As the days get longer with the arrival of spring, the sunshine, flowers, and sweet smell in the air make a lot of us start to think about planning our own garden. It’s likely some of you may have already gotten a good start on your yearly plot. As the old saying goes, peas should be planted on President’s Day. Is anyone ever actually organized enough to start gardening in February? None of us ever are.
As the spring wears on and summer arrives you’ll see more and more of a variety of veggies and fruits in your Locavore Boxes. Because the boxes include such an abundance we do often get asked around this time of year what people might want to plant to complement their boxes.
With all of her experience planning the meals that come in your weekly boxes, Cara has some suggestions.
Plant items specifically for your kids.
Cara likes to cultivate veggies and fruits that her kids can eat directly out of the garden including snap peas, strawberries, and cherry tomatoes. Etta and Harry can easily graze off these plants as they play in the yard. She also plants carrots with them in mind. It’s so magical to pull a carrot from the soil. Besides the fun factor, we can never have too many fresh, healthy snacks on hand for ourselves or the kids.
Plant to complement your meals.
As far as Cara’s concerned, you can never have too many tomatoes. They’re delicious added to nearly any summertime meal and can so easily be made into sauce and frozen or canned for future use.
Another tip is to grow herbs. Often times herbs are included on the weekly list of pantry items you need. Most herbs are easy to grow and rosemary, sage and thyme will continue to grow into the winter months.
Cara also believes that you can never have too many greens. Plant kale and salad mix for never ending lunchtime salads. Grow some cucumbers to add along with your fresh tomatoes.
Grow plants that are easy and enjoyable.
Sometimes as the summer roles on and we get busy, it can get a little stressful remembering to tend the garden. Why not add items that take less care and have a more flexible harvest schedule. Consider turning part of your plot into a cutting garden. Fresh cut flowers are always nice and if they don’t make it inside you can enjoy them in your yard.
Zucchini is fun to grow and everyone knows, no matter what you do or don’t do to your plants you’ll end up with more zucchini than you can ever use. Even it they end up growing to an unimaginable size you can always make zucchini bread. And surprisingly, shredded zucchini freezes well for future bread or to add to soups.
Pumpkins are another great garden item. They’re relatively low maintenance and it’s fun to harvest them in the fall whether you use them for pie, soup, or as jack-o-lanterns.
Not sure when exactly to get started with your planting? Check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac for a planting schedule for the Pacific Northwest, planting tips, a garden planner, and odd folklore and seasonal sayings.
Or, check local seed company Uprising Seeds website for a Planting Guide for the Maritime Northwest.