In previous years, I've had several small plots of veggies and a circle of herbs. Last year, I added a row for tomatoes and onions along the south wall of the sunroom - everything I planted there grew magnificently (I had tomato plants that were creeping into the rain gutters on the roof, eight feet above), so I'll be repeating that again. Also, this year, I'll actually be expanding the garden a bit.
I love that I can put some seeds in the ground, and just a few weeks later I've got my table laid out with the fruits (or veggies) of my labor. If you want to get down to it, planting and growing and harvesting your own food is the ultimate organic act. From food to table, mindful eating begins in the soil. Whether it's the soil in your own yard, or that farmer who's got a booth at the Saturday market, locavore eating doesn't get any more local than this.
People always ask me how I know what to plant. Well, it's pretty basic. Plant what you want to eat. Plant things you like. And most importantly, only plant what you can use. And by use, I mean eat it yourself, preserve it for later, or give it away. I used to plant green peppers every year, and every year, I'd end up with a bunch of the damn things rotting on the plant, because there was no way I could eat all of them -- and no one else in my house liked them. So now, I plant one or two green pepper bushes, and that's it. What I don't eat, I dry out and use later, or I blanch and freeze them for stews and soups. Likewise, tomatoes -- I *love* tomatoes, especially the sweet cherry tomatoes. I usually run with two cherry tomato plants and a pair of Romas, and that's about it. I can eat tomatoes every day for months, and still have a boatload left to make sauces and soups.
So, here are the things I know for sure I'm planting this year:
- Onions - green and yellow
- Tomatoes - cherry and Romas
- Spinach, kale and arugula
- Sugar snap peas
- Green beans
- Squash - spaghetti, Delicata and acorn
- Basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and lavender