Vegetables from the garden - year round.txt

Vegetables from the garden - year round
by Alan Detwiler March 18, 2013

A couple of days ago I went out to the garden and dug up two parsnip roots. From the basement came half a dozen onions from a wire basket, the onion placed there after being dug up from the garden last September. The parsnips and onion together made a flavorful mash after the parsnips were boiled and drained and the onions steamed twenty minutes in a pressure cooker. The results were pulverized in a food processor after adding salt and a little oil and sugar. Pretty tasty for middle of March garden fare.

In the basement, now in the middle of March are a few remaining of last year's carrots surviving nicely in a bucket of moist soil as are the few remaining beets. Half a dozen or so leeks also are awaiting use, being keep alive in containers of moist soil. Just used the last butternut squash about a week ago, the last one of about a dozen given to me by another gardener.

The freezer is still over half full with last year's garden produce, tomato puree, watermelon and cantelope puree, asparagus, a few green beans, and quite a bit of broccoli. And there's fruit picked last summer: blackberries, raspberries, peaches, elderberries, and there might still be some grape puree in there somewhere.

In the basement is still almost half the ten or so jars and crocks of kraut made last Oct, enough to last maybe until the first spinach and lettuce of 2013's garden.

The point is that a garden can provide year round food. By choosing types of vegetables that are cold weather tolerant and last well into the winter, storing produce in a cool basement, putting fruit and vegetables in the freezer, and other preservation methods, the garden can provide food year round.

Yes, it is a lot of time and trouble but to me it seems worth it. If you work full time, especially if it is away from home, and not on a flexible schedule, growing most of your own food probably is not possible. But you may still be able to grow some of your own food and have some degree of added food security and get some satisfaction as well. The benefits of gardening are many including exercize, an increased appreciation of fruits and vegetables, and an understanding that we are connected to nature and dependent upon her good graces. Our good fortune should be greatly appreciated and not taken for granted.