I can't tell you how excited I am that spring is finally here! (Okay, I know it technically doesn't start until this Saturday, but it's 70 degrees here today, so my heart says SPRING!)
Spring brings so much joy, doesn't it? I love the hope and promise of new life all around me. I could do without the mud, but the fuzzy little buds on my peach tree (which is in desperate need of pruning) and daffodils pushing up more than makes up for it.
For me, one of the big perks of spring is getting my garden started. Now that I have a few years under my belt, I'm feeling more ambitious. I've tried to keep it relatively small and simple as I learned to garden and can the fruits of my labor. I'm ready to kick it up some! So, I currently have 36 baby tomato plants growing in front of the window on my kitchen table (see how they reach towards the sun? Kind of a neat little anecdote to humanity, isn't it? That we're hardwired to reach to the Light. God is good and His touch is everywhere!) Mostly globe tomatoes, but a row of cherry, too (both heirloom). I've always bought pre-started plants from WalMart or Rural King, but it's a bit pricey if you want more than a few, plus the satisfaction isn't quite the same. And of course, it's a great little science lesson for my 2nd grader.
36 plants is a lot! It looks like most of them are going to be keepers, too. I'll have my work cut out for me, but I plan on turning a good number of them into plain tomato sauce (something I use frequently). Some will be canned whole, after being peeled, and some will become salsa (I need to start some peppers and onions, too!) I love opening a jar of whole tomatoes in the middle of winter, it fills the whole kitchen with smell of summer. And of course, many will become fried green tomatoes, my favorite garden treat.
My friend and neighbor's brother, who's a farmer, will till for me, and I'm going to have him put in some new rows. I'm going to need the extra space, no matter how big the bare plot looks, it's never big enough! I finally bought a pressure canner, so I'm looking forward to learning how to use that and making good use of my veggies (I HATE frozen vegetables, and we can only eat so many fresh green beans before we can't take it anymore!) So we'll have green beans and corn, some to eat fresh and some to can for the winter. And pickling cucumbers, of course. I've become so spoiled on homemade pickles that I can barely stomach the commercial kind. My mom offered me her kosher dill from her deli sandwich and I was horrified at how bland it was! I couldn't even eat it.
I'm skipping the zucchini this year though, I think. I made the mistake of planting two rows last year and by the end of the season I wanted to cry every time I went out, zucchini was everywhere!! I still have many bags of shredded, frozen zucchini. So I'm taking a year off from it.
I may try carrots again. My ground was too rocky for lovely carrots the first couple of years, but now that it's been going for 5 years, I think a good portion of the rock has been removed. So hopefully we'll get some nice, straight carrots this year!
Anyone else planning their garden? If so, let me know what you're growing!