In 2011 we decided that we’re going to garden more – one of my goals for the year is to increase backyard (or front yard) food production. We’d love to get more of our food locally and nothing is more local than your own backyard! While we are a long way from planting anything outside, it is certainly time to think about what is going in our veggie beds this year.
After perusing the West Coast Seeds catalog, checking to see what the Calgary Horticulture Society says about vegetables in our climate and studying our garden plans we settled on exactly what we’ll be trying to grow this year. There are a lot of choices out there so we followed a few simple rules to help us pick from the hundreds of vegetables available:
- we picked vegetables that have worked before
- we picked vegetables we liked eating
- we’re staying away from any vegetables that really would do better in a green house
- we picked vegetables that mature in less than 80 days (generally)
- we followed the Calgary horticultural Societies suggestions for varieties when possible
- we chose heritage or heirloom varieties when possible
Our seed order arrived last week (much to our excitement) and this is what will be going into the garden this year (grouped by type, not family):
Leafy vegetables: kale (Red Russian – the same as I grew in 2010), leaf lettuce (Amish Deer Tongue and Darkness – what wonderful names for lettuce!) and Swiss chard (Fordhook Giant and Rhubarb)
Root vegetables: carrots (Nantes and Napoli) and beets (Cylindra and Chioggia)
Legumes: bush beans (Venture Blue Lake and Dragons Tongue), pole beans (Kentucky Wonder Brown) and snap peas (super sugar snap)
Others: broccoli (Calabrese), zucchini (Eight Ball), asparagus (Jersey Knight) and artichokes (Imperial Star)
Herbs: cilantro, dill, mint, basil
We’ve tried a few of these before (kale, chard, mint, basil and dill) but most are new to us. I’m excited to get things going and even more excited for the results of the garden this year!