This is a continuation of the previous article which gave 12 great reasons to grow your on food. Growing your own vegetables can be very beneficial.When writing this article in November, the garden was frozen but we were still picking kale, parsley, rosemary, thyme and sage from the garden. Kale, an under rated vegetable, has produced for months and leaves are picked almost daily for use in our juice. Here are a few more gardening ideas for you to try.
Growing Your Own Food - Gardening Ideas for you to try:
- Plant high performers such as dwarf and espalier fruit trees - apples, Italian plum and pear all grow well locally (Fraser Valley, B.C., Canada). Consider planting 2 or 3 blueberry bushes in your regular garden.
- Top vegetable producers which take little space or which can be grown in containers are fresh kale & greens (chards, bok choi, lettuce). Our Kale and swiss chard were still producing at the end of November.
- Herbs are easy to grow and so forgiving - we are still eating fragrant chives (in greenhouse), rosemary, parsley & thyme, mint, oregano, sorrel and lemon balm. Make up portable pollinator pots for next summer and move them into greenhouse or protect during winter for a fresh supply of herbs all year.
- Garlic is a favourite and although there is not enough garden space to grow a year's supply we plant 60 to 100 cloves each October
- Grow Scarlet runner beans for a privacy fence and for hummingbirds who love the flowers
- If you have room in your garden plant zucchini, potatoes and onions
- Basically we follow the rhythm of the garden. In early spring we have rhubarb to mix with canned or frozen fruit for desserts and cakes. Caution : Rhubarb leaves are toxic and not to be consumed
- In 2010 we started picking tomatoes in August. This past year we started picking ripe tomatoes in June and ate them daily until November. In addition many more were canned for the coming year.
- In the Summer there is an ample supply of vegetables, even from our small garden
- In the Fall we have fruit from our 3 apple trees for several months (one dwarf tree and the espalier each have 4 different apple varieties) and ever-bearing strawberries supply fruit all summer late into the fall. We also have two very bountiful blueberry bushes.
- We are looking for an organic community garden or local farmer (to share crop) where we can grow potatoes, onions and garlic for our family for the year.
- We do not grow our own corn as we can buy tasty Jubilee non-GMO corn locally which is eaten, fresh, pickled and frozen. The same applies for organic blueberries for canning, juicing and freezing.
- Experiment with your own vegetables and gardening space; and add some flowers to attract bees and beneficial insects
“I asked the feedlot manager why they didn't just spray the liquefied manure on neighboring farms. The farmers don't want it, he explained. The nitrogen and phosphorus levels are so high that spraying the crops would kill them. He didn't say that feedlot wastes also contain heavy metals and hormone residues, persistent chemicals that end up in waterways downstream, where scientists have found fish and amphibians exhibiting abnormal sex characteristics.”
~ Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma
It is incredibly satisfying to serve a home cooked meal which includes food you have grown yourself. I am so grateful that I am still able to grow vegetables for our family. There is always something new to learn such as, I am curious to see if the kale manages to survive this cold spell and if it grows new shoots in the Spring.
Hoping you have found a veggie or fruit you wish to try for yourself. Very best wishes and have fun in your gardening adventures while you learn to grow your own food.
Links & References:
- Begin here - Why to use Raised Bed Gardens
- Grow parsley wherever you can and eat it all year
- How to Plant Raspberries
- How to Plant Your Own Strawberries
- Which Vegetables to grow in the Shade
- The beginning of our Meyer Lemon tree experiment
- Fig trees are so easy to grow - try one
- Still a major reference source for gardeners - John Seymour's Self Sufficient Gardener
- Post script: How to learn "All About Food" with your kids or grand-kids "Ask Kermit" a super Muppet Press book, 2002, explaining where our food grows, how to make jam, where does honey come from, and much more. A kids activity book.