Monday, September 27, 2010

Daydreaming of Spring... Already!

How sad is that?

It's scarcely Fall, my favorite season, mind you, and I'm already pining for Spring. To be honest, I think it's because I'm so excited to garden this Spring. Reading everyone's wonderful Fall posts about their harvests has made me even more aware of my burning wish to have a garden. I've already gotten my pots for my balcony garden. I've priced out my dirt. I've been reading about compost bins and different veggies.

One of the things I want to do with this garden is keep track of how much I'm spending, and the kind of yield I'm getting. I want to know, am I really saving money, and is it enough to be worth the countless hours I will be sinking into it. I am hoping to be able to increase our veggie consumption, while spending a lot less to do it. If possible, I want to grow organic seeds, without the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

So far, these are the things I'm thinking about growing.

Bell Peppers
Hot Peppers
Pumpkins (just for fun / ambitiously, pumpkin pie?)
Garlic (just for fun?)
Herbs? Like maybe basil

We eat a lot of broccoli, so I definitely want to grow that. I dearly love spinach, but it's kind of pricey ($3 / package). We eat a LOT of carrots. I use tomatoes in all kinds of stuff. I want to grow a lot and can them, but I don't know if I'll be able to find a cheap pressure canner or not. Bell peppers--we chop these up and freeze them and we use a LOT of them. We both love a good kick to our sauces / pastas / soups, so hot peppers would be a natural extension of that.

I'm also trying to grow several trees, mostly for the heck of it, but also eventually I would like to have my own fruit trees for some things. these seeds I am using now I got from inside the fruit I bought at Walmart, so I realize these are not high quality and, to be honest, the seedlings are struggling right now, but it's mostly for learning so that later, if I buy organic fruit seeds, I will know how to take good care of them. Plus, if a few of these seeds actually make it past the pathetic stage they are in now, maybe they will eventually produce good fruit? Ok, so I'm dreaming... Anyway.

I've been pricing out organic seeds and it's really not that much more expensive than non-organic. A small package of organic spinach seeds is about $4 online, compared to I think a package at Walmart is about $1.20. For either package of spinach seeds tho, I am getting enough spinach for the entire year (freezing, canning, eating fresh). So, while it is about 3x more expensive, compared to $3 for one medium-sized package of spinach, both are really good deals. Why not invest pennies more per pound and get a much better product?

What do you think? do you have any advice for my container gardening? What veggies would you recommend? Do you know of any places to find a cheap pressure canner?

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