Monday, February 9, 2009

Gardening Bugs

I caught a gardening bug over the weekend. I ordered seeds from an heirloom seed group called Seed Savers, I ordered a seed starter from Gardener's Supply, and I bought a Square Foot Gardening how-to book by Mel Bartholomew. The book cracks me up; it's like the script to an infomercial, but I love it. I am contemplating digging out the backyard of snow so I can start my garden right now! Mel is super positive and pretty much guarantees a successful garden. I am pretty sure someone recommended his book to me during an earlier post lamenting my lack of knowledge of, light available to, and space for a garden. I should have paid attention.

Anyway, I am really excited about this. My 3-year old and I have been discussing what to plant and how to build a scarecrow. The Square Foot Gardening method, as best as I can tell, maximizes a small space and allows for easy staggered planting. Like many parts of my life, I am spontaneous to a fault, and seed buying was no different. The eggplants looked gorgeous. Do I eat them? A few times a year, but that didn't stop me. Lettuce? The more kinds the merrier. Some berry I've never heard of? Yes, please! I was imagining a huge crop ripening all at once, and lining up people in my head that I could give 12 eggplants each. Staggering sounds great, and is something that hadn't occurred to me. So, I think this is the perfect method for me because it will help me be organized, which I really like in my life, and allow me to take baby steps as I learn about gardening.

And, as a preview to the summer to come, I pulled out a bag of peaches from the freezer and made yum yum (click here and substitute peaches for apples). I'm embarrassed to admit they were the first I'd used. They were amazing. They were sweet, peachy, so much better than from a grocery store. And I had the added satisfaction of knowing I had prepped them myself. I did discover that freezing them in a ziploc bag works great, except that I didn't pull them out in time enough to thaw so had to heat them in a pan, and the shape they had frozen into was too long to fit. I think this summer, I'll put the bag into an empty yogurt container just until it's frozen, so it will be a more manageable shape.


Anonymous said...

Try putting a single layer of peaches or whatever you're freezing on a tray for a couple of hours until frozen, then putting them in a bag. This keeps them from sticking together and lets you pull out as little or as much as you want, one piece at a time. If you're worried about sticking to the tray, you can line it with wax paper or use a cooling rack.

maamypatom said...

That's how I do berries. Very effective. Then you can throw a handful into hot cereal in the morning--yum!