Call it editable estates, urban agriculture, reducing your carbon footprint, or a throwback to the American ‘Victory Garden’ of World War II -- Last year, we decided to plant at least one surprise edible in every garden plot in our back and front yard. Among the many fruits and vegetables, we had peppers beside are day lilies, strawberry plants as ground cover lining are front walk under the yews, and sweet potatoes climbing the fence as a back drop to the zinnias.
Not only have we been rewarded with the playful fun of edibles interwoven across the landscape, we have relished (no pun intended) in the harvest. We have feasted on fresh vegetables and fruits all summer and have been canning and freezing to carry us well past Thanksgiving with home goodies. Who knew that three cucumber plants would give us enough to can dozens of quarts of dill pickle spears and bread and butter pickles? This fall, our pepper jelly has been a huge hit at gatherings. We found a very simple, step-by-step recipe at pickyourown.org. With very little effort, we have been able to reap the bounty of the harvest.
As we pulled in the last of our harvest this past weekend, we are already thinking about growing our production next year. We challenge all of you to tempt the fun of it next spring, even if it is just a few small strawberry plants as ground cover or a blue berry bush next to your garage doors. Before you know it, you also will be indulging in the joy of fresh picked berries with your morning coffee and swapping zucchini muffin recipes with co-workers.
Nothing warms up a cold, grey, winter day like browsing through a seed catalog such as that from seedsaver.org and imagining your own little garden, full of ripe tomatoes and chilies and cucumbers and zucchini and carrots and ... :). -Happy planning.