I have been in a lazy mood this weekend...but a few things have gotten done.
I spent some time yesterday tidying the pantry, taking inventory and figuring out where I'll put things once the co-op order arrives in May. I am comforted to see how many things we've been able to store, the amount of variety we have. We are truly blessed. Doing an inventory now also helps me figure out what we should plant more of, what we over-planted, and what we might like to try, so it's a help with garden planning too.
We learned a few things from this year's food storage. Potatoes keep in the root cellar amazingly well - they look as fresh and lovely as the day we put them there. OK, the blue ones are trying to sprout a little bit, but last year in the basement they started sprouting in November. So, the root cellar is a much better option for potatoes.
Pumpkins and winter squash much prefer the basement, and keep far better in the conditions found there. In fact, the pumpkins and winter squash that were in the root cellar didn't hold nearly as well. We tossed a bunch to the chickens today (they are very happy with their fresh treats!), so at least they weren't wasted. Some went to the compost bin as well, but the ones stored in our basement are all keeping just fine. Next year, we know to store them in the basement.
We wanted to try storing carrots, turnips, rutabagas and beets in the ground. We'd read about it - we could just mound up mulch over the tops to keep the frost at bay and it was going to be wonderful. Well, our weather held fairly far into winter, and we enjoyed fresh root vegetables all that time. I kept thinking, "I need to get out there and top those rows with more mulch." I never made the time. The weather turned frigid with the new year, and the vegetables turned to frozen mush...which thawed into icky mush. Lesson learned. Next year we shall try storing them in the root cellar in bins of sand.
Soon we'll be tilling the garden for spring, planting lettuces, radishes and peas. Before that, I'll be starting some seedlings indoors, but not just yet. We still have a little time. Until then, I'm going to read through my canning books, look for recipes we would like and use those as an additional help for planning our garden.
What are you going to grow this year? I'd love to hear your plans, so please leave a comment!
-Laura at TenThingsFarm