The results are in . . . maybe a month, possibly two. Not all of the vegetables from my garden are here on this little table. Some are still on the vine. Those would be dry beans and squash. As I looked at all the titles of the posts before I clicked onto my site, I was extremely thrilled to see that they were all about CLIMATE!!!! We have arrived at “This is a Climate Emergency.” FINALLY.
Growing our own food, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is essential to limit the CO2 going into the atmosphere. It is one of the solutions that we need desperately. Our current food system contributes about 30% of the CO2. Besides that, we are in a vulnerable situation if we don’t grow our own food and rely on the grid to get it. Again, any collapse before total environmental collapse will be scary if we are looking to get food from the current system. It is much more comforting to go into your back yard to get your food.
I looked at what to grow in the spring based on what I eat and what preserves well. Cucumbers, zucchini, and radishes are all tasty but how do you preserve them? Maybe there is a way but butternut squash can sit there without refrigeration and last for six months and still be good. Dry beans? They will last a year or longer.
Perhaps that is why indigenous tribes grew the “three sisters.” That consisted of corn, beans, and squash. The rationale goes that the corn was used for the pole beans to climb on, and the squash, having big leaves, added moisture to the soil. All three are very preservable when ripe. Well, the corn needs to go further than how we normally eat corn so it could be crushed for cornmeal or tortillas, as do the beans.
This is my second year at my place, and I know the soil needs to be revitalized. I incorporated straw everywhere, as both mulch and nutrients for the soil. I planted some cover crops or “green manure” in the fall and spring. That was a bit of a mystery because I didn’t know if what was coming up were weeds or the cover crops.
My garden overall did better than last year. Cabbage heads actually formed this year, as they were in probably the best soil. Out of 20 heads . . . what was I thinking . . . all formed except maybe four. I made sauerkraut. Next year I will be a sauerkraut making machine. This year I gave some away in fear they would rot before I made more sauerkraut.
My onions were a little bigger this year, as were my potatoes. There is room for improvement for both. My garlic . . . well, I learned a little about garlic this year. Don’t let it flower! Too late! That is what happened. The garlic plant spends energy on the flower and not on the bulb so the bulbs were all small. Oh, well. My tomatoes didn’t produce much at all so there will not be any canned tomatoes this year. Last year I canned 19 pints. My squashes are doing well, as are my beans. Last year I had none to speak of. So there has been progress made! It is a learning experience. I am also planning on trying to grow a grain next year.
Please . . . start learning about growing food and get a garden started. If you don’t have space, there may be community garden plots to rent in your town. Almost every town in my area that I used to live in had them, and I rented some. They usually aren’t very expensive. In the spring, some towns plow the plots. It is also a great place to get advice from other growers that know so much.
It is the future . . . and our survival depends on it.