It is almost to the middle of our “winter” here in the north Texas area and we cannot wait for spring to get here so that we can get our veggie patch up and running again. Normally, we are harvesting fresh veggies all the way through winter and on into spring but our crazy weather had other ideas this fall. Join us as we take a look at the year in review.
The Cold Snap
Instead of seeing nights in the 30’s, a couple of weeks ago we had several days in a row where it drop into the teens at night. That normally vibrant veggie patch is no longer. There were a few things to survive the bitter cold that we have seen so far. The Garlic, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard and Egyptian Walking Onions seem to be doing fine. That is how it is with life and especially with gardening. You cannot always be a success with different things. This is not the first time my garden has hit a speed bump on the highway to self-sufficiency. Gardening is about making choices, trying new things and developing your own way of doing things. All we can do is review the successes and failures to prepare for better seasons.
I am here on this cold wintry Friday morning, thinking back over the last year of gardening and about how to improve things for this next season of our urban farm. There were many successes this year as we have grown more tomatoes, squash and melons than we knew what to do with. Other things were not so successful and so there is always room to improve.
As I think about how to improve our garden, I am also looking through this years seed catalogs to see if there is anything else that I need for this next season. I have already purchased most of my seeds from a few of my favorite seed companies. About a month ago I got a head start with my garden planning and place three orders for seeds from Baker Creek Seed, Pinetree Seeds and MiGardener. I have had great success with these companies before and looking forward to the new varieties that I got.
We have so much fun here on our urban farm by planting new and exciting things to try that we usually try a couple of new things each year. This year we are taking every step and opportunity to become more self-sufficient. One way in my opinion to become more self-sufficient is to grow more and more perennials in your veggie patch. Perennials are things that you plant once that will provide you with harvest for many seasons. This year we are adding some plants that we love and will give us food throughout the year.
- Egyptian Walking Onions
- Perpetual Leeks
- Longevity Greens
- Okinawan Spinach
- Purple Tree Collards
Some of these are true perennials to our zone 8a while others will be grown outdoors throughout the warm months and cuttings will be taken in the fall for the next season. This way there is always a steady supply for the family. I already have some of these started but more will have to be started in order to prepare for the spring.
The indoor grow room or my wife likes to call it the “dining room” is off to a great start with four different onions growing, a large variety of pepper plants already off to a head start and a few greens that we are adding from the perennial list. Soon the tomatoes will be started along with other bits and pieces.
Things to come
Over the next two months we will be bringing you pictures of the progress in the grow room, a few DIY’s on how to feed up raised beds and other home projects that we have on the go around here as well as some delicious recipes using fresh and healthy ingredients grown right here on the farm. If you know of anyone that would like this blog, please feel free to share.