It's the end of February, which means that it's time to start planning our vegetable garden for the year. We need to start the seeds indoors as soon as possible (we're likely a little late already) to give the plants a chance to grow as big and strong as possible before we transfer them outside into our raised beds in late spring. Part of the planning process is reviewing our efforts from last year and trying to improve on them.
This was by far our most productive year yet (our 2012 garden is the only other one that maybe, but not really, comes close to it) and we are so happy that all of our efforts have been rewarded so fully. Getting to eat vegetables from our garden is, honestly, one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Of course, not everything went according to plan; there have been so many lessons learned, and there is still so much room for improvement this year, both in the quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables that we grow, to better reflect what we eat day-to-day.
We picked tomatoes quicker than we were able to eat them - and, yes, we did eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for several weeks. The squash plants were, thankfully, as predictably productive as ever, if not more so. We tried out pumpkins, melons, and potatoes for the first time and, although we got a reasonable yield from each, we realized that the large space that they took up can be better used for other plants. Our basil plants were quite productive too but, although very fragrant, they were not really flavourful - and we're still trying to figure out why. We also weren't as successful with some of our favourites - cucumbers (just over 2kg), eggplants (none!), and sweet peppers (there were 2 green ones on the vines but they didn't have time to ripen) - as we would have liked, so that is something we'll have to work on this year, along with many other changes and additions.
My hope is that we also get better and more creative with using all our produce in the kitchen, and finally, I'm looking forward to sharing even more of our gardening (and subsequent eating!) journey here this year.
Are you planting a vegetable garden this year? If not, what are your favourite veggies to pick up from the farmer's market?