Time and Crop management
Since the very first vegetable garden we planted so many years ago, one of our biggest challenges has been crop management. Early on we learned the benefits of stage planting...after all having 12 heads of lettuce all ready for harvest might work if we were selling produce but it was surely too much for us to eat all at once.
The other thing we learned early on was producing your own food also required some pretty strong time management skills.
Prepping; planting; maintaining; and harvesting a garden requires a dedicated time commitment; and with 3 young children, fulltime careers and volunteer commitments, it’s important to manage and allocate time accordingly.
Lately we have tried to make tending to the garden a family event, and we have had a great response from the 4 year old…less so with the other two (although in fairness they do have their good days as well). Not only does this give us some family time away from the TV or other electronics that seem to consume us all, our hope is it helping to instill new interests and values in the kids.
Back to crop management, and the 12 heads of lettuce….
As I said this remains one of biggest challenges, and something we are determined to learn…one year we took huge pride in the fact that we were able to over fill our wheelbarrow with our potato crop, and were sure we were storing properly; only to find a short while later that every potato we so carefully boxed up in the cold storage had gone to sprout.
So far pickling (when it comes to beans) and relishing or grating and freezing (zucchini) seems to be our preferred method; at least for those two veggies, yet we are determined to perfect storage of other crops as we go as well.
All in all, even with the time commitment and failures that come with self teaching, there is still something rewarding about growing your own food…at least that is what I was reminding myself at 10:45pm the other night as I was finishing pickling the beans…