My latest book read is "Folks this ain't Normal" by Joel Salatin; owner of Polyface farms in Virginia. Highly recommend this book. He's a big proponent of not just local eating, but scratch cooking, old skills, hard work etc. Anyway, he got me to thinking and so I started looking around for local sources as well as organic, free range, pastured sources for food. Here is what I know. I can't do it all. So if I am going to be able to buy truly local and organic foods I will need to grow most of it. Next on my list is raising pastured chicken cause that is out of my range too, but I digress.
As a result of my new found determination to grow as much of my produce as I can, My garden is slated to be in over drive for the season. I'm fortunate that we have a long growing season. Our first frost usually isn't until Oct 21st and we normally don't get brutally cold (teens and twenties) until Jan. This give me extra time for cold weather crops to come in. Currently there is no more room in my garden for anything else, but as things play out and are pulled out, I will be replacing them with something else.
Squash- The first to go. I currently have 9 squash plants growing. These were all planted a few weeks behind each other. The first set of three is about done. They will be pulled out and some volunteer lima beans will take their place. The volunteers are currently growing next to my decks bottom step. Green beans( bush) will more than likely replace the other squash plants.
Cucumbers- These are only the first 3 sets planted. I have four more that haven't started producing yet. Okra will go there
Corn- The corn is going gang busters! Once these beds are done, I'll plant more green beans. Corn is a heavy feeder and so before I plant the beans, my plan is to mix in more compost and let the beds sit a few weeks. I will plant these beans about August 1st. Beans take nitrogen out of the air and put it into the ground through their roots. It will continue to replenish the soil.
Yellow Wax, and Lima Beans- These are currently growing and beginning to set pods. As these finish, I will begin planting my cool weather crops: Beets, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflowers, spinach, and lettuce,
Cherry tomatoes_ despite my no volunteer pledge, I finally got to the point where I had to let some stay. The are relegated to one main branch, however. As these die back, the plants will be pulled out and maybe snow peas will be added. The cherry tomatoes will be dehydrated (I hope).
Roma tomatoes- Once they die back they're done. I'm not gonna try to let them keep going. I'll replace them with snow peas if possible.
When my slicing tomatoes die back, they will be allow to stay. When it cools off, they will come back and make the prettiest tomatoes. These I will pick green and can fried green tomatoes for the pantry.
How cool will it be to have a garden last until Dec or Jan? AWESOME!