Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Anita's garden experiments

I've started a new blog with my sisters about healthy living... or attempting to live healthy anyway hahaha! It is called "Sister Health" check it out!
Here's my newest post from that blog:

As I sit here (having just finished a breakfast smoothie from Angie’s amazing smoothie recipe) I’m looking out of my window at all of the snow we still have on the ground. I’m ready for Spring! Eating well and gardening are perfect companions. This year we are expanding our garden (yes, again… we seem to do that every year.) We will be adding more beds to our front and back yards. I’m going to try to plant lettuce and other leafy “greens” this year, that will be a first for me. But I’m excited to try! I’m also interested in attempting some vertical gardening. I suppose we already do some of that. We have a grape vine planted on a trellis. We also grow our cucumber plants on large tomato cages. But I’m ready to take it to the next level. Our goal is to plant enough, and be able to store enough, that we will rarely have to shop for produce during the entire year. During the warm months we buy very little produce thanks to our garden. I already do some canning and this past year we planted some winter squash (other than pumpkin, which we plant often) for the first time. Today I put my last butternut squash in the crockpot with our dinner. Our winter squash has been wonderful! So, I’m hoping to plant even more. Thanks to some suggestions from a dear friend, I’m going to attempt to grow one of our winter squash on a trellis. We’ll need to build a strong trellis and provide “slings” to hold the heavy squash up (and keep it from tearing off of the plant.) My friend told me about the time she planted pumpkin on a trellis and used old nylons for slings- BRILLIANT! So it’ll be fun. If this works, I may start planting all of my winter squash this way. We don’t have a very big yard and this would be a great space saver! I may also experiment with vertical planter boxes (placing planter boxes on a vertical support system.) Maybe I’ll try planting some of our leafy greens this way… that would help keep the snails out. I’m also going to try something more “controversial” haha. I’m going to attempt to grow dandelions! I know, dandelions are every gardeners nightmare and yet, do you realize how healthy dandelions are? Everything can be eaten; roots, leaves, flowers- the entire plant! And they are little vitamin packed super foods. We have already started harvesting dandelions in the woods (away from the city and lawns that use chemical poisons- we don’t want to eat that!) We’ve started baking bread with dandelion petals. We have also included dandelion greens in our salad. So… I’m going to try growing some. And let’s face it. Finding seeds won’t be hard lol! I’m going to plant seeds in pots on our patio. I’m hoping this way it’ll be easier to control their spread. I can, in theory, remove flowers for use before they go to seed, which will be easier to spot in the pots. I’ll keep you updated. Either I’m a genius or I’m about to make the worst mistake I can in my garden hahaha! So Spring can’t come soon enough! I’m excited for all of my experiments!