Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Growing and Eating REALLY Local

My family and I feel strongly about buying local, eating local.  Fresher and healthier food, organically grown by farmers we've met.  Supporting with our dollar 'votes' small local farmers.  Taking it one step further, what could be more local than our own garden?  Over the last 10 years at this little suburban house on 1/5 acre, we've gardened year round, stepping right outside our door for a fresh salad or veggies for the grill or the perfect herbal compliment.  Nutritious and delicious.

Some (ok, most) of my friends think I'm a little strange.  I mean, we live in the middle of a bustling city center.  I'm forty-something in overalls, giddy over increasing worm population in the compost, trying repeatedly to get them to try grilled eggplant or zucchini pastries.  Some have asked questions: what do you grow? how do you grow all those varieties? do you really eat what you grow? 

Here we go:
This is the garden for 2011.
Tomatoes: Brandywine, Mountain Pride, Lemon Boy, Early Girl, Super Sweet 100 (2), Pineapple Hawaiian, Green Zebra, Cherokee Green, Mortgage Lifter, Red Pear, and Black Cherry.  Not on the plan are Better Bush and another Lemon Boy (grown upside down) and a Cherokee Purple.

Peppers: Cubanelle (3), Bell Boy (3), Jalapeno, Anaheim, Banana.

Yellow Crookneck Squash and Zucchini.

Eggplant: Nubia and Nadia.
Cucumber:  Pickling and Diva.

Asparagus.  Joy Choi.  Easter Egg Radish.  Onions.

Earlier plantings included kale, Swiss Chard, lettuces, onions and spinach.  We've been enjoying salads, sauteed greens, kale and bean soup, and orzo with lemon and greens for much of the late Winter/early Spring.  Tonight we had a beautiful salad of oak leaf and red leaf lettuces, Swiss chard, spinach, radish and chives (with the addition of carrots not from our garden) to accompany the supper pasta and locally baked 6-grain bread.  YUM!

Herbs:  Cilantro, Basil, Chives, Dill, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint, Lemon Balm, Lemon Grass, Borage.

These are mostly grown in raised beds, 4' x 4' and 2' x 4', built by my sweet husband.  Scarlett keeps watch over the progress.
We've been making compost for a year now and spread our first batch on the garden this Spring. (Thank you, Cathy, for the composter!)  We try to companion plant and intersperse borage and marigold and complimentary herbs.  We have a bee and butterfly bed just on the other side of the fence from the veggies: bee balm, vitex, black-eyed Susan, butterfly bush, lamb's ear, daisy, purple coneflower, sedum.  We've created a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat on our little plot of suburbia.

I am so thankful for a little piece of earth to till, for riotous varieties of seeds and seedlings, for just picked goodness. 

Then God said, "I've given you
      every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth
   And every kind of fruit-bearing tree,
      given them to you for food.
   To all animals and all birds,
      everything that moves and breathes,
   I give whatever grows out of the ground for food."
      And there it was.

 God looked over everything he had made;
      it was so good, so very good!
   It was evening, it was morning—
   Day Six.
Genesis 1:29-31


Tom said...

I heart Tomatoes!

Lorie said...

Wow, you are so organized. Love your colorful plan. Looks like you have an awesome start to a great growing season, Lord willing, that is. Thanks for sharing.

Clara Hudson said...

I love the plan as well. For my Pennsylvania gardens (many yrs ago....) I drew diagrams for my raised beds and rotating "crops"