healthy and delicious fruit and vegetables. I am also changing my planning, cooking and eating habits so that our harvest is efficiently eaten and/or preserved. Using my successes and failures, I have ordered or gathered together the following annuals seeds to plant in 2013. These include vegetable seeds I saved from this year’s crop and seeds I have left over from previous yearly purchases. These are the annual vegetables I have chosen to grow and some of the reasons behind my decisions. Whenever possible, I have chosen heirloom varieties to help me increase my seed saving and also because I am encouraging my annual plants to self-sow in many areas of my gardens.

Tomato:
- Amish Paste – An heirloom and my all-time favorite paste tomato. Thank you Bon, for introducing it to me.
- Principe Borghese – I plan to grow these in a dry, sunny corner of the yard and see if I can get sun-dried tomatoes without using any electricity
- Opalka Paste – I grew these last year and really liked them. Unfortunately, so did the garden slugs. I need more fireflies in my gardens so I will have to work on improving my meadows to make them a better habitat.

Peppers
- Big Red (Sweet)
- Marconi (heirloom) I really liked these sweet red peppers and saved seeds so we could enjoy them again.
- A variety of hot peppers; I will buy young plants from a local farm-stand in the spring.

Salad Fixings/Greens:
Strawberry Spinach – (heirloom) My plants did not survive the summer but I am intrigued by them so I am giving them another chance
Lettuce Mix (spring/summer)
Lettuce Mix (fall/winter)
Crisp-head Lettuce Summertime
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach (heirloom)
Bright Lights Chard
Rose Orach (heirloom) – This is brand new to us; I just had to try it.
Cherry Belle Radish
Spigariello Liscia Greens – Another new green to try!
Miner’s Lettuce (heirloom) I plan to encourage this to spread as a ground cover in the food forest garden.
Broccoli Raab – I saved seeds and it self-sows beautifully.

Beets:
Golden (heirloom) – Even though I am the only one in the family who will eat beets, I really enjoy them.
Early Wonder


Onions:

Copra -
Walla Walla

Peas:
Asparagus Pea (heirloom)
Sugar Sprint

Beans:
Blue Lake Pole Beans
Provider
Scarlet Runner Beans (heirloom)
Jacob’s Cattle Beans (heirloom)

Grain:
Hopi Blue Dent Corn (heirloom) My sons are tired of growing popcorn so we are trying something new. Don’t black beans tucked inside blue corn tortillas sound delicious? Now that I have my own grain mill, I am ready to grow my own corn meal.
Golden Flax (heirloom)

Cucumber:
Diva
White Wonder (heirloom)

Summer Squash
Black Zucchini (heirloom)
Striata D’Italia (heirloom)
Enterprise
Early Prolific Straightneck

Winter Squash
Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin (heirloom)
Delicata (heirloom)
Spaghetti (heirloom)

Cover Crops:
- Speckled Field Peas
- Buckwheat
- Winter Rye
- Red Clover
- White Dutch Clover

Sunflowers (Edible)
- Miriam
- Tarahumara White Shelled

This does not include any of my perennial vegetables, flowers or herb seeds but the list is already overwhelmingly long. Right now I am planning which of these seeds I can winter sow, which seeds I should start indoors and which seeds I can sow directly in the ground…. Lots of work to do before the ground thaws.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout



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Radicalfarmergal

4251 posts in 1734 days
hardiness zone 5b

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13 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14620 posts in 2472 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 491 days ago

great list!

beets: do you make pickled beets?

peas: I have some “winged asparagus peas” highlighted in my William Dam Seeds catalogue

cornmeal: I’m interested in how much you have to grow in order to make a good quantity of meal.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1042 posts in 1852 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 491 days ago

Wow – lots of fun work ahead of you! So, like, can I come live with you and be your garden helper?

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4251 posts in 1734 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 491 days ago

Joel, I warmly welcome you into my garden as a fellow gardener. With your creativity, ideas and extra set of hands, just think what we could accomplish together! The house across the street from us just went up for sale. It has a 1/2 acre lot, 2.300 sq.’ and it costs $135,000. So how soon can you move here? : )

Debbie, I am not a fan of the vinegar taste so I don’t pickle beets in that way but I did try fermenting beets. Because of all the sugar, the fermented taste was very strong. I think I would like to try fermenting them in the future with a combination of ginger and parsnips or turnips. I will definitely try it as a very small batch in case it doesn’t taste as good as I am imagining.

The Latin name for the asparagus pea plant I ordered is Tetragonolobus Purpureus; is that the same as the one in your catalog? It says they taste best sauteed whole in butter. They supposedly thrive in poor soil in full sun so perhaps I will plant them in the bare spots of my forest garden and the living fence garden. It will be an adventure!

When I grind a cup of wheat berries, I get between 1.5 and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. I haven’t tried my corn auger attachment yet but I imagine the conversion will be similar. I don’t expect to grow all my own cornmeal, just learn what it takes to grow blue dent corn, grind my own flour and make them into tortillas. If nothing else, it is raising the awareness just how much land and work grain takes in comparison to other foods we can grow. The package contains 100 seeds so that is what I will plant. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14620 posts in 2472 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 491 days ago

our neighbour recently gave us a catalogue from “Sausage Maker Inc” (LINK) and they have fermenting pots—I thought of you when I saw them and then said, “they look so pretty, I want one just so I can have one in my kitchen!” :)

Yes, the “Tetra” peas, that’s the variety info in my catalogue: “unique plant with cinnamon red flowers and prostrate growing habit. The fruits are winged pods that can be eaten if harvested at 2cm stage. Also known as Asparagus Pea for its faint similarity in flavour. It has been listed in colonial seed catalogues from the 1700’s and has its origins in the Mediterranean area.

I look forward to reading about your cornmeal adventure!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1042 posts in 1852 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 490 days ago

Yeah, don’t tempt me, Robin. :-) How far from Amherst are you?

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4251 posts in 1734 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 490 days ago

Joel, I was trying to tempt you! It is between a 1.25 – 1.5 hour drive from here to Amherst.

Debbie, those crocks are gorgeous. Doesn’t it make you want to learn how to make sauerkraut? : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14620 posts in 2472 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 490 days ago

when I saw the crocks I asked Rick if he liked sauerkraut … “once or twice a year”—hardly worth putting up a batch.
As for me, well, I have never tried it. No real reason why not, other than we never had it when I was little.

So I’d have to find something else to preserve in it .. or just buy it and stare at its beauty :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View sharad's profile

sharad

1608 posts in 1689 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 490 days ago

Robin, I really appreciate your desire to change your cooking and heating habits. It requires courage. You have drawn a nice plan for the annual seeds and your experiments should give good results. Pl keep us informed how the plan works.

Sharad

-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3763 posts in 2101 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 489 days ago

Robin, I am very impressed with your seed list. The variety should keep you busy planting, hoeing and harvesting all summer/fall long. ———-And eating!

Yes, as Sharad requested, please keep us informed on how well everything works ut for you.

BTW, I haven’t seen the pic of the crock that you and MsDeb are discussing, but would it be suitable for pickling? I used to do and keep a large batch of sweet pickles in a crock.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14620 posts in 2472 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 489 days ago


http://www.sausagemaker.com/images/fermentation_banner.jpg

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4251 posts in 1734 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 488 days ago

Iris, I tried fermenting pickles in 2011. They were good on the outside but soggy in the middle. I haven’t worked up the courage to try fermenting them again but I do have a crock when I am ready to give it another go. My crock is nice but not quite as beautiful as the ones Debbie shows above. A crock of pickles is a good idea because my family enjoys eating them. Next summer I will have to try again…..

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View lavender22's profile

lavender22

85 posts in 424 days
hardiness zone 8a

posted 389 days ago

i know how to make sauerkraut and i make it every season with a friend it is delish:)

-- I love hostas:)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4251 posts in 1734 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 388 days ago

I enjoy making and eating sauerkraut too, Lavender, but I am even more fond of kimchi. Here is a post about when I made sauerkraut one summer. Are your methods similar?

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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