January Dreaming

Winter has certainly settled in, and will not be going anywhere soon. The Food It Yourself garden is fast asleep. My raised beds are frozen solid. My pitch fork, shovels, and rakes are tucked behind the snow thrower. My kitchen table, however, is covered with seed and plant catalogs. Yes, this is that exciting time of year when I start dreaming about what the garden is going to be.

I will probably pass on carrots and peppers this year. They just do not seem to yield well for us. It might be that our soil is lacking something. If any of you gardening DIYeters have tips, pretty pretty please share in the comments!

We are definitely going to grow sweet corn again. I have finally found a few sources for the old New England favorite variety Butter and Sugar. I have to say one of my favorite parts of keeping chickens is the concurrent inexhaustible supply of high-nitrogen fertilizer. Corn loves nitrogen rich fertilizer.

We have not grown potatoes for a few years, but we will probably grow those, also as I recently found a few pounds in the back of the pantry that have healthy sprouts on them. Reducing food waste is always a good idea, right?

I am pondering the possibilities of a few new crops, also. I really want to try to grow loofah gourds. Evidently you can eat them when they are small, or let them dry on the vine into a natural scrubbie. If I do grow them I will have to build some kind of support for the vines to climb on. Not a deal breaker, just something to consider.

I am also considering a purchase of some Carolina pine berry plants. Allegedly, they taste like pineapple. I have seen them in the catalogs for a few years now, but I do not know a single person who has grown them. I have some room in my strawberry bed, after all. And yes, I know the picture is of raspberries. I’m keeping my wild raspberry canes. Raspberries are yummy.

Every January I get this sense of emptiness because I am not growing anything. Perhaps other gardeners do, too? I know it will be time to plant eventually. Right now I am trying to enjoy the planning stages. What garden plans are you hatching this year? Share in the comments section!

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