Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Garden PARTY!!

So, why I am I calling it a Garden PARTY instead of a Garden Meeting this year? 

It's because we (and our garden) have reason to celebrate.  We usually have our garden planned much earlier than this, but this year we had to wait to see what Jamey's plans were.  You see (now I can finally tell you!), he graduates in May (after four years with no job).  He had applied for two jobs.  One was a hospital pharmacy residency which is a year long, intensive training program that can be grueling in terms of the hours required.  There is a stipend given, enough for us to live on, but no promise of a job after ward.  It just gives you better odds of scoring a hospital pharmacy job.

Are you still with me or are you drooling over the asparagus picture?

The other job he applied for was a hospital pharmacy position that happened to open up this winter.  Last week, he was offered the hospital position!  Hallelujah! We are simply overcome with thanksgiving.

The reason our garden is celebrating is because if he would have been offered and taken the residency, we would have had to majorly scale back our plans because he would have been unavailable at key points in the season.  He does most of the garden work and there was no way I would be able to take it all on myself in addition to all my other responsibilities around here.

So!  Now we plan!!  Last year was so dry, we're psyched for a chance at a spring and summer with enough rain.  Here are my meeting's notes.  Jamey does his own notes based on row length, number of plants to plant/start, etc.

Our Perennials

red raspberries- bushes need pruning soon, transplant new shoots to make another row this spring (where will be the tricky part), freeze and make jam
asparagus- bed was cleared, fertilized and mulched late fall, eat fresh and swoon.
strawberries- our previous bed aged out (5 years), so new plants were started last year, don't expect much of a crop (boo), eat fresh, make jam if lucky
sour cherries- freeze instead of canning (works better in baking)
pears- eat fresh
peaches- eat fresh, make jam
apple trees- not yet bearing
rhubarb- use fresh in baking

Plant this Year

onions- planted this past week, for tomato sauce and storing
spinach- spring crop planted this past week, for eating fresh and freezing
lettuce- spring crop planted this past week, for eating fresh (swoon)
snow peas- plant more, mostly for eating fresh, some to freeze
garden peas- plant the same amount, eat some fresh, mostly freeze
spinach- more, for eating fresh and freezing
Swiss chard- same, for eating fresh and freezing
zucchini- more, for eating and making and freezing zucchini bread for the winter (I skipped this last year and we missed it).
red and green bell peppers- plant more, for eating fresh, freezing and using in tomato sauce
garlic- already planted in fall, for sauce and storing (braiding)
roma and slicing tomatoes- more!  for eating fresh, tomato soup, stewed tomatoes and LOTS more sauce (90 pints is NOT enough)
green beans- same, for eating, mostly freezing
potatoes- less
butternut squash- more, for storing
basil- less (15 foot row instead of 30 foot row), for sauce, eating and pesto (still have lots in freezer)
parsley- same, for eating and tomato sauce
corn- less, for eating only, buy local for freezing (we don't have the best of luck with corn)
carrots- same, for eating and tomato sauce (don't attempt to store)
watermelon- same
cantaloupe- more
beets- more, for beet hummus only, we still have plenty pickled
cucumbers- same, for eating
sweet potatoes- less
sunflowers- same, seeds for chickens during the winter
oregano- same, for eating and tomato sauce
broccoli- same
stevia- decide after I (hopefully) experiment with recipes during Lent

Buy Local

nectarines- for canning (they worked great, stayed great and are so much easier to work with/can than peaches)
blueberries- freeze
peaches- make jam, if our trees don't produce enough
apples- for eating and more for saucing (180 quarts seems a little short)
corn- for freezing
broccoli- if ours fail, for freezing

And, we're OFF! Pin It


  1. It sounds like you have an excellent handle on this years gardening adventures and a very big congratulations to exciting:)

  2. Congrats to the Po' Pharmer...
    Woooo Hoooo!

  3. Congratulations! And I'm drooling over those strawberries!

  4. always love when God works HIS plans out in a way we like, in the short term. Excited for you all and your adventure. :) We are scrambling to get school done so I can start a new adventure of urban gardening. :) We'll see........

  5. Big congratulations on the job! Sounds as if you can begin on the next phase of your lives now. And so glad things worked out so that you can garden, garden, garden!

  6. Nectarines are WAY easier than peaches. I wish they weren't so expensive...

    So happy Jamie got the preferred position!

  7. Yay! Congratulations on the amazing job!! That is so exciting...xo

  8. Congratulations! I'm so happy for y'all! :-)

    Have you tried storing carrots in the ground? I've been told to simply leave them in the ground, placing a straw bale on top of the plants, and only remove the straw bale to pull the carrots as needed, replacing the bales to protect from freezing. This sounds viable to me, but I wondered if you'd tried it and it didn't work.

  9. Yay! I am so psyched for you! Now you can continue the garden as you like to have it, and Jamie can get started on his career, you will have an income again, and . . . . it all sounds great!

    I need to get my rear in gear to start getting things ready fro the garden. I'm going smaller than normal this year, as I don't know how things will grow in ournew yard, but I have a spot picked for the garden - now to decide what I'm going to try to grow!

    Looking forward to more garden posts and more gorgeous pics of your produce!

  10. Michelle,
    This past year, we intended to try leaving some carrots in the ground, but we ended up using all but a few. If we have a surplus this year, we may try for it again. Carrots do not store well for us otherwise- we've tried several methods. I think it's us ;-).

  11. Well amen, just as your title suggests "Thy hand hath provided, I am so happy for you both, God bless you this day, Barbara

  12. congrats on the job!!! that's great!

    I noticed you still have lots of pickled beets ;) I grin every time I see your note above the comment posting box.

  13. How exciting! I love planning the garden. Those pictures have me wishing for warmer days.

  14. Wonderful plan! I'm fascinated by 'beet hummus'... tell me more!!

  15. donna rae,
    Beet hummus is wonderful!! Follow this link for the recipe...

  16. good planning. i'm impressed bc we just wing it every year. and congrats jamey!


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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