Saturday, May 28, 2011

And so it begins...

As of June 1st I'm starting to track what I grow, what I get from the local CSA and what we put away for winter. My goal is to make it through the winter this year without having to buy fruits and veggies at the store. This way we can eat healthy local produce grown in our own backyard year round. This blog is a way to share that adventure with our friends. Look for updates, photos, recipes and how-to tips as the year progresses.

For the past few years we've been CSA members, maintained a small garden and were frequent visitors at the local farmer's market. We've been storing, canning and freezing fruits, veggies and grains to take us through part of the winter. Last year we made it until the end of February and then ran out of stored/frozen/canned foods. This year I hope to keep eating last years harvest until the next harvest begins to be ready!

To begin our year I prepared both of our garden beds from last year with some digging and compost. Then I dug up the little hill that leads to our yurt out back and made more garden space. This will allow us to grow a larger variety of things and to get several rotations of some crops.

What's growing in the the backyard this year

arugula, romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, curly kale, leeks, chives, onions,basil, parsley, echinancea, calendula, mullein, dandelion greens, violet greens, wild lettuce, strawberries, saaz hops, centennial hops, snow peas, snap peas, french green beans, yellow pole beans, totem cherry tomatoes, red stripe cherry tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, large red tomatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli , red beets, golden beets, french radishes, rainbow radishes, carrots, french round carrots, cucumbers, goddess melons, fortuna summer squash, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, pears

This yummy food from the backyard will be supplemented with our CSA shares. This year I have a share at Red Fire Farm. This CSA is known locally for having a lot of different varieties of veggies in abundance. The farm is 13 miles from where I live. Red Fire has a stand to distribute CSA shares in Amherst center, just 1 mile from my home.So I can just walk up to town or bike up and get my share. I also have a CSA share at the Many Hands Farm Corp. This is a new CSA that is quite literally just across the road from me. Their mission is to grow FARMERS and restore farming as a noble pursuit. They run a training program for apprentice farmers both at their CSA and other farms in the Pioneer Valley. I'm not certain how their first year as a farm will go but really want to support their mission. Besides we are neighbors! I will also be getting a grain share this fall from Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain.

All spring and summer as I harvest we will eat, cook, store, freeze and share with loved ones. With luck my family will still be eating all these lovely greens and radishes in the depth of winter.

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