2019 Crop Plan

It’s that time again! Time to finish planning what we are going to plant this year! We are already behind buying seeds.

Overall new strategy for this year is to have less of everything, but more variety! We always have customers asking for things like spaghetti squash, parsnips and okra but we now a row of these will never sell through. This year we are going to combine multiple items in a single row so our customers who want something like spaghetti squash can have it, but it’s not using too much real estate.

I know you can’t read the plan above and you can already see an edit swapping out 2 of the rows so let me elaborate. Of course we will still be growing our best selling items carrots, beans, beets, salad mix, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins and tomatoes. We will start to sell a few items we have tested and feel are good to go including garlic, butternut squash, broccoli florets, radishes and sweet peppers. Items that we started growing last year but are still being tested this year and may be available include acorn squash, okra and a skinny heirloom celery.

We are testing new items this year and may have them available. This includes onion, spinach, turnips, parsnips, spaghetti squash and Loofas! Yes….Loofas!

We have already been selling basil which customers love, but want to offer more herbs. We will also plant oregano, dill, cilantro and parsley. We also plan to research drying techniques so we don’t lose any of the delicious herbs at the end of the season.

Finally, we would really like to offer fruit but have not had much luck in this climate as of yet. The apples, pears and Italian plums have only grown in years where the is no May snow storm. And when we’ve had good years the wildlife ate most or like last year the hail took them out. I’ve purchased some agriculture bags to cover some select fruit off the trees this year. We tested raspberries last year but they did not do as well as we hoped. We are moving them to a spot with more shade and will let you know the progress. We also have rhubarb which has not been happy with the 2 different spaces we tried to grow it so will be incorporating it into one of the healthy rows to see if it picks up. New testing this year will be container gardening of strawberries. This will allow us to cover and prevent birds from eating them and be portable to over winter them in a shed. Let’s cross our fingers that we may have fruit for sale this year.

We hope this variety will be more successful for sales. Now off to order seeds!

The 2018 Garden Plan

It’s always just after Christmas that the planting bug starts to set in. We start analyzing what happened the year before and plan adjustments to increase not only production but also the ease in what we do.

First we agreed that last year’s yield was higher than our demand so we will only be planting 1 row of each item this year rather than 3. It’s a great problem to have! We really didn’t know how much the new plot could grow and we are happy to say it’s a success! We decided not to plant anything in the old plot and solely focus on the new one. That will save a lot of water and time.

Another discussion we started to have is what kind of tools we could use to increase our efficiencies. Time is important when both of us have a full time jobs. We are looking at a walk behind tractor to replace our rototiller. It also has attachments to build row hills and smooth out the tops. It even has a drip tape installer. This would eliminate the the discs that we attached to the large tractor that we built rows with last year. The cost is higher than we’d hoped but with the extra power and flexibility of all the available attachments it would be valuable for general home use too. There is even a snow blower attachment.

We tested some garlic last year and it did alright so we planted garlic in the last 2 rows of the plot in November. We are also adding butternut and acorn squash to the mix. Customers have asked if we had these squash enough times we thought we would give them a try. It also is in line with our efforts to decrease the amount of work we spend on garden maintenance. Squash does not require as much work as tomatoes, lettuce or beans. Plus it grows well here. Another add will be brussell sprouts. I’ve heard they are difficult to grow but thought it would be worth a try. The rest will be the same old favorites.

Next step is buying seed. We have collected a number of seeds this year so should not have to buy a lot. It usually takes a couple weeks to decide on which varieties to buy and make the purchase but it is one the most fun tasks there is!

In the mean time we are going to get a quote on the walk behind tractor and see it’s going to be feasible.

Stay tuned!