Deep Wondering Thoughts While Planning the Garden

Strange as this may sound, but you should start your garden planning with a cook book or by recalling your favorite recipes. Scan through the ingredients you are most likely to use, and grow as much as you can. When I first started gardening, I was happy just to get anything growing. Gradually, as I learn to work with the veggies and knowing their characteristics, I learned how to pace myself and plan ahead so I can harvest throughout the season.

* Consider what to grow and how many plants to grow, take into account if you are going to just eat them fresh and/or preserve them. Certain veggies you don't want to plant too many, like zucchini, unless you plan to preserve them, such as turning them into soup or dried zucchini chips.
* Plant zucchinis for Zucchini Pancakes. Preserving the extra zucchinis by making zucchini soup (I finally have a good recipe and a brand new pressure caner to do this.)
 * Consider what to do with the vegetables once they mature.  Have several recipes ready. Eggplant Parmesan might be good, but having it three times a week can get old quickly. Think of other recipes that use eggplant. Here it helps to think international. Experiment with moussaka (Greek), ratatouille (Italian), stir-fry (Chinese)  or baba conoosh (Middle Eastern). You could also just Google image search "eggplant recipes", see which ones appeal to you and figure out how to make it.
 *For quick maturing crop, you may want to plant a succession of it so you will have a steady supply of it, but not overloaded at any one time. Vegetables fit into this category are: lettuce, baby bok choy, radish and arugula. These things typically like cool weather and don't do well in the heat of summer. So start early and resume again after the hottest part of summer has passed.
 * Plant beans for fresh eating and pickling.... Dilly beans, yummmm.....
* Plant peppers for fresh eating, stuffed peppers, chili rellleno, stir-fried peppers with chicken, beef. Roasted peppers. Pickled jalapeno peppers. Any left over peppers, cutup and freeze. Use them later for recipes like jambalaya, pasta sauce etc.
*Plant peas for fresh eating. Never a big fan of frozen peas... sorry :( They just don't have the crunchiness and sweet taste fresh peas do,..After the peas are done, put in kohlrabi. They should be good in the fall and into the winter.
* Plant cucumbers for fresh eating, Stallion White Cucumbers....ooooh, it's so good!
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3 comments:

Donna Donabella said...

what a creative way to think about veggie gardening..so true...it is how I started..what do we love to eat and that i could fit in my little plot which continues to grow...doubled or tripled in size this coming year..

Sarah said...

Great post Sue! I have a suggestion for eggplant: you can bread and cook the eggplant slices in advance for eggplant parmesean...I bake them on a big sheet tray rather than frying them, and then freeze them in caserole size zip top bags. Having the eggplant already cooked makes eggplant parmesan a quick meal.

Jason said...

You can shred and freeze zucchini too, makes for great breads and maybe those zucchini pancakes Sue! Gotta say, not much for eggplant, but eggplant bruschetta is pretty tasty.