Tuesday, January 13, 2009

longing for green

Outside it’s cloudy and cold with no warm up in the days ahead according to our local weather folks. We’re talking sub-zero nights. We're ready to hunker down and stay indoors for the next few days.

I feel as if if I've been neglecting my blog and I hate that. I have lots to talk about but seem to not be focused well on organizing my thoughts and actually sitting down and writing something. I have been feeling run down and lacking in ambition recently. I think it’s the cold and lack of sunlight. January is my worst month. I know this. I start getting cabin fever, can’t seem to get focused and feel discontent. I keep having visions of and the yearning for summer and green. (sigh) So.........

I planned the spring garden the other day. At least what we will plant. The plan is to keep it simpler this year with fewer and the most reliable varieties. Still, it will be a good sized garden, just with more of what I know will thrive. Again, primarily planting tomatoes, beans, peppers and squash. This year we may add corn and definitely potatoes. I’ll be ordering seeds within the next two weeks.

So I think it will go something like this:

* signifies a new variety we’ll be trying this year.


Brandywine for fresh eating. The good old fashioned true tomato flavor of these heirloom beefsteak tomatoes cannot be beat.

Amish Paste for canning, sauces, salsas, ketchup. I have had better luck and bigger crops with this paste tomato than any other plum tomato I’ve ever planted.

Cherokee Purple for juice, canning and fresh eating. These do very well with high yields. They are sweet and juicy, especially good for juice making. They’re great for fresh eating as well.


Tam Jalapeño for salsas and fresh eating s well as freezing and preserving. We love homemade poppers with cream cheese and bacon. They are awesome. This type of Jalapeño is milder than others.

*Pepperoncini for pickling.

*Buran, a sweet pepper that is said to be nearly sweet green as it is when it turns red. These will be for summer eating, stuffing, freezing and for in my sweet relish.

Beans & Beets:

Blue Lake bush beans for fresh eating, canning, freezing. These have proven successful for us and to be higher yielding than some varieties we’ve tried. We love ‘em!

*Cylindra beets are my choice this year for easy peeling and slicing. They grow in cylindrical shape rather than round. These come highly recommended by Fanny, our Amish friend. I can them, but have frozen them as well. Beets freeze extremely well and taste like fresh. Just thaw and eat if like me, you enjoy cold beets. Yum, my mouth is watering now. I do love beets!


Waltham Butternut, my all time favorite. It’s a great keeper and meatier than Acorn IMO. I like to cook some up for in the freezer, too, just for convenience.

Zucchini is just a summer mainstay. We eat tons of it fresh throughout the summer. I admit I have a weakness for breaded fried zucchini dipped in ranch dressing. OMG, why am I torturing myself this way?! I freeze zucchini plus it’ the main ingredient in my sweet relishes. I also use it for making into pickle chunks and slices. I don’t even bother with cukes anymore.

Summer squash is a definite as well because we just love the flavor. I think it’s just a bit more flavorful than zucchini. It’s Coop’s favorite.

Along with these we’ll plant potatoes as mentioned, probably two varieties. I’m considering planting some corn this year since I’m limiting varieties and may have the room for a few rows. And of course, onions, lettuce and some herbs. I imagine by the time I send the order in something more may be added to the list. :)


  1. Hello, dear Heart...

    I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hello. I love in western Illinois [again] after 30 years gone. I'm learning to garden all over again , lol.
    Have you tried any of the fingerling potatoes? Ruby Crescents are my favorite, and all of them are good. Very thin skinned potatoes, pest resistant, and are absolutely delicious.

    I'm bookmarking you....thanks for a great blog.

  2. I get this way too, although February is my worst month. I beat the blues by cracking open a seed catalog, and map out my plan of attack for Spring, which doesn't get to the mountain until Late April. I also find myself cruising to new blogs in hopes that something will brighten my day. Try to keep in mind, every day of this crud that passes is one day closer to spring.

    Love the blog, I have the same problem though about posting. Lots to talk about, I just can't seem to formulate it into a cohesive post, so you aint alone.


  3. You and I are two peas in a pod on the seasonal thing I start feeling it in January every year. I guess it's after the holidays are finished distracting me. Your plans sound wonderful though. Most of my time is doing the same - planning for Spring.

  4. Join the crowd! I've been such a pain in the butt with my moods! LOL...Great thing to get out of the hump...planning a spring garden! But if it were me I'd probably long for warmth more! LOL Nice list you have gathered!!!!

  5. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder...I keep looking in the closet at my flipflops just longing for summer....i found vitamin D and a trip here and there to the tanning parlor, followed by an hour or two of thumbing through seed catalogs helps alot!

  6. Akannie - thanks for stumbling my way, it's great to have you here! I have not tried the fingerlings, but have been eying them in the catalogs.

    Matthew, city mouse, catherder and kyfarmlife - glad to know I'm not alone anyhow. :) I suppose it's more common than not. The bright side is that this time of year really makes one appreciate spring all the more!

    catherder - good advice!

  7. Not sure I'm dying for spring yet-but I have been dreaming about the garden. I hope to expand mine this year-by giving up some of my flower beds. You did make me hungry-there's just no better eating than straight from the garden! Wish I had some fresh squash, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers right now-wow what a feast!

  8. Hello, I have purchased my seed already and found the Brandywine seeds at Lowes, purchasing every pack they had. I know it was selfish but I am a seed saver and have trouble contolling the desire to purchase every pack of seed if I know it is a good one. I am also growing the Cherokee this year as well. I had to order it from 'Baker Heirloom Seeds'.


I sure appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts. I may not always have time to respond or acknowledge them but I do read them all and highly value your presence here.