It has been a crazy gardening season. For us, that means hot and dry. My brassicas look terrible and something is wrong with my Kentucky Wonder beans. The French Filets are fine. My beets have been fabulous and my garlic only so-so. Onions look good as do the tomatoes although not as many as I had hoped. Peppers are good and the peas were as well. The Turnips are amazing and the carrots seem to be fine. It’s too early to tell about the potatoes. I spent yesterday looking over my seed inventory. As I had just pulled the garlic, I added a couple of inches of compost and put more beets in one end and readied the other for another stab at brassicas. I plan to replant the beans too. We had picked up some fabric covers to keep the birds and Japanese beetles off the berries and I will repurpose them for floating row covers if frost threatens early.
When you are gardening as a hobby, you can afford to lose a crop of beans but if you plan to eat out of your garden, a crop failure is devastating. It’s another reason to have seeds stored. The selection is mighty sparse right now and I had a hard time finding enough beets to replant. The Farmer’s Co-op still had seed and I am making a trip up there to pick up chicken feed this week so I will bring some of my stashed case and stock up.As you know, I have no faith in a just-in-time delivery system and I love processing food. If I can’t rescue the broccoli, I will make my way to the valley and buy from the local farmers to insure I have a supply in my freezer.
I won’t have time today but I hope to make some turnip kraut in the next few days. It is just shredded turnip layered with salt, just as you would with cabbage. I hope this works well as we have more turnips than my kids will eat which is to say more than one. It’s one of the few foods they really don’t care for unless tiny and just picked.
I forgot to mention corn. It looks like the best crop ever. I am so excited to try one of the heirloom, painted varieties. I am also excited about saving the seed.
If you are just getting started on long-term food storage, I might suggest that now is a good time to buy wheat. There is some concern about harvest and the price will probably go higher. Only do this if you have way to grind it or plan to eat it sprouted. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money.