Saturday, March 5, 2011


            Asparagus and rhubarb.

I already have a strawberry patch that is about 5 years old so I am going to weed that out and separate some of my plants to give the patch more room to breathe and use those new plants to expand my patch.  This would probably have been better done in the fall but I just did not plan well so I am going to do this just as soon as I can get in an dig the ground.  Strawberries are the first crop I sell at the Farmers Market with great success.  I should be able to get my seed money for other crops from my Strawberries.

I canned up some Strawberry preserves from the strawberries that were picked Sunday through Wednesday that became to ripe to sell at the Farmers Market on Saturday.  It was an experiment to see if the preserves would sell.  I canned up 14 ½ pints and sold all of them in 2 months at $3.75 a one half pint jar.  Each jar of preserves cost me about $1.50.  This included the pectin, sugar and jar, the strawberries were of course free.

So during Strawberry picking time I will be demonstrating picking the strawberries, presenting them at the Farmers Market and canning the preserves.

To make room for my new asparagus and rhubarb I will be digging up some of my duplicated iris’s.  I will dry the roots of these plants(Orris root) to make chips of root put add into my potpourri.  These roots when dried are supposed to sell like violets with a very strong smell.  I have never done this before so we will just see together if it turns out the way the books explain that it does.

Anyone wants some free Iris?  More than happy to mail if you pay the shipping.

I already have spearmint planted that is really spreading out much farther than I would like so I am going to dig this out and put it back in the same place as a raised bed plot to control the spread.  I will be drying some of these leaves to sell as well as expressing some to make bath oil and add to the potpourri.  As I already said I have not dried to many things before so drying this will be a new experiment as well as making the oil.  I will also be making some spearmint extract for cooking.

New to my vegetable garden will be:
Beets, leaf lettuce, dill, cilantro, green beans and peas. Red, yellow and white onions.

The usual plantings will be:
Slicing tomato,  roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.
Pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, banana peppers.

All the things above sold well at the Farmers Market except the roma tomatoes which is fine because I make salsa (three types hot, mild and no spice) that sells very well at $2.75.  Since all the ingredients come out of the garden the canning jars and vinegar are the only things I have to buy.

We will be canning dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, sweet pickle relish and tomato juice.  If my friend comes across with her apples again I will be making apple butter.

I will be pre planting dill, cilantro,  peppers and tomatoes in planters to see if I can start my plants from seed and if this does not work I will just buy plants at a flee market which is cheaper that buying at Starks Garden Center or Wal Mart.

I will also be adding things to the garden to keep the bugs away.  One of those will be marigolds which are good to add in the potpourri.  I will be spraying the plants with Epson salts to insure they can get all the nutrients from the soil as well as add things to help the soil and using shredded paper, straw and weeds as mulch in the aisles to keep the weeds down and calcimined lime to help with the acidity of the soil and help the plants absorb water and calcium, essential for tomatoes especially in very wet seasons.

All in all we will be learning what works and what does not together.  Your comments and suggestion will be appreciated.  We can try anything once and keep using the method if it actually works.

For those of you that don't have garden space because you are in apartments or high rises, try containers on your porches.  I put some tomatoes in containers right outside my front door so I don't have to go the garden to get a fresh tomato for the dinner salad.  I works fairly well.  We'll investigate doing patio gardening as well.  I have seen people grow all kinds of things in pots on their patios or roof tops.
Next insertion will be designing a Planting guide and planting some starts.

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