As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
When I was growing up, my family often had a garden. But, the truth is, I never really paid much attention to it. I was never a huge fan of veggies, so a garden really had no appeal to me. Brian, on the other hand, grew up with more than a garden (I think he calls it a “truck patch”). During the earlier years of our marriage, we would often plant some tomato and pepper plants in the flower bed beside our house; but it wasn’t ’til maybe 8 or so years ago that he got more serious about gardening again.
He dug up a nice chunk of our back yard. A friend kindly hauled in a load of topsoil for us (the patch needed to be raised a bit). And a generous neighbor shared his tiller (which has since become Brian’s tiller, since our neighbors moved away 😥 ). He started out planting corn, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Over the years, we’ve tried some different things – such as watermelon, canteloupe, zucchini, cucumbers, and cauliflower. None of those things really “stuck” though. We did get some nice canteloupes one year (enough to share), and we have enough zucchini in our freezer for the few times we actually want to use it. Our cauliflower didn’t turn out (it got really orange in color for some reason), and I got sick on cucumbers because I was the only one eating them (so I’m turned!)
The goal of our garden is to provide us with some nice produce and save us the cost of buying at the grocery store or local market. Often, we get enough corn and potatoes from our garden to last us through the winter months. I used to always cut, dice, and slice peppers to put in the freezer (I use peppers in a lot of recipes, so it’s nice to have them on hand). But, the past few years, we’ve had a very successful pepper crop, which has allowed us the opportunity to not only freeze a bunch of peppers, but also to can sweet peppers as well (we adore these on pizza, in sandwiches, etc.).
This year, Brian planned for more of the same – potatoes, corn, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. On Saturday, we went to the local Amish greenhouse to buy some plants. While there, he decided to try his hand at some new plants this year; so he picked out green beans and planted just enough for a few suppers (the kids likely won’t eat them, so we didn’t want to end up with more than we could use) and cabbage (he likes to eat it raw, but my mom has a delicious recipe for Unstuffed Cabbage (which I promise to share here, if/when our cabbage plants produce). I was looking for some flowers to plant in a pot on my front porch, but got drawn in when I saw brussel sprouts. My mom has made these a few times and I rather like the “mini cabbages”; and I had them at a great little Irish pub last year (and they were fabulous). I know there are many ways to prepare these little guys; so I’m anxious to learn to love them (even if my family is groaning about it)! Then, I found an eggplant. I really like eggplant parmesan, so I figured we could give it a go (again, my kids are groaning). We’ll see if I can make it as good as Macaroni Grill!
If you’ve got any tips or tricks for growing any of these things, or you’ve got great recipes to share, I’d love to hear from you!
Next on our list will be to find some containers and start growing strawberries. And, I’d like to turn a pallet into an herb garden.