Tag Archives: Seeds Savers Exchange

Garden Cut Back

For decades, i’ve answered the age old pull and call on the human psyche to plant something in the spring. Despite my efforts, i’m woefully inadequate in the quest to feed my family and myself. However, even if i didn’t rely on others who are master gardeners, i could survive on what i can grow.

My family doesn’t eat much of what i can actually grow, so it is time to cut back. So much food already goes to waste in this country, there is no use me adding to the garbage pile (actually is fed to the chickens or composted).

I put up so many jars of apple butter last fall that i cannot even give it all away. Great strides were made in that effort, yesterday, at the Green Hills Farm Project annual winter seminar, but there are still far too many jars left on the shelves. I’ve appealed to Dallas to NOT LET ME EVEN PICK THE APPLES OFF THE TREE this year.

Anyway, since my fruit trees are getting a bit larger and my annual garden has been underneath them, it’s time to start pulling it in and let the fruit trees take over.

What will i plant this year?! Still considerable variety, but far fewer plants. I have way too much food stored that will not likely last much longer.

  1. Green beans – only enough for me to eat this year in stir fry. I plant these awesome long pole beans, but no one likes them except me, so i need to find a new variety to grow. Any suggestions.
  2. Squash and pumpkins – only 1 or 2 vines each – i have tons of seeds – actually, i just threw out a pile of seeds for the chickens to eat.
  3. Heirloom Tomatoes – enough for fresh salads and plenty to make Bright Red Catsup and pizza sauces. My top three favorites are Salvaterra’s Select, Amish Paste, and Hungarian Heart (Oxheart) plus i planted some Black Pineapple cherry tomatoes Allen’s ICU nurse (the bull encounter) gave me.
  4. Watermelons – a few more plants since each plant produces very little. I use Congo – very sweet though mine only grew to a small size.
  5. Herbs – catnip (for fun), lavender (because it’s pretty), cilantro (very tasty),
  6. Okra (Star of David) – because i like it and it’s easy to grow
  7. Cucumbers – Beit Alpha – extremely tasty for fresh eating
  8. Zucchini – only 1 or 2 bushes this year, i had to freeze up so much last year and i don’t want to do that again.
  9. Sweet Peppers – Sweet Chocolate
  10. Broccoli and Cauliflower – Calabrese and Early Snowball
  11. Peas – Amish Snap and Swenson Swedish
  12. Kohlrabi – great substitute for onions or celery and easy to grow. I’m using Early Purple Vienna but i may try something new next year.
  13. Lettuce is our favorite – I use a mix of greens from Seed Savers Exchange and hope to do a better job of succession planting – however, our hot summers put paid to this cool season crop.
  14. For fun, I’m going to plant a Queensland Blue squash and the seeds from a blue squash i purchased at Peter’s Market in Waverly, MO. I thought it was a Queensland Blue, but it may be a Jarrahdale.

What are your favorite garden items to plant?!

Ivan Tomato Seed Saving

As you may remember, my husband was beat up by a mature bull last summer and ended up in hospital and eventually ICU for several days.  Fortunately, and against all odds, he was back on a four wheeler and checking cattle in 15 days from the incident!!  So the tomato story comes from his nurse in ICU who gave us some heirloom seeds he had saved – a tomato called “Ivan”.  The seeds he share were prolific with high germination rate, so i had far more plants that i could possible use.  i just had to end up throwing them away.  However, a 25 foot row of about 20 plants produced ample enough fresh eating and canning for our family until next year’s crop is ready.

“Ivan” i learnt is a native tomato of Missouri which was apparently in need of rescuing!  My plants were not properly pruned or staked, so i had a lot of vines which no doubt took away from crop production. But, i simply didn’t have time.  If Yah allows, I’ll be ready next year with panels and time to care for the plants properly.  These tomatoes are delicious.

For the first time, I’ve tried my hand at seed saving with both this Ivan and Pink Oxhearts (Hungarian Heart Tomato), which i like for slicing and using on sandwiches.

Happy Gardening!