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Garden plan for the year

March 25th, 2015 at 02:59 pm

The snow is finally (I hope) gone for good and I've spent the last few days working in the garden and getting ready for spring planting. I'm so excited another growing season is beginning.

This year I hope to reach near-maximum production. I have about 1000 sq feet dedicated to fruits and veggies, and I've been experimenting with season extension to extend the number of months we can pull fresh food out of the garden.

I do have a new goal this year. I want to feed my family, yes, but I also want to grow enough to provide fresh fruits, veggies, and canned goods to my mother, and another family (dear friends on a shoestring budget who have three adult and three kid mouths to feed). This friend came over not too long ago and was stressed out trying to reduce her grocery bill. She spends $900/month for six people, which is actually pretty good, but she needs the money other places.

They do grow a few of their own fresh veggies, but don't have the time or experience to can. I figure if I show up once a month with a giant bag of produce and homemade jam, ice cream, pasta sauce, etc., it will be well received.

I also want to grow and donate to the food bank again. The local food pantry would jump up and down with excitement when I brought in fresh produce from the garden. I had no idea how much they needed it.

So, growing food around here comes with a few expenses. Big ones.

First, I ordered $400 worth of compost, to top off all the beds and to have some on reserve throughout the season. ( I need to refresh the compost between plantings) I just can't seem to make enough of my own compost, but am hoping to refine my composting systems so that I don't have to keep ordering so much of it every year. I'm adding more and bigger compost areas so I can not only process our household scraps but also more of our own yard waste (and faster) into usable compost.

And, I've spent about $50 out of pocket on seeds, soil, and plants so far.

I'm about to add another $50 to that for transplants for things I don't grow from seeds, and another $100 or so on fruit trees. We have four apple trees and are adding two sour cherries and possibly a peach or plum.

I'm also growing brussel sprouts for a friend who really likes them. I'm giving him three transplants I've grown, and I'm going to plant three of my own to see if they do anything. I'm planning to give the other 18 seedlings away or trade them.

We did all right with trades last year. We traded our extras for things that we would have had to spend money on. I like bartering and trading a lot. I just wish I could think of a way to expand the network of people I have to trade with.

Here is a pic of our garden in full swing last July. Pardon the weeds!

9 Responses to “Garden plan for the year”

  1. Buendia Says:

    I so want to grow more! We don't have a great growing season, and it's difficult here. So far, I can grow arugula and herbs and that's about it. I wish I had more experience! We do have a nice raised bed.

  2. scfr Says:

    What an awesome garden!

  3. Shiela Says:

    Great plan and your garden looks great, I wish I had that much room to grow veggies.

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    When I started, I had no experience. You just learn more every season and the range of what you can grow gets bigger and wider.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    Excellent garden! I'm eager to start some pots

  6. CB in the City Says:

    I love your plan for sharing your produce!

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Is there a local FB page for your town, or for local gardeners?

  8. DeniseNTexas Says:

    I love your plan and hope it works out well. I imagine while Mom and I are out today getting her weed eater we'll pick up a few veggie plants and some soil for the containers into which they'll be put. We want to grow tomatoes and onions and some herbs, mainly rosemary and basil since those are the two we both use most. We'd really love to have more but this area has been absolutely flooded with rain lately and the ground is still too wet to plant.

    Good luck with your plans and helping others. :-)

  9. LuckyRobin Says:

    Sounds like a great plan. I am so happy gardening season is finally here!

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