Variety - our own produce aisle in 2014

This weekend was great! We've been slowly planting seeds in the beds and in the greenhouse - cooler weather stuff like greens and root veggies like radishes, beets, carrots and turnips. But this weekend hit the 70's so motivation was high. We added a few more patches of the aforementioned stuff, but also prepped pots and paper cups for seeds for late spring and summer crops.

We prepped beds, turned soil, added compost and nutrients. Joey built some new "hardscape" cabinets for his outdoor shop and I handled the plantings.

What do we have in store? I can't believe how long the list is and I'm extra excited about it. I've fallen into the "trap" that I believe many gardeners do. It isn't a bad thing, but our goals have changed. I've grown up with most of the vegetable gardeners I know or knew growning a lot of a few staples. Tomatoes, green peppers, corn, okra, squash and beans. Eat them fresh, can and save and also give away extras. Nothing wrong with that. But we want to provide as much for ourselves as possible - I want whole summer meals where the only thing that didn't come from the backyard is olive oil, salt & pepper. And we have olive trees now!

VARIETY:

Over the past couple of years we've expanded the variety of what we've been growing, but still have put in a lot of those staples, and extras abounded. Plus you end up getting a bit burnt out on some things that you end up with in abundance. I'll never tire of hot peppers or tomatoes, but my inspiration for eggplant and okra wanes somewhat quickly - yet a tend to grow a ton of them!

What is different in 2014 for Linwell Farms? We decided to pretend that our garden is our local produce aisle. We'll still plant plenty of the basics, but for those we'll plant fewer plants of just a few items (for instance I grew 12 roma tomato plants last year - this year I'm going for 4. Or 5. Well, probably 6 but they make such good sauce!!). Anyway, we'll plant more variety. I bought all kinds of seeds this year, and this weekend started 4 kinds of eggplant (orange ones, purple ones, white ones and a long black Korean version). We started 9 different kinds of tomatoes - to those we'll add interesting ones we find at the farmers market in months to come - so we'll still have much of the volume, but a lot more types than we have in the past.

WHAT WE'VE STARTED SO FAR:

So what will Linwell Farms NoDa have this year? I love the length of this list, it excites me for the kitchen all summer long

VEGGIES: 4 kinds of cucumbers, 4 or 5 varieties of eggplant, a dozen or so tomato types, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes and baking potatoes, 3 types of broccoli, 2 types of cauliflower, green and red cabbage, brussels sprouts, 3 types of radishes in addition to two types of diakon radishes, Chinese long beans, snow peas, green beans, crowder beans, sugar snap peas, all kinds of carrots, purple turnips, a couple types of beets, Chinese broccoli, spinach, malabar spinich (vine), a few types of chard, all kinds of lettuce, corn (just a bit to say we did!), yellow zucchini, butternut squash, spagetti squash, purple tomatillos, okra, sunchotes, red and yellow onions, spring onions, leeks, tatsoi, bok choi, celery, oyster mushrooms and shiitake logs.

PEPPERS: I know these are veggies, but we LOVE hot food so this, to me, is a category unto itself - The "regulars" like Jalepeno, habenero, cayenne & serrano, but also Vietnamese tear-jerkers (tiny little fellows), scotch bonnet, Korean put-put, paper lanterns, and Tobasco.

FRUIT: figs, raspberries, grapes, nectarines, lemons & limes, pomegranate, apples, persimmon, pears and peaches.

HERBS: Kaffir lime leaf tree, bay leaf tree, lemon grass, asian cilantro, regular cilantro, parsley, sage, oregano, dill, thyme, a few mint varieties, rosemary and saffron (ordered saffron crocus online, they aren't here yet), fennel.

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