Picking the right variety of vegetable to plant for either cold storage, freezing, canning, pickling or drying can make the difference between success and failure. String beans are a good example. Any bean will freeze acceptably, (acceptable is a relative term) but if you plan to can or pickle a bean, a french filet bean is wonderful, thin and crisp, with a wonderful tenderness. So here are my picks from my own garden.

Potatoes: Green Mountain, German Butterball, Rose Fin, Frontier Russet, Red Gold, Yukon Gold

Squash: Waltham Butternut, Kabocha Sunshine, Delicata, Red Kuri, Hybrid Buttercup Green

Pumpkin: Winter Luxury, Small Sugar Pie

Beets, Early Wonder Tall Top, Detroit Dark Red, Touchstone Gold

Carrots: Bolero, Nantes, Hybrid Main Crop Storage

Cabbage: Henderson Wakefield  , Late Storage (Johnny’s)

Cauliflower: Early Snowball

Broccoli: Calabrese

Turnip: Gold Ball

Peas: Laxton Progress, Green Arrow, Caselode

Tomatoes: I grow a lot of heirloom varieties but I love a good Brandywine and sungolds are my favorite cherry

Corn: I will let you know. I am trying a bunch of new varieties this year.

I want to tell you about the cow project. I am so excited. I really want a cow but I don’t have room and a cow is a huge committment. Last night, at our permaculture meeting, one of our members floated around an idea. She has two Dexter calves that she really doesn’t have pasture for and does not want to milk by herself. Another member has a beautiful barn, some pasture and would be available to milk on a pretty consistent basis. I have a good hay-field and like to milk. We are looking at an arrangement whereby we would go in together on the cows and look for a couple of other families to share with the chores in exchange for milk. This gets us past the problems of “selling” raw milk, being tied to a twice daily milking chore and handling the big, initial investment of purchasing an animal along with the cash needed for hay. It would also keep us from drowning in milk. I will keep you posted on the progress.

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