I have been thinking a lot about food security lately. I am anticipating a tough fall on the economic front and expect the cost of food to rise sharply and the availability to be reduced. It is making me look at my gardening from the standpoint of providing the most bang for my preparedness buck.
We are in full swing on the harvesting front. I put up 2 weeks worth of veges yesterday. I got a great haul of string beans, the last of peas up and I froze the most beautiful broccoli I have ever grown. I had a real treat when I weeded. We rotate entire beds so the garden that help our spuds last year is this years main vegetable bed and the potatoes moved over a bed. I put the tomatoes in a new bed hoping to avoid blight. Corn has it’s own place as do the wanderers like squash and pumpkins. Herbs are scattered around. Only the perennial beds for asparagus and rhubarb are fixed. Anyway, I had a number of volunteer potatoes that sprung from some I missed last year. They had shot up these spindly little tops and didn’t look like much of anything so I pulled them out yesterday and was thrilled to dig 18 pounds of potatoes. My stored potatoes had long ago gone bad so this was a real find for me.
Now I need to think about what to plant in the place of things I am pulling up like cabbage and peas. I am thinking of plants that will tolerate the cold like more cauliflower and broccoli. I am also going to start some beets and carrots in toilet paper rolls and get them ready to transplant into the greenhouse when the cantelope comes out. I have not had luck with spinach as it always bolts on me but I am thinking I will make a cold frame and try for a cold weather crop.
If I do it right, I think I can have some fresh food year round. That means growing herbs and some greens in the house, making good use of row covers and cold frames and finally understanding the limitations and intricacies of my greenhouse. In our climate, it is a real boon but it has a learning curve. Now that I am getting it, I would consider a second one. The next thing I need to consider is my cold storage. I am going to offer my sons a good meal and childcare if they will spend a day helping their dad build a cold cellar. They would get the meal in any case and child care means the grandkids spending the day in the pool which they would also do so it’s not much of a deal for them but it will mean a dedicated day as opposed to a possible day.